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ARU moves to kill off club player payments: A 3rd tier, club rugby and the $60k persuader

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wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
If the ARU is in the financial poo that they are claiming to be in (see discussion point in the SRU response to the ARU), then thank goodness for the B&I Lions tour.

Without Gatland's Group coming downunder this year and making a fairly chunky contribution to the ARU coffers, how long will it be before they will be in trouble with ACCC for trading whilst insolvent?

And, for all we know, there might never be another B & I Lions tour.


We are in a critical situation. The sooner everybody realises that, and we all start making sacrifices for the overall good of the game, the better.


But, as Keating once said, more or less, never underestimate the power of self-interest. The rich and powerful in our game are motivated by their own tiny patch of glory, they could not care less about the game as a whole.


Enjoy your little pile of manure, fatcats. It is warm, and it looks nice - a bit like gold from certain angles. But it actually stinks.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
There was a time when Australia was seen as the innovators of the game and would introduce new concepts on and off the field. This is no longer the case and we are well behind other nations now.

I think this whole idea of a 3rd tier comp is a classic example of how we have no real leadership in the game at the moment. We need someone (Bill) to come out and say "we are doing this because this is the best thing for the game". He keeps putting out half baked ideas to gauge public opinion and seems to have some overwhelming desire to be liked by everyone.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
He keeps putting out half baked ideas to gauge public opinion and seems to have some overwhelming desire to be liked by everyone.


He is not gauging public opinion, he is talking to the stakeholders, and there are a lot of them (including rusted on supporters, the public in that sense).


He is not superman, and the ARU are certainly not rich and powerful enough to do whatever they think is good for the game. They need a buy-in from the vested interests to do anything new.


Remember the opposition to the ARC, particularly from the Sydney clubs?
 

Joe King

Dave Cowper (27)
The real problem for Aus rugby is structural. Pathways are blocked, the depth and skills of players are not being forged and developed as well as they could be. Kids don't find it easy to get on board. It's almost like they have to stumble across rugby, or go to a particular school, or know someone who's involved, before they get on board. The pathway is a dogs breakfast.

Without the structures being fixed, the Wallabies will not be consistently at the top. Other countries (maybe even ARG) will overtake us. We may have a win here and there, but in 10 years time we'll still be bemoaning Aus rugby for exactly the same reasons.

We don't have the level of resources the other football codes have in Aus. And so we keep going for the bandaid solutions and a quick buck.

But it needs to change. And maybe things have to get worse before they get better

We need to play smart. The number one goal has to be what's best for the Wallabies. EVERYTHING needs to move in that direction structurally (of course you can't control people's motives, but at least people won't be able to stuff it for others with the right structures in place)

Then sit down and work it out. Given Aus' limited resources and competitive landscape, what would be the ideal structure to make the game accessible to kids, with a super simple and clear pathway? What kind of internal domestic structures would best forge player skills and depth so that the finished product at a state and national level is a rugby player who is as good as they could be? What is the plan for sevens and fifteens to fit and work together? And at least, how SHOULD schools and clubs fit into the picture? Say it loud and clear.

Then show everyone the blueprint and how it's best for rugby in Aus so we can get on board and work towards the same goal. That's what leadership is all about.

Of course, not everyone will be on board, and implementing the best structure (without compromise) may shrink the game for a bit and take Aus rugby back a few steps. And yes, some may get left behind. But really, it's a small price to pay in the bigger scheme of things. I'm prepared to sacrifice now for something that will make Aus rugby as good as it could be down the track.

And that's what it's all about: it's not about competing with or copying the other codes, but making Aus rugby as good as it can be. And then whether we win or lose, at least we can be satisfied we did our best.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Some good thoughts there Joe King.

The Pulveriser is a successful businessman and is no fool, but one suspects that he may have been sold a lemon about this current role.

As a successful businessman, he would be well aware of the need for strategic planning and the steps necessary to achieve that. One of the issues facing the Pulveriser may be that the current financial situation of the ARU is such that all hands are on deck dealing with the current crisis, and there is no one left to do the essential naval gazing and cloud watching for the long term strategy.

This is a good time to rethink these points raised by Dave Beat in this thread: http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/community/threads/australian-rugby-aru.12818/

Keeping the briefing short as it captures various areas and has evolved over a number of years.
  • We have Australian Rugby, what most of the posters are pationate about, whether it be their club side, passing comments on their provincial side, or casting their thoughts on the make up of the Wallabies. To use the title of an old book - For Love not Money.

  • We then have the ARU - Is it a business? How do they measure success? - Is it love, or Money, or politics. What do they do, what do they create, how are they measured, what are thier goals and methods.
Pick a thought and post it, who knows who'll read it?

The Pulveriser has the challenge of running Australian Rugby AND the ARU Business. Tough gig with extremely different stakeholder groupings.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
Well, maybe I'm a dreamer. But I believe that all stakeholders have the job of running Australian rugby. We are all in a little boat, which is rocking around on a dangerous sea, with many, many snares and dangers.

We can pull together, if we want to, or we can die separately.



The ARU depends on us. And we depend on them. We need all hands on deck, pulling together.

I feel a bit like a prophet crying in the wilderness, actually, to get a bit biblical about everything.
 

Dave Beat

Paul McLean (56)
Well, maybe I'm a dreamer. But I believe that all stakeholders have the job of running Australian rugby. We are all in a little boat, which is rocking around on a dangerous sea, with many, many snares and dangers.

We can pull together, if we want to, or we can die separately.

The ARU depends on us. And we depend on them. We need all hands on deck, pulling together.

I feel a bit like a prophet crying in the wilderness, actually, to get a bit biblical about everything.

I was simply showing a gap between the 2, agree with you, is it a bridge we need?
 

Lindommer

Steve Williams (59)
Staff member
None of these ideas is going to get up unless existing clubs are involved. Uni, Randwick, and Easts have the political clout to stop any move to exclude them.

The sad, sad thing about this situation in Australian rugby is two of these three traditional powerhouses are broke. As are Warringah, Gordon, Norths and Eastwood. Penrith and Souths I dunno. Manly, West Harbour and Parramatta I do know are solvent.

Uni, Randwick and Easts will NEVER agree to the expansion of rugby in greater Sydney.
 

Dave Beat

Paul McLean (56)
The sad, sad thing about this situation in Australian rugby is two of these three traditional powerhouses are broke. As are Warringah, Gordon, Norths and Eastwood. Penrith and Souths I dunno. Manly, West Harbour and Parramatta I do know are solvent.

Uni, Randwick and Easts will NEVER agree to the expansion of rugby in greater Sydney.
Manly posted a profit just under 200k last year and is looking at 150k plus this year - great supporters, great sponsors, and allot of hardwork from volunteers.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
From my experience rugby clubs like to spend all their money in a season. It's great to hear that Manly are being financially responsible. Clubs need to be treated like a business to some degree to ensure long term viability.
 

Rugby Central

Charlie Fox (21)
I didn't realise how far removed from rugby reality the Pulveriser was until I read this article. Manly get about $60,000 from gate takings, which would barely cover day to day expenses for a SS club - grade, colts, juniors (remember them).

;).

Been away so still reading through the thread but it's interesting and coincidental that $60,000 is the almost the exact figure it takes to put a Div 1 or Div 2 Sydney Subbies side on the park each year - just covering costs.

Would love to know how far it would go in SS?
 

Hugie

Ted Fahey (11)
To help inform the debate here's a very good read from Southern Districts. It seems to have covered all the main points and is full of 1st hand information rather than hearsay.
http://www.southerndistricts.com.au/club-news/nev-shooter-speaks-a-must-read
Can't say that I agree with everything he says, but a lot. AND he seems to have hit the main points doing the rounds on this forum.
This will help our debates.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
Members and supporters, our game could well be at one of the most important cross roads in its history since Dally Messenger left to play Rugby League or the game went “professional” in the 90’s. Stay interested as it could get very interesting.
Sounds ominous
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
A good old quality rant from the Head of the Hobbits.

I do rather like the approach that they are adopting with their junior rep programmes (U15 and above).

Only when clubs actually invest their time and money in their juniors can they claim to have had some part in the development of juniors.

Many clubs take credit for the supposed development of the athletic talents of players who have accidently happened to play for a village club within their "district boundaries", without any genuine senior club development input. For many it comes down to the tokenism of permitting the district rep team wear their colours and branding at State Champs over the June long weekend.

Loyalty and respect have to be earned before it is given/demanded, and this is a good strategic move by them.

With respect to the Uni rant, I'm not sure that all of his points are valid and factually correct, nor that quest to depowering Uni will not have some far reaching unintended consequences, but it seems to be in the interests of Sydney rugby to do something to level up the Shute Shield finals so that the same basic group of lads that played across the 7 teams in round one are there in the last round of the competition.

Interesting that the Hobbits recognise the positive revenue value that playing their contracted Soup and Wob Players in Shute Shield matches brings, yet they seem happy to deny Uni (with all their advantages etc etc) that ability.

One wonders how those clubs with only one or no Soup players feel about fronting up to face a full strength Southern Districts team with all their contracted players in the run on side. How is this different from what Uni can do, and how is that contributing to the development of rugby in those clubs that struggle to attract and retain Soup rugby players such as Parramatta, Penrith, West Harbour, Randwick and Warringah.
 

It is what it is

John Solomon (38)
To help inform the debate here's a very good read from Southern Districts. It seems to have covered all the main points and is full of 1st hand information rather than hearsay.
http://www.southerndistricts.com.au/club-news/nev-shooter-speaks-a-must-read
Can't say that I agree with everything he says, but a lot. AND he seems to have hit the main points doing the rounds on this forum.
This will help our debates.
Thanks Hugie, a very interesting article.
How could anyone from Sydney Uni ever again look down at the other 11 Shute Shield clubs and challenge them to rise up and meet Sydney Uni's offer to players?
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
To help inform the debate here's a very good read from Southern Districts. It seems to have covered all the main points and is full of 1st hand information rather than hearsay.
http://www.southerndistricts.com.au/club-news/nev-shooter-speaks-a-must-read
Can't say that I agree with everything he says, but a lot. AND he seems to have hit the main points doing the rounds on this forum.
This will help our debates.


So, the ARU are proposing that the Club competitions fall more into line with the Super Rugby season and the only way to do so would be to reduce competitiors to 10 teams.

The clubs are upset about being relegated to '4th Tier' status and Rugby in a competitive market where other codes are providing financial inducements to talent at similar levels isn't about money or TV presence.


Interesting. This is going to sound a bit harsh, perhaps even petty but boo hoo.

The Shute had some fantastic Rugby played this season but its clearly a competition of differing tiers in terms of talent concentration. You have a fairly set top 4, a more fluid 5-8 and a few clubs really struggling at the bottom. As soon as Super Rugby talent return its essentially game over for 8 of that 12 at present.

I'm just going to suggest it again but cutting the Shield to 10 isn't going far enough. It should be 8. In fact, the elite levels of Sydney club Rugby should be over two divisions of 8 teams with the bottom 4 forming the Chmapionship division alongside the centrally located Country regions in Newcastle/Hunter and Illawarra as well as two ambitious subbies clubs.

In the top divsion (call it Premiership) you would have a far more competitive competition, in the championship you would have somewhere to expand the reach of Sydney Club Rugby. Fourteen rounds with two weeks of finals for 16 weeks in total with the bottom placed team from the Premiership fighting it out in a H/A promotion/relegation series at the end of the season. Simple.

I'm sorry but the insecurities of the Sydney club systems is holding the game back. We need something above our current club structures. It's really that simple. I'd like to hear from officials from the other competitions. But I'd wager they'd be a little more open.

As for Super Rugby players having to stay in there local competitions. Well, the Brumbies are currently doing it, the Reds have always done so (though there recruitment of non-Queensland talent has been more limited) so why shouldn't both the Force and Rebels be entitled as well. They are there primary employers afterall.

It's about tine we start to look beyond just preserving our patch. The interest groups need to get over themselves and think about what best for the game in this country and not what allows them to maintain their own little fiefdoms in a crumbling landscape.
 
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