All Blacks are right to boycott 2015 RWC

Nick Cross Roar Rookie

By Nick Cross, Nick Cross is a Roar Rookie

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    In the midst of a wildly popular Rugby World Cup tournament being held currently in the Shakey Isles, NZRU boss Steve Tew has stated that the All Blacks would be ‘very unlikely’ to try and defend their title/win for the second time in nearly 30 years in England in 2015.

    The NZRU has calculated that they will lose a net 13.2 million NZ pesos from their annual revenue this year due to the World Cup.

    This is a sizeable chunk of their overall operating budget. This is due to a combination of reduction in sponsorship revenue due to IRB insisting only their sponsors (paying directly to the IRB) are used during the cup and reduced gate takings from lack of inbound tours in RWC years.

    Tew is demanding the IRB change the funding struction or the ABs will be forced to pull out of the next tournament.

    This is not the first time the NZRU has threatened to take their ball and go home with similar comments about the lack of a share of the takings from lucrative November European tests involving the All Blacks that are a windfall for the local union.

    Lack of cash is a real issue for NZ rugby. It’s a continual struggle to keep top players involved in Super Rugby and the domestic competitions as player salaries are significantly less than other top tier nations.

    The current funding arragements for the RWC are effectively a tax on the NZRU (and other major unions) to fund the world governing body and other unions’ development. The NZRU is talent rich but cash poor.

    Tew is correct to push for more sensible arrangements particularly around individual team sponsorship.

    The RWC is an incredible cash cow for the IRB. This money is important for the development of the game but only if the big boys, in terms of sponsorship attractiveness at least, are looked after.

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    The Crowd Says (85)

    • Roar Guru

      September 28th 2011 @ 2:05pm
      Bay35Pablo said | September 28th 2011 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      Watch the IRB shuffle nervously around now. Their big cash cow, versus the biggest draw card in the game. Without the ABs, it’ll be like all the Cups ths Boks didn’t play. “If we’d been there we’d have won it …”.

      It needs to be done. The IRB doesn’t want to do it. The NZRU and/or ARU will, as usual, have to engage in arm twisting and blackmail to get the IRB to do the right thing. Like always.

      • September 28th 2011 @ 2:33pm
        Nick Cross said | September 28th 2011 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

        To beat a metaphor to death, I saw one journo describe the RWC without the ABs as a milkshake without milk.

        • September 28th 2011 @ 3:42pm
          peterlala said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

          Funny line. You should have nicked it, Nick.

        • Roar Guru

          September 29th 2011 @ 3:39am
          Poth Ale said | September 29th 2011 @ 3:39am | ! Report

          I know what he means – all chocolate and no froth. 🙂

      • September 28th 2011 @ 3:52pm
        jokerman said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

        IRB will make a profit of around (Give or take.) 300 million at this RWC. It costs The All Blacks 13 million in costs, to be here. The island teams can hardly fund their campaigns, and in this tournament have relied on community based help.

        IRB has no direct competitor, and are greedy, old, and driven by blind profit. It’s inevitable they will be challenged. It’s happening….in these changing times the light is coming to these old, rigid, organisations….it start here, it starts now.

    • September 28th 2011 @ 2:08pm
      Jerry said | September 28th 2011 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      I can see Tew’s argument, but surely the RWC is a huge publicity generator and thus actually increases the revenue for the other 3 years? And I doubt the NZRU’s biggest sponsor would be keen on the AB’s not playing in the WC. A bit of brinkmanship, I suspect.

      • September 28th 2011 @ 7:50pm
        Sylvester said | September 28th 2011 @ 7:50pm | ! Report


        The All Blacks need more publicity among the rugby-watching world?
        Their sponsors are blanked out during the tournament, so gain little direct value out of having them compete (unlike at the Football WC).

        It is definitely brinkmanship until they get other nations on board. They’d need someone to play while the WC was on.

    • September 28th 2011 @ 2:11pm
      Riccardo said | September 28th 2011 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

      Absolutlely the right call.

      Even the Football World Cup doesn’t restrict the Team Sponsors like the IRB do and next to the Olympic Committee and the Indian Cricket Board hirearchy they are the most corrupt sports organisation on the planet.

      The simple truth is that for the AB’s to suffer a $13 million loss just to attend a World Cup as the #1 ranked Team is patently ridiculous.

      • September 29th 2011 @ 10:24am
        Bakkies said | September 29th 2011 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        You rarely see team sponsors in regular soccer internationals. All shirts are clean of sponsorship. FIFA like the IRB have their World Cup sponsors

    • September 28th 2011 @ 2:18pm
      Quakezone... said | September 28th 2011 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

      The right call!!!

      • September 28th 2011 @ 4:03pm
        jokerman said | September 28th 2011 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        Smash the IRB bro!!!

    • September 28th 2011 @ 3:01pm
      Bayxxx said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

      Errrrr….no-one forced NZ to fight to host the tournament. In fact, most sage commentators would rather it were in Japan.

      Isn’t the reason that 2003 was solely in Australia based on the same issue?

      Learnt anything yet?

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      • September 28th 2011 @ 3:06pm
        Brett McKay said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

        differnent issues in play here though, Bayxxx. This isn’t so much about the costs of running a RWC (exhorbitant as they are), but rather the revenue lost during a RWC year due to shorter TNs, less home Tests, etc.

        And NZ lost their ‘co-host’ status in 2003 because they couldn’t provide “clean” stadia as per the IRB requirments (and, the conspiracy theories go, because of John O’Neills rat-cunning).

      • September 28th 2011 @ 7:06pm
        Chuck said | September 28th 2011 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

        Mate before commenting how about you get a clue as to what Tew is talking about!
        This has nothing to do with NZ hosting the WC at all, it is about the amount of money the ABs are losing whilst at the WC.
        Australia and South Africa are also in support of Tews stance as they too also lose a significant amount of money and we are talking in the millions.
        This was first tabled in February with support from the SARU and the ARU.
        Tew has timed the release of this article to perfection to put pressure on the IRB which by the way NZ are part of.

    • September 28th 2011 @ 3:05pm
      CraigB said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

      Ridiculous call from a group that believe they are bigger than the game. To suggest chances of them competing in 2015 as slim under the current arrangement is ricidulous. I agree that the IRB need to look at the model as many Unions have stated, but to pull boycott out so early in the piece make tjem look amateurish and silly.

      Tell me – If this is going to cost the NZRU SO much, then what would be the cost of them NOT playing? Who do they think they are going to play while the world cup is on to recoup this money? How will this improve the money outlayed by their sponsors by being associated with the whinging pariahs of world rugby?

      They need to think a bit more before they speak.

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2011 @ 3:24pm
        The Bush said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        Spot on.

        Isn’t playing in a World Cup one of the few things that actually helps keep the talent in New Zealand? Why would anyone stick around in New Zealand if you couldn’t even play in the World Cup – you’d truely have an exodus then.

        I really think the NZRU haven’t thought this through at all.

        However, I understand where they are coming from, the loss of income during a World Cup year hurts the ARU as well and I think the IRB needs to compensate the major unions more. I’m not suggesting that the majority of the profits shouldn’t go to developing the game around the world, but surely the ten (10) major unions are entitled to a little more than $1m each…

        It’s all well and good to spread the word, but if things fall apart in the homelands, then there won’t be a cash cow to fall back on ever…

      • September 28th 2011 @ 3:25pm
        AndyS said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

        Australia takes a similar bath every World Cup year, so don’t be surprised if they were to pipe up as well. And it is not as if the Islands don’t go through huge pain trying to find the money the WC costs them each time – Tonga nearly didn’t make the last one because of money woes.

        It may not be the WC funding…I’m sure the various teams would accept something along the lines of a 50-50 split of the revenues from international matches, such that the money was made up in the other three years. But something has needed doing for a while.

      • Roar Guru

        September 28th 2011 @ 3:30pm
        Cattledog said | September 28th 2011 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

        You see a bit of a trend here, CraigB 😉

      • September 28th 2011 @ 4:21pm
        jokerman said | September 28th 2011 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

        CraigB, IRB make a profit from this RWC of around 300 million. The star attraction makes a loss of 13 million. Island teams can hardly survive.

        Is that a fair, a good deal? Would Johnny Depp be cool to make his film company 300 million and get paid nothing?

        Would you be ok Craigb if your company did this to you?

        You have to have some balls sometimes and face the demon, and say enough, this is who I am. Face it, then the sh*t can start to crumble away. Change occurs, and a new beginning starts.

      • September 28th 2011 @ 7:10pm
        Chuck said | September 28th 2011 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

        Australia are in the same circumstances as NZ as are the SARU do a little homework before going on a rant lads it really isn’t that hard. Don’t for a second think your precious Wallabies aren’t affected by the huge hit in the pocket that they take in WC years.
        The ABs are the biggest drawcard in World Rugby and only a complete idiot would even dare suggest that they are not.
        You can absolutely guarantee ADIDAS have been chipping in Tews ear about what they want and should he pull it off you could bet your bottom dollar ADIDAS will make a significant contribution on top of what they already give the NZRU.

        CraigB I think you should take some of your own advice and think before you rant.

        • September 28th 2011 @ 9:19pm
          CraigB said | September 28th 2011 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

          Did I say the model was right? No. Did I not say that other unions felt the same way in so far as a bigger slice of the rwc pie was concerned? yes

          But to start negotiations with by saying ‘we will boycott’ is simply idiotic if for no other reason that the northern dominated IRB will believe they can get along fine without the precious AB’s.

          • September 29th 2011 @ 9:36am
            Nick Cross said | September 29th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            I think this is a long way past the point that Tew, O’Neill and others started discussing this with the IRB. So it’s hardly ‘the start’ just because it’s the first time you read about it on the Roar.

            I don’t think for a second the IRB will want to run a tournament without the ABs and Wallabies. I also don’t believe for a second they’ll have to, but this does need sorting.

          • September 29th 2011 @ 5:14pm
            jokerman said | September 29th 2011 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            Good point CraigB. Maybe the All Blacks should follow your line…”Please Mr IRB can we have more of a slice of your profits? Just out of your good heart sir?”

            Or you can front up…..I call it being with your power.

          • September 29th 2011 @ 8:09pm
            Chuck said | September 29th 2011 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

            Ill informed posters like yourself GragB and Jiggles are looking very stupid today, did I not state last night that the ARU were on the same page, did I also not state that this was initially tabled back in February this year.
            Seems yourself and others have just wanted to jump on a AB hating bandwagon and oh how silly you look today now that O’Neill has come out in support of Tews stance.
            One thing I do find a little intriguing is Australia actually lose more money than the ABs between 16 – 20 million opposed to the 13.2 million the ABs lose each WC.

            I guess an admission that your rant was illinformed is off the cards.

      • September 28th 2011 @ 7:56pm
        Sylvester said | September 28th 2011 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

        Commentator on the radio made a good point, would Man U play in the Champions League if they made a comparable loss to the NZRU?

      • September 29th 2011 @ 6:01am
        Riccardo said | September 29th 2011 @ 6:01am | ! Report

        Morning Craig, your hatred of the AB’s is blinding you to a truth that affects all the BIG Teams apart from England. There is an obvious problem here that supercedes all of our Team preferences.

        The IRB is raking in over $200 million for this tournament and more in the bigger staged Countries – imagine how much they’ll make in Old Blighty in 2015!

        It’s costing the #1 and #2 “drawcard” Teams at least $12 – 13 million each just to attend due to a blanket Team Sponsorship blackout. Even the Football World Cup doesn’t restrict the Team Sponsors like the IRB do and next to the Olympic Committee and the Indian Cricket Board hirearchy they are the most corrupt sports organisation on the planet.

        Actually Tew’s timing is perfect if he wants to be heard. At least he’s had the courage to stand up and I can only hope The Wallabies at the very least add their voice to this argument becaus ethat’s the only way forward.

        • September 29th 2011 @ 7:51am
          CraigB said | September 29th 2011 @ 7:51am | ! Report

          Hi Riccardo – I have no such hatred for the AB’s. I do have issues with knee jerk statements made in order to grab a headline. I would have been just as scathing of any union doing the same thing. To my mind you can make public comment aboutthe need for change, but suggesting boycotts etc does no one any good. When delaing with an organisation that didn;t even want the RWC to start suggesting such things just add fuel to hostility. Feel free to make those threats in private but no a change could be viewed as a backdown to the ‘mighty AB’s’, I cant see this being ideal so IRB may rather fight this and resist change further rather than being open to it.

          • September 29th 2011 @ 8:59am
            Riccardo said | September 29th 2011 @ 8:59am | ! Report

            Thanks for the reply Craig.

            It is my understanding that The ARFU are also in this boat to the tune of $16million and that John O’Neill supports the actions of Steve Tew. I doubt we’ll see the RWC staged in NZ again so the timing in my view is pivotal and at least will garner headlines and awareness. I mean, you and I are debating it, right?

            Rob Nichol of the International Rugby Players’ Association has disclosed that the game’s top players only signed the current RWC terms of agreement after an IRB threat of a lockout. Rob says that negotiations HAVE been going on “in private” for 8 years. They have resulted in an additional $1 million per team. Paltry and pathetic.

            I take your caution on board but one suspects that the Southern Hemisphere Nations are continuing to be the poor cousins of their more richer and more powerful brethren in the North.

            There must be point where IRB coffers are still filled but the Teams’ sponsors have some exposure that negates the losses of World Cup years FOR ALL TEAMS but particularly NZ and Australia. I am firmly of the opinion that these 2 countries will be leading the way in this game for some years in the short term at least…

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