Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!
Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?
Remember Fox/News Ltd are no friend of rugby, nor of any sport. They are purely a profit making enterprise and will do what they need to secure and grow their income.
They tore down rugby league in the 1990's because they couldn't beat 9 & Optus to the TV rights.
They are only in 30% of households in Australia, but make more $ than the three commercial networks combined - in fact about 10 times the commercial networks combined.
They don't care whether a club or franchise is sustainable financially, that's someone else's problem (ARU) only what's good for their bottom line.
Remember - if ARU cut Force (which is what News want and is the only option News have given them) Fox/News get what they want. If the Rebels continue to lose millions and fall over, that's not their problem because the ARU will have to prop them up to meet the requirements of the broadcast contracts.
The rugby community (all over Oz) should be burning down the house over this and hanging the ARU exec from the Harbour Bridge. The ARU exec are working for News Ltd - not rugby.
I suspect we should be putting pressure on QANTAS and other sponsors to let them know that if the Force go then so does our use of their services.
Hit the ARU in the bottom line and have the sponsors start to let them know that this debacle is affecting the sponsors reputation.
Blaming Fox for the ARUs bungling is incorrect. The ARU had obligations to the Force that superseded the Fox renegotiations.
There has been ONLY 2 Fox/News employees AFAIK who have been death riding the Force. Payton & Pandaram. The Fox Sports team almost all have either supported us staying or said nothing, again AFAIK. If News/Fox were gunning for us I would expect the exact opposite to that. Either that or the leopard has suddenly shaken off the spots he's displayed for more than 60 years. Fox are on record as stating they preferred 5 franchies aren't they?
The ARU could have shot down any plans for a loss in Australian teams in London back in March where it was decided that they would cut an Australian side.
Fox's original wish was for 5 Australian sides as they were concerned about local Rugby content.
The ARU likely wanted to cut a side for a number of years. The point put to them has been - why did they agree to the 18 team expansion adding further pressure when Australia rugby was already dire.
The ARU have countered on a few occasions (listen to the Clyne interview with Alan Jones), that this is now the first opportunity they've had to cut a team because the broadcaster will allow it by keeping their fees at the same level.
That itself proves the ARU had already begun planning to cut a team well in advance to the SANZAAR meet as they would have held discussions with the broadcaster.
The only reason they can now cut a team is because the broadcaster is allowing it. The only reason the Force are the team they "want to cut" is because that's the terms Fox/News have given them - we'll keep paying the same, if you cut the Force.
The ARU are making a decision against the interests of Rugby. because they are in the pocket of Fox/News Ltd.
If a team needs to be cut, by all measures (finances, participation, members, state player registrations, crowds), the Force are ranked 3rd or even 2nd in Australia. The worst performing franchise by those categories is Melbourne, closely followed by the ACT.
The Force are in the gun - because of Fox Sports/News Ltd.
They'd hardly send the msg down that they want to cut the Force to make more money for the company. That would go down like a lead balloon with former rugby players come Fox Sports presenters.
The only reason the Force are their preferred "cut" option is because Fox/News Ltd will allow them to do it (under the broadcast agreement) while paying the same in broadcast fees - but ONLY if the ARU cuts the Force to create an all east coast comp, making it cheaper for Fox the produce the sport.
They currently lose money on Force home games as it costs more to produce and the ratings are lower - WA has one of the lowest subscriber bases for Foxtel.
Again, remember the only reason the ARU "can" cut a team is because the broadcaster is allowing it (and stipulating it should be the Force)
I can see the costs getting significantly higher and their thoughts of saving money becoming more irrelevant. The more this drags on the more the cost structure of getting rid of a side does as well.
The complexity comes as the Rebels no longer trust ARU, especially after last weekend's statement outlined to the world. You would have expected that there would have been no heavily worded statement on Good Friday by the Rebels if the deal between Fox Sports and ARU was locked in. Seeing how the conversations and articles have been worded the last few weeks, it seems the legal case for the Force is very strong which has put the Rebels under more risk of being cut than when these deals were initially implemented.
It seems from the outside that everything that was going to happen is now unsure. I would be expecting the ARU are re-visiting what it does as the pathway they want to go down seems to be one they can no longer go down. Commercial directives often have to change when you get an injunction, you either have a case or you have to go back to the drawing board.
No doubt News Ltd/Fox Sports play a role in this still, but I think from what has happened over the last few weeks there is more grey than black and white.
So ARU want to cut a team
They go to NewsLtd and say "We want to cut a team but we need the same amount of money"
NewsLtd say "OK but the only way it's of any benefit to us is if you cut The Force"
ARU are sweet with that and decide The Force have to go.
Force say "But what about our agreement! We're calling in the lawyers!"
ARU are all "Oh no! Now what? No plan B!"
Add the fact the Rebels were most likely aware of all of this and previous commitments by the ARU was based on the Rebels understanding the position of Foxtel/News Ltd.
Anyways there will be lots of popcorn if we have a court case in the WA Supreme Court.