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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One saving grace robbo is that it was everyone out – we didn’t have to make the sorts of choices you did.
That includes us too – our two salaries suspended, and obviously no profits from the business.

But we have a wee bit away for a rainy day and aren’t complaining. Thanks for all the points raised – I think what you’re saying about the Pacific Islands is a bit of a sleeper.

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

Yes… there might, in general, be higher compliance, but there is still no shortage of idiots. You only have to watch ‘Police Ten 7’ or ‘Motorway Patrol’ to confirm that. 😂 😂

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

This afternoon’s wage subsidy announcement makes me feel a bit better, mate.
A lot of these girls live from week to week, so it’s nice to know that there’s a safety net there for them.

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

Hi Frank

Not sure if you’ve been watching everything the Daily Telegraph has printed about rugby over the last few months and tallied it up with actual outcomes??

It’s not a bad idea to treat everything from that source with a healthy grain of salt.

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

It doesn’t sound good if you don’t want it to sound good, Gloria.

Happy to have the conversation once the accounts are finalised and we can look at the year on year detail. Remember that RA was already budgeting for an operating loss this year, so it’s pure speculation to try an pluck a figure for Folau out of what was made public today.

Another factor is that the amount of the settlement is confidential. So I’d imagine that its a tricky task to try and present a set of accounts that are transparent, while still complying with the confidentiality agreement. A one-off line item for an amount that large is going to stand out like dog’s saladas.

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

That’s exactly what is underway, Andy.

The nations have opened up their books to WR, and there will be case by case assistance forthcoming. I don’t think anyone is expecting money to be thrown at them willy nilly, the idea is to keep nations afloat. They will still have to sort out their own domestic problems.

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

“The former national coach’s comments are confusing.”

Indeed, mate. Possibly not for the first time.

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

Hi Jez

I’m not so sure about the potential flood of players overseas. This assumes that there will be no meaningful professional competition moving forwards (ie, enough money to pay players)

Clearly the situation is problematic, and there will be less to work with moving forward, but I wouldn’t rush to assume that the SANZAAR nations will suddenly be stripped of all of their broadcast revenue moving forward. Broadcasters will still want content, and the national unions will do everything they can to stay stronger together.

There will be significant downwards pressure on salaries in the UK and France (not sure about Japan).
There are many overseas players in the French lower divisions. If money at this level dries up or is significantly reduced, that will diminish the number of overseas places available.
I expect RA to try to hang on to the Giteau Law for as long as they can – until they have no other choice.

The biggest push factor in play is actually our poor exchange rate – as it was/is for South African players.

Absolutely agree on the focus on grassroots.

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

Cullen played centre at the ’99 World Cup, AJ.
For the reason you suggest, but it felt like a poor decision at the time, and was proven to be so.

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

Nice work, hammertime!
So that was the plan all along… 😂

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

I agree, that’s looking more like a possible outcome. While the Australia and New Zealand unions will act in their own best interest – as they should – whether they like not or not, they are largely dependent on each other.

You’re also right to say that it wouldn’t be a popular option for everyone on both sides of the Tasman, but in times like these beggars can’t be choosers.

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

Absolutely Jack. It’s taxpayers money, it doesn’t come out of thin air.
And if money is borrowed by government it carries with it a significant cost.
The idea that this money should be used to prop up professional sport is problematic to say the least.

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

“But yes, a circuit breaker & a re-calibration of how we do things. I see some good things there.”

Well, there is the matter of people and their families who suffer personal and financial loss, Sheek, but other than that, yes, I understand what you’re trying to say.

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

It really is interesting Andy, because each situation would be unique and the degree of suffering/harm different in each contract situation.

It will be very interesting to see how the courts approach things after it all eventually passes – not just talking rugby/sport but across contracts and business agreements in general.

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

“The NRL and AFL will get up and running and get significant income in to their coffers faster than Rugby will in Australia”

I’m sure that’s right Don, particularly if the shut down period is relatively short. They are the most popular sports in Australia for a reason, and will remain attractive to the broadcasters.

The unknown is what damage might occur if the shutdown is extended. There are a lot of clubs to keep afloat, and – more importantly – what will be the extent of the damage be to the broadcasters, thus impinging their ability to resume at the same level or as near to the same as their current contracts?

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

Putting 22 staff off last week was a horrible experience, but otherwise we’re managing ok at home, mz. Cheers.

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

Just before I get taken out of context or misconstrued again, TLN…

…the Shute Shield is a hugely important part of The Australian rugby landscape. What it is not however, is the solution to professional, high-performance rugby.

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

That’s certainly an interesting one, Peter. At this stage of their professional development, all of these sports, add soccer too, represent a net financial cost to their administrations.

That said, I’m certain that all of them will do everything they can not to take a step backwards.

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

There would be complications around the quantum of the fees (these vary markedly from sport to sport), and there would also be issues around the extent to which some sports are impacted more heavily than others.

But yes, governments are all about ‘messaging’ Paul and that suggestion would certainly send a very positive message.

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

Hi Scrum, I trust that you’re being well looked after over there?

“My own personal desires would be a Trans Tasman professional comp because of time zones etc. and saleability to Aussie public. Kiwis on the other hand hanker for South Africa involvement.”

With Australia becoming uncompetitive over the last decade, the prospect of a trans-Tasman pro competition holds little appeal to NZ fans, NZ broadcasters, nor the NZRU who don’t need extra lead in their saddlebags. This is a point ignored by Alan Jones and others who, with a wave of their hand, decree that such a competition will solve Australian rugby’s ills.

That said, all bets are off if the effects of the pandemic extend over a long period. There may be issues over travel. SANZAAR may have no choice but to shift to a new model, Australia isn’t tied to a broadcast agreement so there may be opportunities to change course. Or there may be no choice but to change course.

In that respect, NZ could potentially be pushed into a trans-Tasman arrangement, even if that isn’t its preferred position.

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

Don’t forget…

Beauden Barrett… anagram… A burned tree bat

Just sayin’…

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

Not at all, Jimmy. I enjoy the NRL, even played a bit of league at University and I don’t wish or expect them to go anywhere.

That’s not the same thing as calling out some misinformed dancing on rugby’s grave. All of the sports are in crisis – there’s obviously a reason common to all, but also there are different circumstances applying to each.

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

This piece references what you’re saying, Peter.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/an-impossible-needle-to-thread-two-questions-corona-critics-should-ask-themselves/news-story/bd217bdc36bcddf24aace15bb20f0894

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

As long as some people want to play rugby, and some people want to play rugby league, Jimmy, there will always be two codes.

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

Well it’s all moot because it didn’t happen, and who knows what the detail would be around the contract terms and the effects of the pandemic.

But the other thing to remember is that this was a long-term deal. For 12 years. As bad as this crisis is, it would have been unlikely that the financier would trash everything in year 1 because of this crisis. They were clearly taking a long-term view and it would be in their interest to help nations ride it out.

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