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Thread: More bloodletting in ruthless rugby reset

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    More bloodletting in ruthless rugby reset

    More bloodletting in ruthless rugby reset

    Jessica Halloran
    June 2, 2020

    While Rugby Australia saved $5.5 million in wages on Monday by sacking 40 per cent of their staff it’s no secret the bloodletting will continue in what they are calling “phase two”.

    Over the coming months senior rugby personnel could be shown the door as the organisation battles to meet World Rugby’s demands.

    Brutal cost cutting is unavoidable because while Rugby Australia has received $4.7m of their World Rugby cash advance, the remaining $9.5m won’t be received unless four strict conditions are met.

    On page 19 of the annual report obtained by The Australian there are a set of extraordinary conditions attached to the remaining money World Rugby will hand out. RA must exhaust all reasonable cost saving opportunities, including salaries, and must exhaust all other sources of funding including cash reserves, government handouts and other loan facilities. RA must also “demonstrate good financial stewardship and provide robust supporting data” and continue to provide World Rugby with updates.

    To put it simply, World Rugby currently holds RA’s future in its hands.

    The $14.2m bailout is on the strictest terms and is an advance of the expected $19m that Australia is due to receive in the 2023 World Cup year.

    The high performance unit is one high cost centre that is facing budget cuts. Last year there was $9.2m spent on “high performance and teams” as well as a $9.6m on “Wallabies teams costs”. Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is reportedly on $1m. Rugby Australia’s coaching director Scott Johnson is understood to be on close to $700,000. The Gold Coast-based coaching director, who flies in and out to RA’s Sydney base, was recruited by then chief executive Raelene Castle in late 2018.

    The Australian can reveal RA paid out his Scottish Rugby Union contract to the tune of $200,000. As rugby in this country burns, such spending is a thing of the past.

    As for Super Rugby? The competition as we know it is all but done but what the competition will look like beyond this year is not confirmed.

    Some of the best Australian players are looking to break their contracts as it is all but inevitable their salaries will drop.

    The national Sevens program is in the gun — last year $5.3m was spent on it — and there are whispers that will suffer and have to survive on meagre funding in the future.

    While there were 200 staff on the books at RA last year, there is talk by the end of 2020 there could be as little as a half left in the front office. This is rugby’s new economic reality as the sport faces a ruthless reset.

    RA, which has managed to blow $500m over the past four years and has nothing to show for itself, is in for a period of radical transformation.

    Back in 2016 when Pulver inked the $285m broadcast deal he promised the “growth of a future fund to $10m” by 2020. If Pulver’s strategic plan had come to fruition the Wallabies would be No 1 in the world — a mere fantasy now.

    In November, when Castle, along with her well-paid broadcast strategists, walked away from a $200m five-year deal; she effectively gambled with rugby’s future.

    It has left interim chief executive Rob Clarke with no choice but to be ruthless in mopping up the mess left by a cast including Michael Hawker, Bill Pulver, Cameron Clyne and Castle.

    The board must also be held to account for steering the rugby ship onto the rocks.

    Nothing will be the same and that is a good thing. If Fox Sports (owned by News Corp publisher of The Australian) do come to the negotiating table for 2021 and beyond, rugby sources suggest it could be a long-term deal but with a conservative amount paid on strict conditions. Terms designed to prevent rugby from indulging in the profligacies of the past.

    While rugby league has enjoyed an almost flawless return, and the AFL is on the cusp of a comeback, all rugby union fans can do is wait.

    To get out of this mess, it’s going to be a long climb, and some senior personnel won’t get to set foot on the mountain let alone ascend it.

    Jessica Halloran
    Chief Sports Writer

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...c49c5bf838c0b5

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    Beaten to punch on posting. My bad (although this is a cleaner version).

    They paid out 200k + then a salary of 700k for Scott Johnson, meaning $0.9 million for this bloke over 12 months.

    He was hired as a babysitter for Cheika and is not needed. Should be gone.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ham105 View Post
    He was hired as a babysitter for Cheika and is not needed. Should be gone.
    No, he was hired as Director of Rugby, a post he held in Scotland when he managed to improve the Scottish Pro 14 sides from one reasonable and one piss-poor to both being title contenders. Babysitting Cheika was to get Australia through the World Cup (and Cheika almost blew that with his very public spat with Castle). Now that Cheika is gone, Johnson should have been getting on with how to improve rugby nationally so that Rennie has better players to pick from.

    I worry that the idea of a national club championship is the "best" idea that has come out of Moore Park, especially at the expense of the NRC. Frankly I can't see how that can be significantly cheaper than the NRC and won't raise standards other than in the handful of sides who will get into the championship every year.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    So if the $14 million from World Rugby is an advance on what they would have received in 2023 what does that mean for the finances in 2023 when they only get the last $5 million?

    Rugby Australia is a pack of losers.

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    they have organised a mortgage on a building they're leasing I think you can extrapolate an answer to your question from that fact jarhs

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    they have organised a mortgage on a building they're leasing I think you can extrapolate an answer to your question from that fact jarhs
    In all that has been written about the dire financial state of the game, I didn't notice that reference. Never been able to discern who actually owns the building only that it was funded by state and fed governments and "part funded" by the ARU and UTS, who's sports science dept shares the facility - along with a free ride for the Tahs. I've seen comments saying the RA should move to more a affordable home. Don't know how that would rest after taxpayers funded the thing. Be a nice slap in the face if they did move and the Swans took over the lease.

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    A more affordable home for Rugby Australia would probably have them moving to Broken Hill.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    A more affordable home for Rugby Australia would probably have them moving to Broken Hill.
    A home they could afford?

    What are the current rates for rubbish bins in Alice Springs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    A home they could afford?

    What are the current rates for rubbish bins in Alice Springs?
    Real estate in Alice Springs is worth more than Broken Hill.

    I'm sure they could get a great deal on a skipbin though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    A more affordable home for Rugby Australia would probably have them moving to Broken Hill.
    even better to Urandangi;if it is not the arsehole of Australia it can be seen from there.Perfect spot for RA HQ

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    even better to Urandangi;if it is not the arsehole of Australia it can be seen from there.Perfect spot for RA HQ
    Cant be all that bad - it's got a pub. So it's too good for the likes of the RA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    even better to Urandangi;if it is not the arsehole of Australia it can be seen from there.Perfect spot for RA HQ
    Is that on Crown Land?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Cant be all that bad - it's got a pub. So it's too good for the likes of the RA.
    Doesn’t past the wine bar test.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    Is that on Crown Land?
    mate,the leading cause of death there is by lead poisoning!

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Doesn’t past the wine bar test.
    you would be game to ask for one there!

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