Missing the Point

Yet another article appeared this morning on a New Zealand rugby site regarding the current stand-off between the RFU and the NZRU –


The headline itself is pretty misleading in that it suggests that a deal has been done that gives the All Blacks a financial triumph over Twickenham.

That is definitely not the case – no deal is even under discussion at present – it’s not that I have some sort of inside track, but if anything was under consideration it would be about as secret as the Kardashian twitter account.

The author of the article suggests that Ian Ritchie is being pompous in refusing to give the ABs a share of Twickenham gate money and that the RFU should have paid Fiji more for the recent international game.

Anyone who has been here before knows my rather cynical views regarding the RFU – and I said at the time that the RFU could have been a lot more generous. But I really can’t abide criticism from teams that pay teams like Fiji nothing but their fares. England do more than that – probably more than anyone. Of course it’s not enough, but ‘glass houses’ and all that!

The author also totally misses the point on Ritchie’s stance – it’s not pomposity you numpty – it’s a negotiating stance. No one goes on record offering anything except an extreme position before a dialogue on a financial agreement – if they do, I’d like to meet them, I could do with a laugh.

Where he is right of course, is that some agreement will eventually be made – it won’t be anything like either Union want – not 50:50 or 100:0.

But there is a lot of talk and positioning to be done before anything is agreed – equally the NZRU will also have to share revenues when they are at home – if they don’t then Ian Ritchie isn’t the tough bloke I think he is.


2 thoughts on “Missing the Point

  1. Hi Dave – sharp as ever (particularly re the payment to Fiji).
    Of course we in the Northern Hemisphere have a “nuclear button”. Home & Away Six Nations 10 matches per year – 3 in the Autumn, 5 in the current window & 2 at the end of the season. Thereby no tours NH to SH & vice versa.
    The majority of RFU income is linked to 6N – sponsorship, TV, ticketing, hospitality. Equally a lot of money is spent hosting SANZAR Countries (parties of 60+). South Africa would kill to be in a competition like the 6N that is in the same time zone. Equally, how long would NZ’s major sponsors stay on board without the access to the lucrative European markets?
    The other NH Unions want the RFU to stand strong, because none of them can afford to make the payments – Wales’ debt on the Millenium is almost 20 years old & is probably only half paid off (RFU will rebuild the East Stand costing £67M, and will clear the debt via cash flow in 5 years).
    Interesting that Steve Tew isn’t offering up the 2017 Lions Tour as the first opportunity for Revenue sharing? Happy New Year.

    • Good points Mike – thanks for the feedback – did you know the Bill Tyrell’s 70th is at Well Hall on 14th January? All Askeans are welcome – think it starts at 7pm.
      Happy New Year 🍺🍺🍺

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