Joining the Gig Economy

By comparison with the RFU, the BBC is an exemplary employer when it comes to looking after the fairer sex.

Twickenham just became the latest example of running a gig economy – dishing out contracts for a one off job. As soon as the Women’s World Cup finishes next month, so do the contracts for most of the 50 England Women’s rugby players – well about 80% of them anyway. They will no longer be called professionals or treated professionally.

Since I also wrote about this yesterday you might think I’m a tad miffed – you’d be wrong –I’m fucking apoplectic – as should every England supporter be.

Nigel ‘I’m alright’ Melville was appointed as Director of Professional Rugby at the RFU – they should immediately delete the words ‘Director’ and ‘Professional’ from his title and frankly ‘Rugby’ is pretty questionable too.

He currently reports directly to Ian Ritchie

He just perpetrated the most unprofessional act from the RFU ever – and, as you can imagine he was up against some pretty stiff competition. You might remember that it was this was the lot that, under no pressure, suddenly gave Stuart Lancaster a 6 year contract some months before the 2015 WC – how did that work out for you eh?

Run England professional rugby? I wouldn’t trust him to run a bath.

Protected no doubt, by his own long term generous contract, he sits comfortably in Twickenham which is (laughably) referred to as HQ – it should now be known as Twickenham FU.

Many in the press and on social media have described this failure to renew contracts as disgraceful – I am surprised and disappointed that none of the England squad or management have expressed a similar reaction.

Melville’s response to the criticism was laughable –

It was reported in The Rugby Paper that XVs players were only recently made aware that their contracts would not be renewed for 2017/18 season. However, RFU Director of Professional Rugby Melville stressed that players were made aware of the changes.

“The women’s squad were always aware that contracts would end in September, after the World Cup. The current XVs squad was informed in April that the next contracts will be focused on sevens, reflecting the cyclical nature of the women’s game.

“The squad fully understands the position and are focused on the World Cup in Ireland next month.”

England head coach Simon Middleton named a 28 player squad to travel to Dublin and Belfast next month. England are the only nation participating in the tournament to give their players contracts of this nature, so they could focus solely on World Cup preparation.

The governing body explained there would be a return to contracts for XVs players in preparation for the next Women’s Rugby World Cup. 

Really – You seriously think that giving them 4 months’ notice before the World Cup is good management?

Informing them in April that they soon won’t be able to pay mortgages or child care is at best stupid – at worst callous.

These women will have given up good jobs to become professionals – something you’re not, no matter what it says on your business card!

Last year the RFU made a profit of £400 million and paid out sizable bonuses to the execs, despite making a complete balls of the 2015 WC.

Paying 50 professionals in the Women’s squad could be covered by a half decent negotiator getting them better sponsorship ffs.

I never thought I’d say it – but I’d rather have Rob Andrew and let Melville slink back to the States.

Hang your heads in shame – everyone one at the RFU who signed up for this – today I am ashamed to be an England supporter.

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