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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Nice Sonny and Cher analogy, Chook. The Punch and Judy show. Very much the 2020 trans-Tasman relationship.

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Definitely understand that argument Roberto. And it works in practice in countries where there is already that culture, where there are already long-established traditional clubs and club competitions.

But it doesn’t work in Australia – interestingly in both Football and Rugby – because both games have only recently become professional and what existed already wasn’t strong enough (due to clubs not being evenly distributed geographically, and not enough clubs having sufficient members/financial strength)

If it was the right model the NSL wouldn’t have failed, and Australian rugby’s professional tier would be the Sydney and Brisbane clubs, not the franchises. It’s obvious that the A-League and Super Rugby are not the panacea either, but that doesn’t automatically mean that the answer is to revert to clubs or to pretend that the sports are domestic, like the AFL and Rugby League.

At the end of the day, the problem is one of economics and market size, relative to other markets in the world. That’s a reality that Football and Rugby will always be fighting in Australia.

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

No. You totally miss the point.

I was writing about provincialism, populism and parochialism, and provided a couple of examples. Those are things that are plainly evident in WA and in Northern Queensland, among other places.

I don’t care what the reason is. WA voted to secede in 1930. I wasn’t there at the time, but I’m betting that it didn’t have anything to do with Rugby Australia. Rugby Australia’s treatment of WA, might be your particular driver, but that’s your business.

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For Rugby Australia, the deal runs at +/- 30 %, Corne.

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With Australia it’s a bit hard to tell, isn’t it, mz?

Until a broadcast deal is finalised, and some certainty backed into RA’s budget for 2021 and beyond, I guess we won’t truly be able to understand the implications for the short-medium term future of the game here.

One good thing about the pandemic, is that it has helped put a stop to a lot of the public slanging and infighting. So in that sense at least, things probably feel a bit better than what they did earlier in the year.

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Hi RT, at the risk of us sounding like silly old codgers, they really were the good old days, weren’t they?

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Why does it have to be one or the other, Roberto? Why can’t it be both?

When I was a kid at school I dearly wanted my own school team to win, I wanted my dad’s club team to win, I wanted my provincial side to win and I wanted the All Blacks to win.

The Jeff Fenech approach… ‘I love you’se all.’

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Good point about taking the ‘learnings’ from this year to be better prepared, BF.

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Not sure that you’re actually rebutting my comment EFF, as opposed to reinforcing it? 😂

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Tell you what Harry, Nicholas Cage must be a fit bloke – he’s jumped a whole lot of sharks.

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No idea about that percentage BF, but when you consider the costs of broadcasting, promotion, match day and so on, that does sound far too high.

As for who calls the shots, that probably illustrates amateur but newly professional administrators happy to accept the new influx of money on those terms. At that stage, without Murdoch, there was no professional franchise competition.

Probably no different than Kerry Packer watching over the cricket, willing and ready to use his power of veto over anything he didn’t like?

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Hi BF. As soon as a feeling exists (whether actually true or not) among club members and juniors, that they are subsidising the upper echelons of the game, professional player salaries, head office admin or whatever, then a sport is in trouble. People will always resent and resist that.

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Cheers Ken.

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Look forward to seeing him play, Jez.

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Hi Sheek, I think that when Argentina was brought in, the feeling was that dealing the the Pacific Islands at the same time would have been too much.

In retrospect, administrators should have bitten the bullet and got it done then. Here we are years later, the matter still no closer to being resolved. No representation in the franchise competition, and compromised in international competition.

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That’s understandable of course, TWAS. With a crowd limit, yield per seat becomes even more critical than usual. But gee… whatever the reason, high prices like that don’t help bridge the gap between RA and fans who might be feeling disenfranchised.

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There’s definitely capacity to reduce duplication and cost within RA and the franchises David, and that’s exactly what Rob Clarke is in the process of doing.

With respect to community engagement, I’ve got no doubt that all of today’s franchise heads understand this better than at any prior time in the professional era. Of course it’s a difficult thing to re-engage with lost fans, when really, they shouldn’t have been lost in the first place. Many old rugby people have now got other interests and other things to do with their time and money.

All franchises have great examples of professional players doing great work in the rugby community. Unfortunately, all of them also have stories of some of today’s players being reluctant or dismissive of it.

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Cheers, KP. Hope all is well, mate.

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I acknowledge her success and that mine is a minority view, cs.

That’s the great thing about music. We’re all able to enjoy whatever it is we like, it doesn’t matter what other people choose to listen to.

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Yes, talk about ‘if we could turn back time’.

The upside of there being only one rugby code – particularly with respect to Australia and the Pacific Islands – is almost too mouth-watering to comprehend.

On the downside, we would have ended up with Gus Gould. After his effort last night, I’ll never complain about Kearnsie again…

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But wasn’t there an existing template in football/soccer, Rob? A global, professional sport that already had players being drawn to a few select professional leagues?

I’ve recommended this book before, but check out David Goldblatt’s ‘The Game of our Lives”. A brilliant account of how the advancement of professional football in the UK, left behind a trail of destruction.

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Theoretically yes, JDK. Although the argument has always been that there is never enough money left for it to trickle down.

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“You can’t put the genie back in the bottle”

No you can’t Baz. But you can’t help wondering about it, every so often…

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Agree about Hooper, but I reckon Ned would look fetching in fishnets, TLN!

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Hi Moa

On one hand it’s easy for us all to be experts in hindsight.

One the other hand, rugby didn’t have to get things as wrong as it has, and that’s incredibly frustrating. National administrators in the early 90’s missed a golden opportunity to take a close look at what worked and what didn’t work in professional football, and shape a path for rugby accordingly. But most of them couldn’t see past their own noses. Or, as you say, their wallets.

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