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Thread: Super Rugby 2020: Season resumption in doubt as players threaten strike action

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    Super Rugby 2020: Season resumption in doubt as players threaten strike action

    Jamie Pandaram
    The Daily Telegraph
    Wednesday, 24 June 2020 2:59PM

    The revamped Super Rugby AU competition could be over before it started with Australia’s professional rugby players issuing a real strike threat following RA’s latest pay cut proposal.

    Australia’s professional rugby players have rejected a new wage cut proposal by Rugby Australia, and on Tuesday night suggested sitting out the domestic competition to start on July 3 if they’re not paid more.

    The threat is of such substance that Melbourne Rebels players, booked on a flight to Canberra on Friday at 10am to play the Brumbies on July 4, are openly talking about not boarding the plane.

    The alarming development has come after RA asked players to take another pay cut until the end of the year.

    All 192 professional players had accepted an average 60 per cent pay cut until September 30, in the belief that after RA had secured a broadcast deal for the new domestic Super tournament, they would be reinstated to full pay.

    But despite a revised deal with broadcaster Fox Sports for the five-team Super Rugby AU tournament, cash-stricken RA has asked players to accept a 40 per cent pay cut from October 1 until December 31.

    It means since April, the players will only have earned half their agreed salaries for the remainder of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The players have said they’re only prepared to accept an average 20 per cent pay cut.

    However, The Daily Telegraph understands the players would accept a 30 per cent wage reduction from October through to the end of the year if it is offered in the next 48 hours.

    In a Zoom video conference call between leading players and their union representatives RUPA on Tuesday, it was obvious that there is frustration from Wallabies stars that they’re being asked to accept greater cuts than some RA staff.

    That was when the idea of striking was raised, and it had unanimous support unless more money was offered.

    RA had not been told of the strike threat directly by RUPA. The two parties will attempt to negotiate a deal by Friday.

    “We are in ongoing dialogue with RUPA regarding a revised pay deal and are working in good faith to reach an agreement as soon as possible with Vodafone Super Rugby AU set to kick off in just over a week,” an RA spokesman said.

    RA cut 77 jobs – 47 full-time and 30 contractors – at the start of this month in a bid to save the organisation from insolvency.

    RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said at the time the remaining executive team would take five per cent pay cuts for the rest of the year, and assume far more responsibilities.

    But that has aggrieved the players, who wonder why they’re being asked to accept an additional 40 per cent pay cut from September 31 having already sacrificed the bulk of their wages since the coronavirus stopped the Super Rugby competition in March.

    RA had to scramble to come up with a new tournament after Fox Sports stopped paying them due to lack of content.

    After discussions with Western Force owner Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, RA agreed to a five-team tournament over 12 weeks involving the Perth franchise.

    The first match is due to be played on Friday, July 3 between Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. The grand final is scheduled for September 19.

    A boycott is the last resort for the frustrated players, but it would result in RA losing the money agreed by Fox Sports to televise the tournament and plunge the code into a financial crisis that would threaten their immediate future.

    Players from the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels have been in full-time training since lockdown started on individual programs before restrictions were lifted allowing them to return to team-based training last month.

    The Force have gathered together in the past month to prepare for their re-entry, after RA axed them from Super Rugby in 2017.

    https://thewest.com.au/sport/rugby-u...f9afa78e517332

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    Just can the Rebels, greedy we don't need those Fu***rs..

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    The Rebels are now based in Canberra due to the situation in Melbourne.

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    It is a bit much to expect the players to continue to take half pay when the bloated executives at RA are only taking a 5% cut. And I don’t buy the taking on of extra responsibilities as justification for them only taking a 5% cut.

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    Haven’t the Rebels got a bloody nerve demanding more pay! You’d think they’d want to keep their heads down and fly under the radar at the mo considering they’re lucky to be even still playing!Guess they’re staying in Canberra to get used to things for the future nyuk nyuk

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    I wonder if the Rebels agreed to forego the final instalment of the $6million “special payment” from the Cox sale of the century as part of the team effort to save RA from insolvency?!

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    This should have happened years ago when the players only had MOUs and there was a recruiting freeze.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowCooked View Post
    Jamie Pandaram
    The Daily Telegraph
    Wednesday, 24 June 2020 2:59PM

    The revamped Super Rugby AU competition could be over before it started with Australia’s professional rugby players issuing a real strike threat following RA’s latest pay cut proposal.

    Australia’s professional rugby players have rejected a new wage cut proposal by Rugby Australia, and on Tuesday night suggested sitting out the domestic competition to start on July 3 if they’re not paid more.

    The threat is of such substance that Melbourne Rebels players, booked on a flight to Canberra on Friday at 10am to play the Brumbies on July 4, are openly talking about not boarding the plane.

    The alarming development has come after RA asked players to take another pay cut until the end of the year.

    All 192 professional players had accepted an average 60 per cent pay cut until September 30, in the belief that after RA had secured a broadcast deal for the new domestic Super tournament, they would be reinstated to full pay.

    But despite a revised deal with broadcaster Fox Sports for the five-team Super Rugby AU tournament, cash-stricken RA has asked players to accept a 40 per cent pay cut from October 1 until December 31.

    It means since April, the players will only have earned half their agreed salaries for the remainder of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The players have said they’re only prepared to accept an average 20 per cent pay cut.

    However, The Daily Telegraph understands the players would accept a 30 per cent wage reduction from October through to the end of the year if it is offered in the next 48 hours.

    In a Zoom video conference call between leading players and their union representatives RUPA on Tuesday, it was obvious that there is frustration from Wallabies stars that they’re being asked to accept greater cuts than some RA staff.

    That was when the idea of striking was raised, and it had unanimous support unless more money was offered.

    RA had not been told of the strike threat directly by RUPA. The two parties will attempt to negotiate a deal by Friday.

    “We are in ongoing dialogue with RUPA regarding a revised pay deal and are working in good faith to reach an agreement as soon as possible with Vodafone Super Rugby AU set to kick off in just over a week,” an RA spokesman said.

    RA cut 77 jobs – 47 full-time and 30 contractors – at the start of this month in a bid to save the organisation from insolvency.

    RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said at the time the remaining executive team would take five per cent pay cuts for the rest of the year, and assume far more responsibilities.

    But that has aggrieved the players, who wonder why they’re being asked to accept an additional 40 per cent pay cut from September 31 having already sacrificed the bulk of their wages since the coronavirus stopped the Super Rugby competition in March.

    RA had to scramble to come up with a new tournament after Fox Sports stopped paying them due to lack of content.

    After discussions with Western Force owner Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, RA agreed to a five-team tournament over 12 weeks involving the Perth franchise.

    The first match is due to be played on Friday, July 3 between Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. The grand final is scheduled for September 19.

    A boycott is the last resort for the frustrated players, but it would result in RA losing the money agreed by Fox Sports to televise the tournament and plunge the code into a financial crisis that would threaten their immediate future.

    Players from the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels have been in full-time training since lockdown started on individual programs before restrictions were lifted allowing them to return to team-based training last month.

    The Force have gathered together in the past month to prepare for their re-entry, after RA axed them from Super Rugby in 2017.

    https://thewest.com.au/sport/rugby-u...f9afa78e517332

    Better not be a re entry. Take what we can from this year and return to the GRR. Far better opportunity with GRR than that Mickey Mouse show that is happening over east.

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    Glad I haven’t reinstalled Foxtel sports yet!

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    I guess there will be some last minute deal done between the RA and RUPA. But all this is not going to help motivativate the Rebels, Reds, Tahs and Brumbies for their games versus a fully pumped up Force team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSJ View Post
    I guess there will be some last minute deal done between the RA and RUPA. But all this is not going to help motivativate the Rebels, Reds, Tahs and Brumbies for their games versus a fully PAID up Force team.
    Fixed it for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSJ View Post
    I guess there will be some last minute deal done between the RA and RUPA. But all this is not going to help motivativate the Rebels, Reds, Tahs and Brumbies for their games versus a fully pumped up Force team.
    I was worried about having reactivated my Kayo when this news dropped but, after thinking about it, the competition will still go ahead, RA need the money, it might be staffed by semi-pro players who don't have a current professional contract with RA, but it will go ahead.

    I don't think Clarke will give a shit, he'll only be interested in having a product to sell Foxtel, not necessarily whether that product is of sufficient quality.

    I think his reaction to the Force being the only fully professional team in the comp will be fine, hoping that it'll make Twiggy think that linking with whatever poisoned chalice is dreamed up for next year will work for the Force.

    Personally, I think that Clarke will carry that attitude into negotiations with RUPA and the players will be forced to the table by the fact that RA can probably release them from their contracts at will, especially in the current climate, and the players will take whatever deal they're offered because they have costs

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    C'mon the

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    Whatever bullshit deal they can dream up, Clarke will still be busting his arse to keep the Rebels going. Am questioning the statement mentioned how expensive it will be to have the Rebels in Canberra, how can it be a big cost? What, are they staying at another 5 star resort?

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Fixed it for you.
    Yes, fully paid and also fully motivated.

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