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Damn you ARU! The wrong team is dead and you know it

Mathew Langdon Roar Pro

By Mathew Langdon, Mathew Langdon is a Roar Pro

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68 Have your say

    So the curtain falls on one of the pathetic debacles in recent Australian sporting memory, with the wrong heads on the chopping block.

    In a statement just released ARU Chairman, Cameron Clyne said: “The ARU Board has today made the decision to discontinue the Western Force as the Super Rugby competition reverts to fifteen teams for the 2018 season.

    “This is a sad day for Rugby, especially for Western Force fans. We accept that there will be anger and resentment over this decision and we sympathise with those fans. We sincerely hope that they are not lost to the game forever.”

    Well Mr Clyne, this is definitely one fan lost to the game forever.

    As a WA sports fan living in Melbourne, I always had a dark feeling in the pit of my stomach that the Rebels would outlast the Force.

    Why would the ARU ever get rid of their golden haired child in the sporting capital of this country? The one that has cost them millions upon millions?

    Why, when instead you can throw the team from the less attractive market on the other side of the country to the wolves just as they get backing by one of the richest people in the nation?

    It’s easy to plea for forgiveness when your own pathetic stewardship helped march not only Super Rugby but Australian rugby as a whole into insignficance.

    I hope this does go to court so every one of the mismanagements made by the ARU in recent years is placed on display for all to see.

    Blame ‘financial outcomes’ all you want, Australian rugby isn’t where it is due to either the Force or Rebels, this is on you, plain and simple.

    And to say: “We are regretful that this issue has consumed so much of the public commentary on the game in 2017,” like this is even excusable – this was your own doing.

    The ARU board deserve every last ounce of rage and vitriol that is coming their way and I look forward to the swarm of excuses that will be vomited back at punters for why the Force have joined the Western Reds in the WA professional sports paupers’ grave.

    To the Rebels fans, I hold no grudge with you. One of our teams was always going to lose and I wish you all the best.

    But ARU, remember these words: The west will never forget.

    Hope you’re not holding your breath for WA Wallabies. Could be one lengthy wait once the current mob is gone.

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    The Crowd Says (68)

    • Roar Guru

      August 11th 2017 @ 5:18pm
      Machooka said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

      Ffs ARU… get a dog up ya!

      • August 11th 2017 @ 6:50pm
        Todd Shand said | August 11th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

        Victoria is the biggest commercial and financial market in Australia. Rugby Union has to be there.If Rugby Union is to win the war; it must win Victoria.

        Western Australia is the back end of nowhere commercially.Winning Western Australia means nothing.

        Those are the commercial facts.

        It is; what it is!

        • August 11th 2017 @ 7:05pm
          Dave said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

          On the other hand the reality is that with 9 and a half AFL teams in Melbourne – all bigger than the Waratahs in support – there isn’t room for any growth.

          Though if population size was the answer why have a team in Canberra? Even Adelaide makes more sense.

        • August 11th 2017 @ 9:48pm
          Marcus McErlean said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

          Rugby will never take Melbourne. Ever. Unfortunately.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 10:11am
          SwaziDave said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          Western Australia is the backend of nowhere commercially?
          In which case can we have our GST back please?

      • August 11th 2017 @ 7:43pm
        Cambel said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

        Forget the ARU, go it alone and join the NZ conference yourself, otherwise partner NZ rugby in someway, be the next Packer and structure it correctly and partner with like minded people.

      • Roar Guru

        August 12th 2017 @ 11:19am
        jeznez said | August 12th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        The headline says it all.

        Joke of a decision

    • August 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm
      Jules said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      I am also lost to Rugby Union in Australia. I bought tickets for the Rugby Championship in Perth. I feel sick at the thought of attending. Just devastated..

      • Roar Pro

        August 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm
        Mathew Langdon said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

        Might I recommend a white t-shirt with SCREW THE ARU written on it for your attire?

      • August 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm
        Dave said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

        I prefer getting a refund. Attending just gives the eastern staters even more money.

    • August 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm
      Damo said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

      And people wonder why West Australians have an ‘us and them’ mentality.

      Apparently the Western Pirates NRL team was a very solid proposal not too long ago, I expect the NRL (who are infinitely more financially stable than the ARU) to jump all over it in the next 18 months.

      The test coming up soon is going to be populated by tumbleweeds, oh and Twiggy and the WA state govt might just go ahead and sue the pants off the ARU.

      They really have no idea what they’ve done to the Rugby brand.

      • Roar Pro

        August 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm
        Mathew Langdon said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

        Talk out west is Andrew Forrest is in discussions with the WA Government to consider a circa $120 million claim against the ARU for the cost of refurbishing nib Stadium.

        However must be stated, this is pure rumour at this stage

        • Roar Guru

          August 11th 2017 @ 6:49pm
          Timbo (L) said | August 11th 2017 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

          1. Sue the ARU for breach of contract,
          2. Bankrupt them
          3. Burn it to the ground!

    • August 11th 2017 @ 5:25pm
      Waxhead said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

      Mathew I fully understand the disappointment of Force fans but……………..
      Imo ARU finally made the correct decision.
      SANZAR decided 1 Aussie team had to go and………..for many reasons the Force were the obvious and most deserving.

      This years better team performances by the Force are irrelevant imo.
      Force have had 12 years to make a success of their Super Rugby inclusion but only ever settled for mediocrity.
      They’ve only now shown real passion and pride with their head on the chopping block.
      Too little far too late imo.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 5:28pm
        Dave said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

        What with no teams west of Broken Hill?

        • August 11th 2017 @ 7:23pm
          ajg said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report


        • August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm
          matt jones said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

          yep thats because 90% of the country lives there

          • Roar Pro

            August 12th 2017 @ 12:47am
            Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 12:47am | ! Report

            20% of all Australian Rugby players are in WA.

            • August 12th 2017 @ 4:33am
              matt jones said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:33am | ! Report

              and 2% of the decent ones. i dont believe that for a second

      • August 11th 2017 @ 5:42pm
        Hoges said | August 11th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

        Rebels have performed far worse and the financial mismanagement at the rebels is beyond belief.

        • August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm
          GeeCee said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

          What are the financial figures? Head to head Rebels eight wins to Force 2.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 1:20am
            blindsid3 said | August 12th 2017 @ 1:20am | ! Report


            Today long-serving ARU board member Geoff Stooke, who has more than 900 club rugby games (yes, you read that right) wrote this in his resignation letter:

            “I never wanted to throw any team under the bus, but to create a situation that considers retaining a team that has lost almost $30million (including nearly $17.5million additional cost to the ARU) since 2011 at the expense of a team that has incurred additional cost to the ARU of only $5.5million since 2005 is outrageous! We should be rewarding success not failure. To introduce financial criteria that have nothing to do with the financial viability of each term is less than appropriate.”

            I’d take those financial figures as pretty solid.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 6:32pm
        RUSerious said | August 11th 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

        ARU decision not SANZAAR. WA are being punished because the whole of aussie rugby is crap.

        I hope they fight till the end even if its a hopeless cause just to spite the ARU and cause as much pain as possible.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 6:38pm
        In Brief said | August 11th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

        So the team with fastest growing junior base, the best supporters, a number of born and bred wallabies, which has the support of one of Australia’s richest men deserves to be cut based on performance, despite coming second this year in the Aust. conference? I you trying to be sarcastic??

        • August 11th 2017 @ 7:24pm
          ajg said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

          i think his genius might be beyond our mere mortal comprehension

        • August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm
          matt jones said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

          that is not an accurate description

          • Roar Pro

            August 12th 2017 @ 12:49am
            Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 12:49am | ! Report

            Yes, Twiiggy is not “one of Australia’s richest men” He is Australia’s richest man.

            • August 12th 2017 @ 4:41am
              matt jones said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:41am | ! Report

              yes, just because a rich man supports your little team doesnt mean much

      • August 11th 2017 @ 7:23pm
        ajg said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

        waxhead, are you serious?

        what are the reasons?

        – it cant be about the grassroots level because they have one of the fastest growing aspects here. not to mention that after 12 year this is finally paying off with local players playing for both the force and the wallabies

        – it cant be about preserving the talent pool: many of the force players have said theyre leaving australia if the force were cut – including several wallabies

        – it cant be about fan attendances because theyve had better attendance than either the brumbies or the rebels (and indeed all attendances are down)

        – if its financial reasons then we need to factor in how little money the ARU actually invested in the force as a pioneer team. compare the abysmal tactics of the ARU vs the AFL and you can see what i mean. additionally, all the clubs a re hemorrhaging money

        – as to claim about only showing passion this year. I’d query that massively. Ive watched quite a few games over the years and ive never thought of them as shirkers. many in nz and SA consider them a difficult prospect at home who get really stuck in and are difficult opponents. also, compare the grit theyve showed this year in comparison to the rebels, tahs, and reds – you really think that we shud get rid of a team that performs this well with their backs against the wall? wudnt u want to keep that level of mongrel alive and maybe ditch some of the showponies instead? did you not witness that fantastic final game of the season where Matt hodgson scored a penalty? (and I say that as a tahs fan) U think that the move that is in the best interest of rugby in this country is to against that?!


        • August 11th 2017 @ 9:56pm
          Sheikh said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

          “– if its financial reasons then we need to factor in how little money the ARU actually invested in the force as a pioneer team.”

          Indeed. A Force fan looked into the financials on GAGR and the Force and Rugby WA have received less money from the ARU in their 12 years than the Rebels and the VRU have received in 7.

        • August 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm
          Waxhead said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

          @ajg – all the reasons for and against Rebels & Force have been gone through many many times here the past 120 days. I’m got gonna re-visit them all again now the decision has been made.

          ARU made the correct the decision in the end imo after an appallingly run process.
          Twiggy came in too late to save the Force.
          He might be Australia’s richest man but he’s not someone anyone should trust or depend on.
          That’s why he’s Australia’s richest man.

          Everything about the Force was too little too late.
          Where was the passion, pride and fight for the 1st 11 years when it mattered most.
          Where was the financial support that only surfaced this year.
          Where were the big home game crowds we only saw this year.
          Too little too late.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:05am
            SwaziDave said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

            Hi Waxhead, perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, but I haven’t seen any compelling grounds for cutting the Force. Making glib reference to information that may, or may not, have been published is not constructive. Please be so kind to share, what you think are, the most compelling reasons for this ARU decision. This way we can have a meaningful conversation on the subject.

    • August 11th 2017 @ 6:33pm
      mothy said | August 11th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

      Twiggy for CEO of ARU

      • August 11th 2017 @ 8:05pm
        Ross said | August 11th 2017 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

        Yes, Twiggy is a champion… of a losing cause! Where was he 12 years ago? 12 months ago? Heck, 12 weeks ago? If somebody like Twiggy had invested in the Force years ago, things would be different. We Canberrans get it. The Brumbies existence has been threatened since Day One, but we united, fought, and produced the finest elite rugby program in Australia. Yet people only know what they had when it’s gone and, sadly, WA only started to embrace the Force when they were already gone 🙁

        • Roar Guru

          August 12th 2017 @ 9:17am
          Simon Douch said | August 12th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Yes, Twiggy is a champion… of a losing cause! Where was he 12 years ago? 12 months ago? Heck, 12 weeks ago? If somebody like Twiggy had invested in the Force years ago, things would be different. This is so true. A last ditch effort to save the club. Helpful, but not much of a saviour.

        • August 12th 2017 @ 6:21pm
          Waxhead said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

          Exactly RIGHT Ross 🙂
          And Twiggy is not a man anyone should trust or depend on.
          This years Force revival should have started 12 years ago.
          Seems they thought being a Super Rugby team would be easy and they could settle for mediocrity.
          Too little too late.

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:36pm
      jay-c said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

      Absolutely gutless decision by the ARU.
      Every way you looked at it the force were more deserving than the rebels of a place in super rugby.
      But, if the force haven’t organised a plan b- i.e curry cup, or plan c- Japanese league then they are surely the bigger fools

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