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Thread: the neXt Theory

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    the neXt Theory

    The never-ending search for the great cash cow of Rugby.

    Over the years the administrators of Rugby have made decisions that leave the average punter or Rugby Fan scratching their heads in disbelief. Sometimes they continue to follow a course of action that has us pulling our hair out. I have a theory. But – if you take a moment. It begins to all point in the same direction.

    The Expansion of Super Rugby
    For a while Super12 Rugby was considered the best provincial Rugby Tournament in the world. Funded by the ever-growing Pay-tv juggernaut. Rugby Administrators came up with a simple theory. If 12 Super Rugby teams is worth X dollars, then 15 Teams must be worth X+ dollars. And 18 teams would be worth X+++ Dollars. Unfortunately it didn’t work like that.

    Inviting Japanese Rugby into Super Rugby
    One of the expansion teams brought into Super Rugby was the SunWolves of Japan. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Professional Rugby players who signed to play in Japan were known to be going on the Superannuation Tour. Japanese teams paid top dollar to players essentially on their last legs. The local Japanese competition were made up of Corporate teams. To the Administrators of SANZAAR is this all about bringing the mighty Yen in to the competition. In the end they weren’t even subtle about it charging the SunWolves a ridiculous entrance fee. SunWolves refused to pay. No more Yen.

    The NSW Waratahs
    For a long time there was a theory that if the Tahs were successful then Australian Rugby was successful. And making money. The more Tahs players/Coaches in the Wallabies. The better it was for the Rugby in Australia. After all, New South Wales was the largest (Rugby) supporter base and the biggest (Rugby) TV Market. It didn’t work – but it sounded good in theory.

    The Melbourne Rebels
    Depending on who you talk too. Some say that the Melbourne team was supposed to be the fourth Australian team instead of the Western Force. The belief has always been that the Victorian Sporting market is the biggest in Australia. Melbourne the sporting capital of the world and Rugby Australia bought in to the hype. A successful Melbourne team is the cash cow Rugby Australia have always wanted. The first problem is that the Victorian market only cares about AFL and Cricket. The other problem is the Rebels have been far from successful and have been the black hole that has almost put Rugby Australia into receivership.

    Dr. Andrew Forrest AO PHD
    If only Andrew Forrest was born on the North Shore of Sydney or even better the inner suburb of Melbourne. Australian Rugby’s newest and possibly realest (is that a word) cash cow. The Biggest problem for Rugby Australia is that Andrew Forrest has a string attached. That String is the Western Force. The interesting twist. Rugby New Zealand don’t seem to care about the attached string and appear to be happy not only with what Forrest brings to the table, but they are welcoming it. 2021 will possibly see the Western Force be apart of SuperRugby Aotearoa. What happens in 2022 is anyone’s guess?

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    Exile
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    It is certainly a situation that makes both the share market and politics look like like places of good sense and logic. But the really stupid thing of it was that if 12 Super Rugby teams were worth X dollars, 15 Teams actually were worth X+ dollars and 18 teams were very much worth X+++ Dollars. They didn't take the audience with them, but if they were even remotely good managers they should at least now have a decent cash cushion to sit on. Or have used it on building a domestic structure that might have positioned them better when Covid came along. Instead they just pissed it away even quicker than they got it, with nothing to show for it.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    I think this might be an effect of having businessmen (even if failed businessmen) running rugby. In business, having a cash surplus isn't necessarily a good thing, especially if you are publicly traded on the stock market. You run a business with investment of all profit, because profit means you pay tax. So you spend any potential profit on investment opportunities, or bonuses for your senior staff because they've done so well to create a profit, or dividends for the shareholders. A cash surplus means that you are a target for a buy-out.

    The ARU doesn't have shareholders (apart from the individual state unions, and the ARU doesn't count them, apart from possibly NSW & Qld) and investment opportunities only seem to include grassroots rugby (another shareholder) at the end of a long list, so their money goes on huge salaries to Wallabies as top-ups and huge bonuses to the senior staff.

    To a (failed) businessman, a cash surplus isn't sexy, it's proof that you haven't invested your money properly, or paid yourself a big enough bonus.

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    Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    X, I was expecting a proposal, since you titled the thread a theory.

    What you gave was background unless you consider the last line to be the theory,

    Personally I think rugby Australia will cave (somewhat) to twiggy demands (remembering that 2021 doesn't really count since grr has cancelled their season and srao will not be expanding, 2021 will see the force play in srau, because not playing at all just isn't an option)

    In 2022, the determining factor will be the fox contract (let's not kid ourselves, fox will win the broadcast contract, RA need the money and they're tge only genuine bidder)

    If fox money is sufficient to prop up the house of cards and the contract (as expected) includes 5 teams into the future, RA won't particularly care who team 5 is and will play hard ball over the force, however if they need the money and are short a team they'll have to negotiate with the force

    Twiggys string is not tge force, the force are symbolic, the string is giving every union in Australia a fair voice and getting rid of tge sycophants. For that reason I'm hopeful that RA enter 2021 at risk of bankruptcy, because it'll force them to talk to twiggy

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    That is a pretty good summation of the past decade's mistakes. As to pondering an AF born in Melbourne: Would he have had the patience of Rupert Murdoch has had with the Storm? They have shown that you can actually get traction in Victoria - if you have a winning team, great coaching and talent identification (no dickheads policy), and a savvy administration. It has taken more than 2 decades of multi-million dollar financial losses. But when you have the likes of Sam Newman, Billy Brownless and others regularly going to their matches you know you're succeeding. So making a go of it in Melbourne is not impossible - just extremely hard. Then finally as they new owners were projecting a first profitable season; along comes Covid-19.

    The problem with the Rabble was that rather than a no dickheads policy, they seemingly went out of their way to recruit them. With the slack they were cut in the salary cap etc, they should have been successful. But their admin etc was not up to it. Little wonder when you think about who has been involved. And they were hand in hand with an ARU admin who were just as inept.

    I think it will be quite a while for the future of SR to be clear. AF has stated he is taking the long view for the Force. Much to the annoyance of the Moore park mob and their chosen journos, he is just keeping all options on the table.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    It's also taken the Storm a few seasons of breaking the salary cap.

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    X, I was expecting a proposal, since you titled the thread a theory.

    What you gave was background unless you consider the last line to be the theory,
    Im a bit too delicate to be putting out my usual proposals lately. I haven't coped well with the backlash.

    This one was more of an exercise in looking at various scenarios and providing a left-field explanation that bundled them all together in a nice package.

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    That is a pretty good summation of the past decade's mistakes. As to pondering an AF born in Melbourne: Would he have had the patience of Rupert Murdoch has had with the Storm? They have shown that you can actually get traction in Victoria - if you have a winning team, great coaching and talent identification (no dickheads policy), and a savvy administration. It has taken more than 2 decades of multi-million dollar financial losses. But when you have the likes of Sam Newman, Billy Brownless and others regularly going to their matches you know you're succeeding. So making a go of it in Melbourne is not impossible - just extremely hard. Then finally as they new owners were projecting a first profitable season; along comes Covid-19.

    The problem with the Rabble was that rather than a no dickheads policy, they seemingly went out of their way to recruit them. With the slack they were cut in the salary cap etc, they should have been successful. But their admin etc was not up to it. Little wonder when you think about who has been involved. And they were hand in hand with an ARU admin who were just as inept.

    I think it will be quite a while for the future of SR to be clear. AF has stated he is taking the long view for the Force. Much to the annoyance of the Moore park mob and their chosen journos, he is just keeping all options on the table.
    The real problem with Victoria is that they haven't had a successful sport outside of AFL apart from Formula 1 and maybe the MotoGP in the 90s. Does a sporting event that only takes place once a year really count?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    The real problem with Victoria is that they haven't had a successful sport outside of AFL
    I know you don't follow the Mungos X so I'll let that one go through to the keeper. But if The Storm aren't the NRL on-field success story of the past 2 decades, they'll do till we get one. 25,000 members. 3 premierships - 1 in their 2nd season. 4 times Minor Premiers. 3 World Club Challenge victories.....and 1 Wooden Spoon - when they got caught out cheating. And a whole state that supports Qld at Origin time!

    Not such a success at turning a profit or developing Victorian players - 2 in 22 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    The real problem with Victoria is that they haven't had a successful sport outside of AFL apart from Formula 1 and maybe the MotoGP in the 90s. Does a sporting event that only takes place once a year really count?
    Formula 1 and the Australian Open has a truck load of people fly in domestically and internationally, any city in the country could host these events and it would be successful.

    Melbourne and to a lesser extent Sydney are also kissed on the dick in regard to Test Cricket events given they host the two Tests that are during the 2 weeks of Christmas holidays.

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    I know you don't follow the Mungos X so I'll let that one go through to the keeper. But if The Storm aren't the NRL on-field success story of the past 2 decades, they'll do till we get one. 25,000 members. 3 premierships - 1 in their 2nd season. 4 times Minor Premiers. 3 World Club Challenge victories.....and 1 Wooden Spoon - when they got caught out cheating. And a whole state that supports Qld at Origin time!

    Not such a success at turning a profit or developing Victorian players - 2 in 22 years.
    I know enough about the Mungo ball and the Storm to know that yes they have been a success on the field. But in the stands and in the membership office they are struggling. Also - they are continually propped up by Newscorp Financially.

    But apart from that - Its Mungo ball - and still doesn't count.


    X 1 Shasta 0

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    I know enough about the Mungo ball and the Storm to know that yes they have been a success on the field. But in the stands and in the membership office they are struggling. Also - they are continually propped up by Newscorp Financially.

    But apart from that - Its Mungo ball - and still doesn't count.


    X 1 Shasta 0
    The Storm have not been owned by Newscorp since 2013. The majority share holder is Bart Campbell; a Kiwi who also happens to be the NZRU representative on the World Rugby board. He has turned the finances and membership around. How do you arrive at the view that they are struggling with attendances & membership when they have 25,000 paid-up members? (pre-covid anyway)

    Most of that info was in my first post so I think the score is more like Shasta wins by TKO in the second round.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    maybe X is playing rope a dope?

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Shas, genuine question how does the storms 21k stack up a hf ainst afl teams. Is it, for example, even close to the most poorly supported afl team in Melbourne?

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    C'mon the

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    No. They are all better supported. No surprise there. Still, much as it pains me to say so, 25,000 members is pretty impressive. Even if did take half a lifetime.

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