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Force great Hodgson wants ARU cleanout

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    Western Force great Matt Hodgson has called for the remaining ARU board members to fall on their swords following their decision to axe the Perth-based Super Rugby franchise.

    The Force are facing rugby extinction following the ARU’s decision on Friday to cull the team, but the franchise has vowed to take the matter to the courts.

    Led by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, the Force have applied for an injunction, and they hope to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

    ARU chief executive Bill Pulver has already announced he will step down once a replacement for him is found.

    Chief operations manager Rob Clarke and chief financial officer Todd Day resigned from their positions earlier this year.

    But ARU chairman Cameron Clyne has indicated he will stay the course.

    Hodgson said it was well overdue to clear the decks and start afresh.

    “I think it should have been cleared probably when this drama started. They put rugby in a pretty bad position,” Hodgson said.

    “It would be good to see a cleanout.

    “I heard (their decision to axe the Force) was purely a financial one. When we’ve got a billion-dollar backer, I don’t know how it’s a financial one.

    “That’s pretty damning.

    “They talk about a national blueprint. But if you cut out half of Australia, how could it be a national competition?”

    Fellow Force great Nathan Sharpe also wants to see a new broom at the ARU, describing the decision to axe his former side as disgraceful.

    Sharpe said if he was tasked with the job of rebuilding Australian rugby, the Force would be one of the first strongholds he would have on his side.

    Forrest has vowed to do everything within his powers to ensure the franchise survives.

    He has even told the ARU that he would bankroll any potential future losses by the Force if they were allowed to stay in the competition.

    Forrest said the ARU’s decision was a gross injustice.

    “The three people who are the architect of this decision inside the ARU have resigned. I don’t blame them for that,” Forrest said.

    If the Force’s appeal application is denied, their legal avenues will have been exhausted.

    But Forrest hinted that might not be the end of it.

    “There’s no good plan A without a good plan B. I’ve just got to work that out,” he said.

    Hodgson said if the Force end up being axed, it would severely damage the game at a grassroots level.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • August 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm
      kingcowboy said | August 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Ok then clean out the board and then what? Where is the money going to come from? I feel sorry for the Force supporters but again, where is the money going to come from? Are the players going to play for free?

      • August 12th 2017 @ 2:14pm
        AndyS said | August 12th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

        Better question might be where has the extra $30M a year they were so recently trumpeting gone, that they already think they’ve spent it forward and are scrounging for more…

        • Roar Pro

          August 13th 2017 @ 11:48am
          ols said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          They have been spending forward and scrounging for more.
          Here’s 4 million they they won’t be able to get hold of now till 2019.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 4:13pm
          Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

          Posting profits for the future for one. You know that. $3.4M.

          Adequately funding the state unions and community rugby for another. You also know that.$4M.

          Super Rugby Grants to each team. You also know that. $6M.

          Salary Cap increases.You also know that. $2M.

          Additional travel expenses. $4M.

          So there’s $19.4M right there.

          Then another $10M went in increase matchday, marketing and Wallabies costs from 2015 due to a longer season.

          So there. That’s where $29M of that 30 has gone.

          • August 14th 2017 @ 11:46pm
            AndyS said | August 14th 2017 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

            And as you’d know, with all those costs it was actually an effective surplus of $10M going from a $6.3M deficit to a $3.7M surplus.

            So what they are actually saying is that that was a fluke – they aren’t just going to lose that surplus, they already know they’ve lost all of the extra $30M this year and for the next two years as well. Never mind that WR gives them back their losses for the world cup year too – they’re completely broke, don’t you know…got to go scrounging for every cent because they are on their bare bones..

            Amazes me that so many believe it to be true when administrators say it, but then don’t regard it as the open admission of incompetence they would if it were their financial manager saying it…

            • Roar Guru

              August 15th 2017 @ 8:30am
              Train Without A Station said | August 15th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

              World Rugby doesn’t give them back their losses in a World Cup year.

              World Rugby gives them a grant.

              Last World Cup our drop in TV and Sponsorship Revenue was $10M more than the grant was.

              It’s not “effectively a surplus”. The $6.3M they lost the year before isn’t a “surplus because they didn’t lose it by breaking even.

              The 2016 financial report shows roughly what costs will be with 5 teams. Some Super Rugby team costs incurred will be slightly lower due to a one off nature, but with approximately 50% less attendance due to poor quality opposition, the income for the June tests will be significantly lower also for 2017.

              • August 15th 2017 @ 9:49am
                AndyS said | August 15th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                Year before world cup income = $104M, operating expenditure = $106.5M
                world cup year income = $84.8M, operating expenditure = $88.2M after the WR grant

                So a $2.5M loss the year before, a $3.4M loss in the WC year. Add in the $2M they took from community rugby, and the difference between the WC year and not a WC year was $3M, not the out of context one-off numbers you use.

                Last year $3.7M was the surplus, but $10M what what they had left over from the $30M windfall after taking out all the extra costs. But they are saying this year there will be none (and if so, then directly because of the fall-out from what they’ve done in the name of “saving money”) AND there won’t be any of the $60M extra in the next two left over either…they already know that’s all gone too. Completely gone. Seems a bit more than careless.

              • August 15th 2017 @ 10:53pm
                In brief said | August 15th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

                Thanks for the clarity, so easy to manipulate the numbers..

      • August 12th 2017 @ 5:10pm
        Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        Seriously cowboy???What…cant you elect another board…One that values rugby over BS

      • Roar Pro

        August 12th 2017 @ 5:36pm
        Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

        They could start by cutting the exorbitant salaries they’ve been paying themselves to destroy Australian rugby.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:51am
          Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Salaries are low comparable to other Australian sports.

          Pulver as the CEO of a company with $130M annual turnover is on similar money to Andrew Fagan, CEO of the Adelaide Crows with around $40M annual turnover.

          But hey, let’s not let reality get in the way of some good old anti-establishment rhetoric.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 11:24am
        Dummy Scissors said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        Cowboy ? Seriously ? … if this is the decision the Board has backed Clyne should go too.

        The country is jam packed with CEOs and Sports CEOs. Run a process and find the right person for the challenge. A person with the vision and credentials to make rugby great again.

        Pulver + Clyne have lead a process of ‘shrink and be stronger’ … fewer higher quality players will make the Wallabies stronger.

        We now just have a shallower pool of players. Eg. Bernard Foley is the only 10 in the squad ?

        If this is our nadir, come the the hour, come the the man.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:52am
          Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          And all of those CEO’s are on similar money to run smaller organisations.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 7:23pm
        ScottD said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

        Read the article. Forrest guaranteed that he would fund the Force so there was no affitional cost to the ARU

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:52am
          Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          This was after April 9 when all contractual matters regarding a reduction in teams had been resolved, right?

          • August 15th 2017 @ 10:56pm
            In brief said | August 15th 2017 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

            So, was it a financial decision or wasn’t it? Cleary it wasn’t performance based..

            • Roar Guru

              August 16th 2017 @ 3:39pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 16th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

              Maybe when they made the decision in March it was performance based. In which case the Force by virtue of both their 2015 and 2016 seasons was the clear option.

          • August 15th 2017 @ 11:00pm
            In brief said | August 15th 2017 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

            So it was a contractual decision, not a financial one? What happened to the spreadsheet?

            • Roar Guru

              August 16th 2017 @ 3:39pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 16th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

              It’s also a financial decision.

              The cost to cut the Rebels was unknown, but the cost of Force was zero.

              The savings of cutting a team are estimated at $18M.

    • August 12th 2017 @ 2:08pm
      wyn said | August 12th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      Hodgson said” if the Force end up being axed, it would severely damage the game at a grassroots level.”

      There must be some very happy lawyers around! From the media reports and various statements made, the Force are not going to be cut. So after a few months, say they succeed – what then? Cut the Rebels? What if the Rebels then dig in and start legal proceedings?

      Will this thing ever end?

      • Roar Pro

        August 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm
        Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

        As well as Twiggy the Force have a seriously rich Queens Counsel working pro bono to head it’s legal team. Malcolm McCusker is so rich in that when he was WA Governor he donated his entire salary to charity.

        There are only two possibilities:
        1. Rugby WA wins;
        2. In the best tradition of the Australian legal system Rugby WA, Forest, McCusker and the WA Government litigate until the EARU goes broke and surrenders.

        • August 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm
          Train Without A Station said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

          Or 3.

          Legal action doesn’t go very far because for a legal battle to be long and expensive, the courts have to agree to hear the matter.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 14th 2017 @ 2:17pm
            piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

            Which they have

            so 4.

            People stop being bullheaded idiots and come to an agreement outside of court

    • August 12th 2017 @ 4:02pm
      Ex force fan said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

      If the answer to kill rugby in a state to feed the other states, then you either have the wrong answer or wrong question.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 6:10am
      Darwin Stubbie said | August 13th 2017 @ 6:10am | ! Report

      ‘“They talk about a national blueprint. But if you cut out half of Australia, how could it be a national competition?”

      The problem with that thinking is SR isn’t a national competition … WA still has representation in a Aust national rugby competition

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:37am
      Garyowen said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

      what about the money being wasted on Pocock’s sabbatical : sorry forgot he scheduled for the rebels but they don’t know yet

      • Roar Guru

        August 14th 2017 @ 11:46am
        Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        It’s not “wasted on his sabbatical”.

        He is being paid less than his market value for 2 seasons.

        He is just being paid across 3 seasons.

        It’s not that complex.

        • August 15th 2017 @ 10:12am
          concerned supporter said | August 15th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

          You have your opinion, the rest of Australia has theirs.
          Have you ever said anything of a positive nature?

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