Ferdy has a rant:
The great financial beneficiaries of rugby in the world are England and France. The New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) however has been running at a loss for years. Why?
Steve Tew is the CEO of the NZRFU. He has come out today saying that NZ may not be around to play in the RWC 2015 unless the IRB change advertising rules during the tournament. (More flexible advertising laws meaning teams will be able to generate more revenue for themselves). We all know that's not going to happen, but:
Tew’s is a good argument and today for a rare moment I agree with him (even though I fecking hate excessive advertising). I think most of the people ridiculing his statements are the righteous rugby ‘einsteins’ of the north who just love to come back to that age old racist argument of NZ ‘plundering the pacific’ and how dare we moan about not having enough money when we compare ourselves to teams like Samoa and Tonga who are really suffering financially.
Every year in November, the All Blacks go to play in the UK. Any six nations team that plays the All Blacks in their own back yard will inevitably sell out their stadium within minutes (or hours - just to be on the safe side here). What do the NZRFU get for this welcome return on gate sales? A small fixed agreed price, while the northern teams feast out on the larger percentage, cashing in on the big population of ruggerheads and expats.
In return, the same ‘teams’ will come into a NZ winter, but they will send their dirt trackers due to the very long European season or their fear of playing in NZ or their British/French clubs refusing to release their best players. What does that mean for the NZRFU gate sales? Not much.
NZ rugby is everywhere in the world. Go through any team sheet in this rugby world cup, and there will inevitably be a NZ player bolstering the ranks, if not several. And double that for the coaches. Warren Gatland (Wales), Robbie Deans (Australia), John Kirwan (Japan), Keiran Crowley (Canada) and these are the people off the top of my head, because I can't be bothered googling tonight.
NZ is not a rich nation. By western European standards, we are almost a third world developing economy, with a tiny population and not much of a GDP to write home about. For the last five years, the NZRFU have been running at a loss. The only reason the ABs can compete financially is by getting into bed with satan (Adidas and Steinlager - terrible beer by the way) and by playing a magnificent brand of rugby. These big sponsors alone are helping us to keep the cream of the crop that we really need (McCaw, Carter etc).
The rest of the time, the All Blacks, are being suckered by richer rugby nations with bigger populations; by putting on exhibition matches all over the globe. Then the agents come out with their calculators and cheque books and we lose the best of rest because how can NZ compete with the stronger European currency? (This is the same for the island nations, all I’m saying is, I’m tired of the English moaning about us plundering the pacific. After every world cup, we have to start from scratch because our team is bled dry by the north (mainly). Yet still people moan about us plundering the pacific?!)
Those great pompus cumedgoens that use the term ‘south sea islanders’ (a colonial throw back phrase if ever there was one) forget to look at the facts. Nearly half of Samoa’s rugby team in this RWC is made up of NZ born players. Probably ditto Tonga, and even Japan for that matter. This argument goes around in circles. I live in England. I'm tired of people telling me during this rugby world cup that half of my team is made up of Samoan born All Blacks. It isn’t.
The facts are this. The great financial beneficiaries of rugby in the world are England and France. Samoa, Tonga, Fiji (all great rugby playing nations) and NZ are often left out in the cold when it comes to money (even though they play the rugby that innovates). I’m (kind of but it probably doesn't do anything for the AB PR machine) glad Steve Tew has issued an ultimatum. Of course NZ will play in 2015, but imagine if they didn’t. It would set the cat among the pigeons.
It’s never gonna happen though. If the All Blacks didn't play in the RWC 2015 it would give the English journos more reason to posture and inflate their own delusions of self importance and righteousness, just a disguise for their own worries about losing money from their own pockets, and losing even more games on the pitch.