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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If that’s aimed at me Jimmy, I’m not belittling you at all.
Asking if SR is viable any more is a perfectly valid question.

But in the discussion around that, too many people who are anti SR automatically throw out the ‘it’s played in the middle of the night’ objection. It’s false, it hasn’t been like that for quite some time, and it means that people who use that argument either do so to mislead, or else they aren’t across the facts. And that’s not a good position from which to be having such a discussion.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

The longer this goes, this looks like a more likely outcome Bourkos.

The thing to remember however, is that just because this might suit Australia, this isn’t necessarily NZ’s preferred way to go – they don’t want to tie themselves too closely to Australia, who are weaker on-field and commercially.

That said, when the dust finally settles, they might not have any choice.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

Jimmy, do us a favour mate, go through the fixture over the last couple of years of Super Rugby and tell me how many Australian sides have played matches at 4am in the morning.

Actually I’ll save you the trouble. It’s SFA.

This is a fallacy that gets trotted out all the time. It’s simply not true any more. I don’t have this year’s schedule in front of me, but from memory, there were 3 matches that started at midnight AEST, another one at 1am, and two matches later than that. That’s all.

And that’s across all 4 Aus franchises.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

This has become such a big thread now Sinclair it’s hard to keep up, but this below is something I posted elsewhere. I don’t think we’re actually too far apart – given RA’s tenuous finances I’d still query why the players deserve special treatment, but I also understand some of the reasons why.

– they are being asked to keep fit, ie so they are performing some duties
– there is precedent already set in other Aus professional sports to reduce their salaries but not stand them down without pay
– there may be legal uncertainty around their contracts which either a) provides for them to be stood down without pay, just like other employees, or whether b) this wouldn’t be interpreted as a stand down, but interpreted as voiding the contracts completely. Which if b) was shown to be the case, wouldn’t be a desirable outcome
– they don’t want to be at war with the players who, whether we like it or not, in truth, have more leverage than ‘normal’ employees

There is also a clause in the CBA about RA being required to negotiate in ‘good faith’, so I’d also imagine that they would be keen not to stand down players without pay and be accused of breaching this.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

I remember watching the Kenny Rogers show on TV when we were kids, Muzzo!
The whole family would sit around together and watch, like it was a special event.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Cheers Ryan, just a shame it’s about rugby politics and not actual rugby…
Best wishes to you and your family – hope it’s all going well.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Easier than that, Dave. Straight off You Tube.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Absolutely Dave. Extend that era out a bit – the 2003 World Cup hosting was a highly visible and successful event. The hammer should have been down then to invest in junior development, far more than was done.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

“In any case iI think the role of a sports administrator is very different to that of a business ceo. Business skills are important, but they can be supplimented from elsewhere. What seems more important to me is good communications, public relations and stakeholder management skills. These are skills more akin to a highly paid public sector Mandarin than a business person. The RA ceo is not managing Amazon, its a diverse group of stakeholders with very different and contradictory views.”

Excellent comment, Digs. Well worth repeating.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

At my age, more chance of being pinged for a delayed feed…

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

Dead right, Andy, a point I tried to make last week.
Even if Castle and Fox had closed a deal, all bets would be off now anyway.

Fox would be across the table telling Castle that whatever content is offered next year won’t be the same as what we signed up for, therefore we’ll be paying you $X less.

Even if the value of the rights is smashed by all of this, it’s happening whether RA had a deal or not. As you say, RA may in fact be better off, after the dust settles, not being tied to anyone. Particularly someone like Fox who are going to be in a terrible financial position the longer this goes.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

You need to get back on your meds, and soon, Jock.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

KP, it’s true that many players are on ‘big money’ but let’s not forget also that a high number are on standard/base contracts, which I wouldn’t describe as big money at all.

I understand the point you’re trying to make, and desperate financial times call for tough measures. And as I say in the article, I don’t really understand why the players should receive special treatment.

But I also understand why Rugby Australia doesn’t want to fracture the relationship. Goodwill coming out of this is important.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

It’s pertinent to note Grey-Hand that despite the financial impact of the virus, Qantas has announced that it will continue to support RA through to the end of its current agreement, and not withhold promised sponsorship money.

Given that the Wallabies aren’t likely to be playing any time soon, this is an important gesture. That money is obviously vitally important to RA.

Almost certainly Qantas’ action is in recognition of the partnership, and the way RA maintained their faith over the course of the Folau matter.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

We need to get used to it TLN. The media is shrinking and the number of journalists and people who uncover stories, or write with depth of analysis, is diminishing fast.
Conversely the number of media outlets, or social media platforms that pass themselves off as media, have mushroomed.
They need content so they aggregate stories, picked up off other sites, and trumpet them as ‘the news’. They don’t have the resources or the in-house expertise, or the inclination, to test the veracity of the stories. They’re just interested in content. So diversity and depth goes out the window and everyone just ends up parroting the same thing.
That’s the other side of this business. It’s one thing for News Corp to co-ordinate a campaign through its own outlets to serve its interest in another medium. But it’s also really disappointing to see the ABC of all people, pick up these ‘stories’ and run with them as gospel, without anyone stopping to check if the material is conflicted and there are disclosure omissions.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Absolutely there are weak points and blind spots Andrew, but nothing that – on any rational assessment – comes remotely close to grounds for dismissal.

Which only serves to highlight the duplicitous nature of the campaign against her.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Cheers Josh, thx for reading and commenting.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

I have no idea what his contractural position would be Carlin.

But I’m certain he’d be able to negotiate his way out of the role without too much difficulty, if it came to that. Particularly if it allowed a new administration to appoint a ‘true blue’ Aussie who really understands how Australians tick etc…

None of that is what is important imo. What matters more is that anyone who knows Rennie or who has observed him, can see that he is a man of integrity. He agreed to take on the role because he believes he is dealing with committed straight shooters, who will back him in. Who are committed to improving Aus rugby.

He is definitely not the type to want to come in and have to deal with politics, backstabbing and disingenuous criticism because he doesn’t have an Australian passport, or was appointed by Castle or whatever else.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

No, not every commercial contract has a force majeure clause Josh, it’s not mandatory.

Certainly this CBA doesn’t specifically, although it is clear that the ‘material adverse change’ clause effectively covers this off. If RA’s revenue falls to less than 80% of prior year, then the agreement can be voided (that’s not the actual wording, but you get the idea)

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Hi Josh

Two things. Firstly, despite what News Corp would have us believe, the RA board isn’t actually looking for anyone to fill a vacant CEO position. They have a CEO already.

Secondly, if they were, I very much doubt Steve Tew would be interested. He’s had a good run in an intense job, and I’d imagine is settling into a very nice semi-retirement, with a few things on the side to keep him occupied. When I met him a couple of years ago he was already talking then about sacrifices he’d made with regard to family.

Move house to Sydney to have Alan Jones take a pot shot at him every Friday because he doesn’t understand how Australian’s think and operate? Why would he bother?

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

There’s one more too KP, which is that the CBA requires RA to negotiate in good faith with the players. So you could potentially interpret that to stand them down without pay would be against the spirit of that.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Yes Paulo, if anyone aspires to become the PM because of the money then our system really is up the creek… 😂

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Thanks Nick. Yes, Withers walked away from the music business when he was at the peak of his powers. On a matter of principle. And he remained at peace with that decision for the rest of his life.

It robbed the rest of us of some great music, but in another way, it added to the reverence in which he’s held.

I’ve seen it before but I’m going to give the documentary ‘Still Bill’ another run after dinner tonight. It’s an excellent account.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

I like how those thumbs seem to be a nice distance apart, Rob. Stay well.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

Sorry KP, didn’t mean to ignore you.
That’s really my question as well, why aren’t they stood down without pay like other employees?

I expect it’s a combination of factors;

– they are being asked to keep fit, ie so they are performing some duties
– there is precedent already set in other Aus professional sports to reduce their salaries but not stand them down without pay
– there may be legal uncertainty around their contracts which either a) provides for them to be stood down without pay, just like other employees, or whether b) this wouldn’t be interpreted as a stand down, but interpreted as voiding the contracts completely. Which if b) was shown to be the case, wouldn’t be a desirable outcome
– they don’t want to be at war with the players who, whether we like it or not, in truth, have more leverage than ‘normal’ employees

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier