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Thread: Michael Cheika phantom resignation not doing anyone any good: Malcolm Knox

  1. #1
    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Michael Cheika phantom resignation not doing anyone any good: Malcolm Knox

    Found this quite good to read. Love the bit where effectively we have created a situation where the only thing that matters is making sure the wallabies fluke a quarter final and a semi final to be determined a success every 4 years.

    I thought of Bill Pulver alot during this article

    Michael Cheika phantom resignation not doing anyone any good: Malcolm Knox

    Malcolm Knox
    08:29, Oct 27 2018
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    OPINION: That's it, I quit.

    This has nothing to do with those allegations, nor any other allegations that may arise in the coming days. Let me also say that my announcement has nothing to do with my performance review, due tomorrow, nor the performance of this organisation. Now that I have quit, you can all be nice to me. Thank you. Oh, the date? My resignation is effective as of October 2031, when I can access my superannuation.

    See what this column just did there? It grandfathered itself, a beautiful little corporate lurk that has spread into the sporting world. The deal is this. If your position is untenable, all you need to do to exempt yourself from accountability is announce your resignation now but set an end date when you feel like it. The heads of Australia's big banking, insurance and mining companies have grandfathered themselves, so has the Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, so has Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, and so, just this week, has CA's high-performance boss Pat Howard, who announced his resignation during another of those crises that have occurred on his watch if not entirely of his own making. But (cough) Howard won't actually be leaving until after next year's Ashes and World Cup. Thanks very much.

    Grandfathering is defined, in the Farlex Financial Dictionary (top of my Google search), as a new law "that exempts certain persons or businesses from abiding by it" because it would be unfair to ask them to change. Like, say, coal-dependent energy providers.

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    Self-grandfathering, announcing one's phantom resignation, is a parallel swiftie pulled by bosses who want to project the illusion of urgent action (Howard announcing his resignation as reports into the culture of Australian cricket are about to be released) while reserving the right to carry on in the job until a time of their choosing.

    The phantom resignation produces two useful effects. Firstly, Howard becomes more or less exempt from criticism over the next year, because he's not relevant to the future of the game anymore. He gets a nice free pass and a languid victory lap (or a defeat lap, as the case may be). And secondly, Howard's announcement says CA is taking action – look over here! – while elsewhere, chairman David Peever is rewarded for his stunningly successful first three years by his fellow directors voting him in for another three, which is, by the way, unprecedented, so he must be an unprecedentedly good chairman. He also got Sutherland and Howard to move on, or at least announce that they would move on sometime in the future.

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said he'll resign after the 2019 Rugby World Cup regardless of the result.
    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said he'll resign after the 2019 Rugby World Cup regardless of the result.
    When leaders grandfather themselves, little good follows. Closer to the action, Steve Waugh and Johnathan Thurston are two examples of all-time greats whose resignation announcements, many months before their actual departures, had an adverse effect on their teams. Waugh's Australian teammates grew exhausted by his 2003-04 victory lap; this year's North Queensland Cowboys showed similar symptoms. This is why all those NRL clubs who can afford it are not letting their coaches grandfather their resignations: if Wayne Bennett says he'll happily resign from the Broncos – in a year or two – a mood of uncertainty settles over an organisation, and soon it's not just the coach who's looking like a lame duck. The moment a leader announces their resignation, even if it's many tomorrows away, they become part of yesterday. Interesting that rugby league clubs are ahead of the game on this one.

    With the Wallabies playing the All Blacks in Tokyo today, the question of phantom resignations is particularly germane to the Cheika situation. The Australian coach has said he will go after next year's World Cup, whatever the result. Now, I have been a staunch fan of Cheika's ever since his appointment. A workman is only as good as his tools, and the tools at Cheika's disposal are ranked fifth in the world.

    It's impossible not to respect the endeavour of players like David Pocock and Michael Hooper, but they are playing in a world where the New Zealand tight five can catch, pass, draw and run as well as any of our backs. Our guys just aren't especially skilled, and by the time they are Wallabies, these kinds of instincts can't be coached, so we fall back on effort, pride, commitment, all those unskilled labours that will occasionally be good enough to jag a win against the All Blacks in dead rubbers.

    For example in Tokyo, where I fully expect Australia to win. But to defer judgment on the Wallabies until the World Cup is disturbing, most of all because it doesn't take a huge deal to make a Rugby World Cup semifinal. You can lose your group match against your rival good team, as long as you defeat the second-tier opponents. Then you are in the quarterfinal against someone like Scotland or France. And so, the whole success of Australian rugby over a four-year period is measured by whether they can win one match, against Scotland or France, in one tournament. And then, as has happened in the past, they could fluke a win in a semifinal, and everyone gets to pat themselves on the back. Success!

    To have the World Cup as the final measure sets the bar too low. It also pushes accountability over the horizon. We were smashed by Ireland and Argentina at home? Don't worry, there's a World Cup next year. We are no closer to winning the Bledisloe Cup? Fear not, we might win a World Cup quarterfinal, that'll put the nay-sayers in their place.

    It's baloney. When so much of Rugby Australia's strategy is pinned on the Wallabies, what followers of that team need is a consistent diet of something to believe in, year after year, not just a promise of pseudo-redemption in 2019. Success needn't be wins – having to play New Zealand three times a year, it can be argued that the win rate as a measure of success is setting the bar unfairly high.

    Success can be progress, an advanced style of play, a national ethos that fans can rally behind, the visible improvement of individual players, and a standard of effort, win or lose, that engenders loyalty and interest and passion. These are connected to winning, but they don't have to be.

    Sometimes Cheika's team has given more reasons for pride in a vibrant loss to the All Blacks than in a scrappy win over the Springboks. But it hasn't consistently been able to incite that pride, and to ask us to cross our fingers until a World Cup match against Scotland or France is to take us for fools.

    The other thing that makes us uncomfortable about the grandfathered resignation is that it just seems like a slick corporate play. It's giving the people something while actually giving them nothing. It's exempting yourself from accountability for what's happening right now. It's a deferral of judgment until a day when those who should be judged are playing golf in Hawaii. It gives the impression that leaders are putting their own image first and separating themselves from those they lead. It's crisis management, not a solution. In any walk of life, it's just not cool. And real grandfathers are better than that.

    Bugger that, I've changed my mind. I'm not quitting. You're going to have to blast me out.

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Success can be progress, an advanced style of play, a national ethos that fans can rally behind, the visible improvement of individual players, and a standard of effort, win or lose, that engenders loyalty and interest and passion. These are connected to winning, but they don't have to be.

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    Handing out 5 year contracts has a similar effect. Guaranteed selection breeds complacency in the player and frustration in others as they can see their pathway blocked and they head elsewhere for opportunity. Thats the reason so many schoolboy players are heading to league and NZ academies, opportunity. Aussie Super teams are suffering because these future players and the second tier depth players all head elsewhere because the ARU wants to hoard Wallabies at certain franchises while denying fair recruiting opportunity to other franchises (lookout Brumbies come 2020, the ARU slow death squeeze is being applied to you through restrictive recruiting, similar to the scraps the Force had to recruit between 2011-2016) . Trying to force all of Australias depth into the semi ametuer Shute Shield wont work as the money won't be there meaning more players heading offshore. The players understand these days they have a limited window to maximize their earnings and will follow the money. It is a business nowadays. Australian Rugby should be operating on performance based contracts to right the ship. Right now the administration languishes in stupidity and the Wallabies accept mediocrity. Some sort of contracting mechanism that pushes the focus back to performance is desperately required, but is never going to happen because the gravy train is in siege mentality.

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    Hello journos who visit here, this is the story you should be pursuing if you're not a paid shill for pRAvda

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Where is RUPA in all of this? Oh that’s right, Melbourne.

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    SB and Alison send this on to Alan Jones and Nick Taylor asap.

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