#rugbyunion

2/3rds of Rugby Australia cash would disappear

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Rugby Australia’s (RA) CEO Raelene Castle says that the franchise can weather paying out Izzy Folau’s $10m claim. Although CM is not sure that paying out $10m + costs which would wipe out almost 2/3rds of the $18mn in cash on the balance sheet is something a CEO would think is worth boasting. What she needs to focus on is the declining operating performance.

Hopefully, Chairman Clyne will get his CEO to focus on NZ Rugby (NZR) as a benchmark.

RA took in approximately A$30m in licensing and sponsorship last year. NZR raked in A$65m. More than double for a country with one-fifth the population. Think about it. The advertising base is smaller yet the sponsors must see the returns as superior to do so.

Total revenues for RA sum to around A$110m. NZR takes in A$182m in 2018.

Matchday revenue for RA reached A$20m last year. NZR collected A$28m.

Total assets for RA sum to A$69m. NZR total assets are A$183m. Total equity for RA is A$27m vs NZR at $99m.

Perhaps understanding why the Wallabies franchise saw a 20% fall in revenues in 2018 is a bigger issue. Expenses fell 15% mainly due to slashing Super Rugby team costs in half and player costs by 33%. Without that, the company would have sunk deep in the red.

RA needs to focus on growth not cut itself into oblivion. When it prioritizes its customer base rather than put precious resources into virtue signaling and diversity programs the board wouldn’t need to park 2/3rds of the cash to cover up their catastrophic lack of judgment.

Nonetheless good to know Castle sleeps easy at the thought of losing such magnitudes.

Boycotters’ bluster

CM was not a fan of Israel Folau’s tweets on homosexuals, fornicators, sinners, adulterers etc. Yet CM defends his right to say it. Come to think of it, CM has never sought moral guidance from the controversial Wallaby rugby star. Nonetheless Folau thinks CM and many others are destined to burn in hell too. Yet he is protected by the Constitution of Australia whether we like it or not. That supersedes an ARU contract.

We now hear that if his contract is sustained, several players have threatened to boycott the side if he is selected.

That’s their choice. However the threat sounds so much like all of those Hollywood celebrities who promised to leave the country if Trump was elected. Pretty much every single one remains in the US. Even Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef, said he’d leave the UK if Brits voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. He still lives in a £9m mansion in Hampstead, London. Idle threats. Here is betting every player threatening to boycott Folau will end up putting lucrative player contracts ahead of virtue signaling when pressed to make a stand. Which is hypocritical. If they stand for nothing, they’ll fall for anything.

Folau had very similar views publicized ahead of the Same Sex Marriage (SSM) debate when he first caught the ire of social media opinion. He was on record for telling team mate David Pocock of his beliefs on the matter leading into the plebiscite. Pocock still played with him and there is plenty of footage showing both embracing after tries were scored even when SSM was legislated.

We live in a society that is constantly threatening free speech. Folau’s comments may well cost him other endorsements. That is the market price he bears for holding his deeply devout Christian views in a society too afraid to say anything controversial. He never called for the murder of these groups. Only that their ultimate destiny was decided by God as written in the Bible.

Hypocrisy in the way the West deals with (certain) faiths is rife. The tragedy that was the Christchurch terror attack has led the Canterbury Crusaders rugby team to reconsider its name so as not to offend Muslims. Devout Muslim Sonny Bill Williams even played for the side after his conversion to Islam. Didn’t seem to phase him and he didn’t protest once. Although he did take exception to having Bank of NZ sponsorship displays on his uniform as it conflicted with his religious beliefs. Did we call for an inquisition? His religious beliefs were protected.

Where have those same activists been to bully The Saracens in Middlesex to select a more palatable name for the sake of countless victims of Islamic terror? Nowhere and most wouldn’t find any links between the two. No one in their right mind ties the Saracens or Crusaders as inciting hatred against the religions of either. They’re rugby clubs – period. 99.99% get that. Yet activists make out the majority leans the other way.

Izzy Folau May have offended some with his tweets. Everyone gets it. Many have just dismissed it with a roll of the eyes. Surely their lives have moved on without so much as a skip in the beat.

Yet we live in a world where some see offense and outrage in everything to the point of demanding litigation to protect hurt feelings. Canada even introduced a bill (C-16) compelling speech where jail terms for the incorrect use of a pronoun are a punishment. It is a slippery slope.

We should be careful what we wish for. The free speech noose will only tighten and eventually we won’t be able to speak our minds or the truth. That’s when society splinters.

Best let the Folau’s of the world make grandiose tweets and let society judge on an individual basis rather than trying to force our value sets on others. Do we honestly think we can force Folau to repent? If his contract was rescinded would he suddenly give up the teachings of his faith? Not a chance. We need to accept the views of others, even those we disagree with.

Do we truly believe the overwhelming majority of homosexuals/fornicators/sinners/adulterers a) believed Folau’s tweet or; b) were deeply offended? Or did most shake their heads and chuckle at his views?

CM is surprised that white Christian missionaries haven’t been chastised for converting so many Pacific Islanders, including Folau, to become devout followers over the centuries. Surely that must follow.

If only the Bledisloe Cup was 36 minutes…

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The Wallabies played a stupendous first 36 minutes in the 1st half. Great defence and solid possession. Then a try by the All Blacks set off a 6 try spree. The second half was a typical joke performance by a team that continually flakes when the cage is rattled. 7 lost line outs on our own feed and our scrum was screwed multiple times.

CM has thought for a while that coach Michael Cheika needs to go. He can’t bring 80 minutes of discipline with his players.  He has a 54% win record at the helm. With the All Blacks its 22%. Even Scotland is 50%. This is the second worst record of any Aussie coach.

Bob Dwyer – 64% win record

Alan Jones – 68%

Greg Smith – 63%

Rod Macqueen – 79%

Eddie Jones – 58%

John Connolly- 59%

Robbie Deans – 58%

Ewen Mackenzie- 50%

Time to realize he is a dud. The lack of discipline goes straight to the leadership team. There are no positives to take away when a team can only hold it together for just under half a game. It is not an issue of players or ability but discipline.

It doesn’t take away a deserved win by New Zealand but the engravers might as well get to work on the 16th straight series victory because the Wallabies are mere road kill for now.