The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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My understanding Val is that there is a ‘think tank’ being formed now, with people co-opted from outside RA.

Thinking further about what there is to be worked on, it’s not only scenarios about what/if/when, but almost certainly they will be working on financial contingencies with a range of potential lenders. It’s very revealing to read today for example, about the number and calibre of people involved with the new urgent funding arrangement put in place between the AFL and the NAB and ANZ.

Owning Marvel Stadium is now shown to be a masterstroke, which RA obviously can’t match in terms of collateral. But they will be working on shoring up a range of options with potential backers incl World Rugby and their bankers, so that they are ready to go once they have an idea of what they have to work with – or at the least, will be able to put some bridging in place if required.

Raelene Castle and Rugby AU execs take big pay as player talks loom

DVD collection???

Mate, I’ve resorted to cranking the old Panasonic VHS up! Found the dusty box in the shed with all the old rugby tapes (and a couple of other interesting tapes) and am working through a few matches from the 80’s.

Not exactly the HD we’re used to these days but beggars can’t be choosers.

Thanks for the piece, couldn’t agree more.

SANZAAR, copyright and myopia

In a broad sense what you’re saying is true, Val. Most of RA’s staff head home from today, ongoing operations are now essentially shut down.

Sure it’s their job, but having been through the process of shutting my own business down last week, doing all I could to insulate it beforehand, putting 22 staff off, some of whom won’t qualify for govt assistance, perhaps I’ve got a more sympathetic understanding than some others of the personal toll that takes on CEO’s, who, of course are just people, with families and obligations, like the rest of us.

At a strategic level, RA is using this time to take a deep look at how rugby operates. Professional rugby will still exist when all of this is over, and RA’s challenge will remain the same as it has since professionalism came in – how to effectively operate both the amateur/club/community game AND the professional game.

What complicates this more is the global nature of the sport. Australia’s professional game is tied to the fortunes of NZ and South Africa, and also to World Rugby and northern hemisphere nations with respect to what transpires with a global calendar. The various scenarios are multiple and complex, certainly when compared to the AFL and NRL.

Raelene Castle and Rugby AU execs take big pay as player talks loom

Hi David

Thanks for saying hello. It’s interesting how many in the media portray the CEO’s reducing their salaries in a negative light, comparing them unfavourably to players who are being asked to take cuts. The truth is that these CEO’s are currently working incredibly long hours, under severe stress, trying to keep their sports alive, while the players are essentially on an (admittedly enforced) holiday. There’s no link. That doesn’t make any of them immune to criticism, but the lack of perspective and understanding is unfortunately typical of our media.

Like you, I’ve always enjoyed The Australian because of it’s scope and truly national focus to sport. To add to your favourite writers I enjoy Chris Mitchell on a Monday and Paul Kelly and Chris Kenny on Saturdays. And (along with robbo) I buy the broadsheet every day for the hard Sudoku.

But their sustained attack on rugby’s administration has been really disappointing. I know that on a few occasions this has embarrassed Wayne Smith and made him feel uncomfortable. Obviously it’s led by Alan Jones, every Friday, and now they are picking up Jamie Pandaram’s stuff from the Tele. Jamie was the guy who ran hard against RA for settling with Folau for $8m – which was picked up by the mass media as ‘the number’ – he’s more recently switched to referencing $3.1m as the number now widely accepted as correct, although this week seems to have upped it again to $4m. No accountability, just write whatever you want. Shameless.

Then to bring in other general and business reporters to run a concerted campaign to trash the value of rugby, just to assist Foxtel to spend less for the rights – as you say – again, appalling behaviour. I had never really taken an interest in the concerns/protests about cross-media ownership, but this episode alone has shown those concerns to be valid.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Got it. Me too, it makes sense that he’s there.
I just wish he’d been able to articulate his reasoning better.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Another thing that you see trotted out is the question of equity between sports CEO’s taking pay cuts of a lesser amount that what they are asking the players to suffer.

The players aren’t playing. No fault of their own, but they’re just like any other people who aren’t working. A daily run and a few weights in the garage isn’t working.

CEO’s will never have worked such long hours under such stress as they are right now, and will be over coming weeks. For all of them, this will be the most challenging phase of their careers and – whatever the number they’re on – they’ll be earning every single cent.

Raelene Castle and Rugby AU execs take big pay as player talks loom

I don’t know the extent of it financially, but yes.

It won’t be the last straw, another administration will rise from the ashes.
And be faced with the same challenges.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

As Frank Costanza says, Ken… SERENITY NOW!!!

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Great post BB, plenty of food for thought in there.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

I’m not sure he’s actually ‘coaching’ Rob? He has a relationship with Robertson and he’s been using him in some kind of advisory role. And for all of Cheika’s faults, if you have the opportunity to lean on someone who has coached Leinster, the Tahs and the Wallabies, and won Super Rugby, you’d do it.

Dead right about the grassroots. Whatever the $ problems for the professional games moving forward, this is always where the next wave comes from.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

And this one shows why WR is right to open every nation’s books and treat each one on a case by case basis, AIE.

US Rugby has been a financial basket case for goodness knows how long. The pandemic might be the final straw but it is far from being the root problem.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Thanks for the post and the info, AIE.

World Rugby has stated that it’s immediate focus is on Tier 1 nations, and it’s hard to argue that, because it is they who generate $ for the sport. But I certainly agree with you that there will also need to be substantial support offered to all of the suffering nations.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

You’re a better man than me Rob if you can understand what Cheika is saying. Or at least the reasons why.

Not saying that it’s wrong to say that league will dominate, but I would have liked him to explain why. Other than it’s ‘the vibe’.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Cheers Dean, you too.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

I agree that this was a big part of SR’s attraction in the early days. And that it has long worn off – particularly Australian fans with respect to South Africa.

On the other hand, there’s no mystery about SOO League, yet year after year people salivate for it.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Ours is only a puppy, TWAS. Five months old. Currently into ripping up envelopes and newspapers. Is particularly brutal on Friday’s Australian, once I’ve finished with the Alan Jones section…

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

No, you’re not hoping in vain, that scenario is quite possible, scrum. More so the longer this goes on.

Almost certainly that would ensure that the Force returns, as long as they continue to be bankrolled by Twiggy (RA is effectively paying for 4 teams it doesn’t have the money for, and can’t afford to add another)

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Good post, Joe. Given what might be left to work with, that’s an entirely plausible scenario.

It would remain to be seen what that could deliver in terms of broadcast revenue, and thus player salaries, but the AUS and NZ unions may have little choice regardless.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Sorry to hear that about Radio Sport, Carlin, but it’s also no surprise.
It’s very hard to keep sports coverage going without content and advertisers.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

“the government has turned around and effectively banned their competitions.”

That’s true Beni. Because there is a national medical emergency.
And it’s true that the government doesn’t want any sport to fail.

But that doesn’t mean govt is responsible for finding replacement funding for them at the level they were before the shutdown. In this respect the sports really aren’t much different to any other business, the matter is too big for everyone to be compensated to the level they’d like to be.

And when choices have to be made, re allocation of scarce resources, funding professional sports bodies isn’t going to be at the top of the list.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Yes mate. By global standards we don’t look to be travelling too badly.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Yes, don’t go outside robbo. You’re in the ‘high risk’ category. 😂

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Yes and that’s all quite possible too, Jez.
Obviously I concur with the soccer scenario, heading towards that outcome was one of the main starting points and motivation for my book.

I still think that’s inevitable too. But I’d like to get a feel for how this crisis affects the northern unions before calling it too soon.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Too soon to tell yet Matey, but yes, what you’re saying is quite possible.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself

Hi Fin

Pertinent points. We could certainly be doing it far worse compared to countries like Italy.

The Wrap: Why rugby can’t rely on government intervention to save itself