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Thread: Wallabies face pay cuts

  1. #1
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Wallabies face pay cuts

    Wallabies may face pay cuts - Bill Pulver
    Greg Growden
    May 9, 2013

    Wallabies players may have to accept reduced salaries for the good of the game in Australia, Bill Pulver said in an exclusive interview with ESPNscrum.

    The financial health of rugby in Australia "is a concern", the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive told ESPNscrum when asked about the union's $8.4 million deficit for 2012 after the $10.5 million deficit in 2011. And "sadly there is not as much money coming in from the Lions tour this year as we would have wanted because of a quite difficult sponsorship market".

    "Historically we have had these periodic windfalls," Pulver said in explanation of the Australian game's financial situation. "Hosting the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and a ton of money came in. Every 12 years you have a British & Irish Lions tour and a ton of money comes in Australian rugby has pretty much survived on major windfalls that have covered losses until the next windfall comes in.

    "But the reality is that the next windfall [after the coming Lions tour] is 12 years away [the 2025 Lions tour]. The two big windfalls are Lions tours and Rugby World Cups. With World Cups, they generally alternate between north and south. So 2019 is Japan in the north. With 2023 if you were a betting man you'd probably be saying South Africa; 2027 goes north and 2031, there's probably a decent chance the IRB will want to develop the game in South America. So it's possible it could be as long as 2039 before our next World Cup staged in Australia. So our next windfall being 12 years away does worry me."

    Pulver said the ARU had "to cut our expense cloth according to what we can afford in the short term" and he flagged the possibility of reduced salaries for the Wallabies and the country's Super Rugby players, through negotiations with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA), as a possible short-term aim. Pulver accepts the potential ramifications of such a decision, saying "the real solutions involve getting revenue growth going". But "in the context of our financial situation, let me just say everything is on the table".

    "I don't want to position this as a disaster scenario, but we need to finesse our cost base. So everything is on the table."

    Pulver suggested the Wallabies' gold jersey would remain a lucrative attraction for top players, even if the prospectively reduced salaries could not match those available overseas or in rugby league, particularly given the additional lure of the Olympic Sevens program.

    "We have two pressure points," he said. "One is other codes, and the other is international, particularly from Japan and France. But the opportunity and the excitement associated with the Wallabies jersey should carry a lot of value. What differentiates our game is not only we are an international game, but we are a very competitive international game. In some ways you could be only modestly satisfied with our performance at Wallabies level over the last few years, but we are still ranked third. So what happens if we absolutely get it right? The lure, power and magnetism of that Wallabies jersey is significant."

    Pulver accepted, however, that Australian rugby had to do more than prospectively reduce player salaries if it were to regain rude financial health, not least that it had to reconnect with the fans.

    "What I'm most concerned about is fan engagement," he said. "The good news is that we have a fantastic year and the excitement around the Lions tour has been palpable. Our Super Rugby teams are performing better than for a long time, and that should equate into a super competitive Wallabies team. If we can win a Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, that will springboard growth into the game.

    "It can be addressed, but turning around revenue is on the one hand about winning more at the elite level when 95% of your revenue comes from Super Rugby and the Wallabies, and it is also turning the entertainment package around. Our rusted-on rugby fans have been slipping away from the game, and we've got to get them back. We have a fair bit of work to do."

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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    to sum it up--we are in deep manure

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  3. #3
    Senior Player Contributor Cowboy's Avatar
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    at least he seems to be facing the problems

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  4. #4
    Senior Player DinkyDi's Avatar
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    Facing the problems - True - However, does he really think that the top players are going to sacrifice their very short term earning capacity (lets face it - they have 10 years on average to make their cash for the future) to play long term for the Wallabies.

    Don't get me wrong, playing for your country is the pinnacle, playing for your country at a world cup is a pinnacle on tip toes, however, I feel that there is a limit.

    If you look at the current salary caps below, there is a massive discrepancy in earning power here in Aus:

    Comparison of Salary Caps
    Country Competition Cap(adjusted to euros) Cap(in local currency) Cap Introduced
    France Top 14 9.5m 9.5m 2010-2011
    England Premiership 5.3m 4.5m 1999-2000
    Wales Pro 12 4.1m 3.5m 2012-2013
    Australia Super Rugby 3.2m 4.5m 2011
    NZ ITM Cup 0.8m 1.4m 2006

    Can you just hope that the players will decide to live a modest lifestyle (by international standards) and have a small life savings situation at the end of their careers? I am sure some will but there are going to be those that know, post sport they have a very limited earning capacity for numerous reasons.

    Whilst this may be a short term solution, the Wallabies need to start winning to attract sponsorship, players need to be able to top up their earning with third party deals and private sponsorship and .. the Wallabies need to start winning.

    Get tough on those that show disrespect for the jersey, stop spending vast amounts of money on ring ins, develop the grass roots and get a good head coach that can deliver and I don't think Link is the man.

    Oh well - enough said.

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    Last edited by DinkyDi; 09-07-13 at 09:56.

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  5. #5
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    He can say all that but I bet he has clause in his contract that would see him paid huge $$$ if he is terminated aka O'Neill (over $1m) and Dingo ($400k). Lets get the suits sorted out first Mr Pulver.

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  6. #6
    Rookie WF2404's Avatar
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    Too many snouts in the trough!!

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  7. #7
    Champion Tonkar's Avatar
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    The way to fix this is a KPI senario were all players get a super 15 contract under the team salary cap No ARU top ups or any money given by ARU and then can earn extra..

    If Selected to play for Wallabies they get game day money and a percentage of the team pot depending on the result ( Say $ 5000 per game and say a pot of $23000 to be divided if they win and nothing for a lose.. the % of the 23 could be $1000 each or a ranking for mins played or on a ranking voted by the public or a board....))

    This way it puts all clubs even to start with as no one can buy more top players that already have ARU money...

    Also reduce the Camp and training Crap for wallaby selections as it does not work I like the All blacks selection process play club or super 15 one week then select the best next day and play test next Sat worked well for the ABs V france tests No player knew he had a spot till the death so all players play hard to try to get selected

    To many Aussie rugby players just think they should be picked cose they were there before Selection on merit only

    That would reduce cost heaps as it cost alot to have a camp for the boys then they don't perform the lions tour has really shown that the 6 to 8 week camp dont work. manyof the players become very slack and lack match fitness..

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  8. #8
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Piss top ups off, they're a dogs breakfast.

    Introduce a system of match payments and winning bonuses funded with the savings and share the rest evenly amongst the unions.

    While we're at it, give up on the bullshit salary cap, either Audit the Tahs or let everybody else have free reign, id rather compete in an open market, where we know that NSW is paying their players top dollar because their clubland generates a lot of income.....if we're broke we fight our way out of it. Clean, simple.....not going to happen

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    C'mon the

  9. #9
    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    I've said for years that payment for tests should be incentive based ( for all countries).
    Travel expenses ect. fine, away from home allowance fine.
    I think the ABs selection of probs and pos would be far more beneficial.
    But you just know its not going to happen and they will carry on wasting money and not improving rugby at grassroot level.

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    May the FORCE be with you!

  10. #10
    Player Flying 14's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more with dumping this insane setup we have at the moment. I remember thinking when this was announced that it will never work. How can you offer someone a ARU contract to play for the Wallabies, when you dont know if they will be playing for the Wallabies - Quade Cooper is a case in point. This is not to mention how much it unbalances the contracting for the S15 clubs - how many ARU topups have we at the Force? Yet apparently we are struggling to afford to keep Nick Cummins, who is a fringe Wallaby? How is this remotely fair........

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