CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
While the NRL is going to Vegas, it seems certain clubs within Australia’s domestic rugby union competition are going to the cleaners.
According to an article published today by a major news company that has conflicting interests in the rivers of gold generated by NRL sportsbetting, The most recently established professional rugby union franchise is staring down the barrel of $20m in debt, including $11m in outstanding tax,.
The Australian Tax Office has made the Melbourne Rebels board members personally liable for the tax debt – at $1.5million per head. Meanwhile the club is arguing that Australia’s governing rugby union body owes them $8 million.
As it stands, the only assets the Rebels have is $17,300 in the bank and “plant and equipment, consisting of office furniture, gym equipment and two motor vehicles.
The financial collapse of the Super Rugby’s 15th license comes only 14 years after it’s foundation, and speaks to a wider issue of incompetent administrating within Australia’s bloated rugby union bureaucracy.
Much like the Liberal Party of Australia and other increasingly irrelevant stuffed-shirt institutions like the Australian Wool Board and the Freemasons, the ARU’s top brass only seem to have one playbook when it comes to breathing air back into rugby union: That is, orchestrating repeated leadership spill of both the CEO and coaching roles for a short-lived boost in confidence amongst their board members – who still refuse to admit that a winning rugby world cup side exists in the Penrith Panthers NRL grassroots system alone.
The game’s blatant mismanaging of both money and talent is often the subject of searing criticism from elderly former Wallabies players who think they are an authority on the modern game because they used to win 60% of their matches when the All Blacks were white PE teaches.
However, it is clear to almost everyone except these leathery old codgers that the real ‘golden generation’ only occured well into the professional era.
The late 90s/early 2000s Wallabies, who played against the like of Johnny Wilkinson and Jonah Lomu, are recognised as the most comparatively talented and winningest wave of Australian rugby union stars in the game’s history.
Betoota’s top linguist, Dr. Shirly Frawley, says this may be because of the powerful names that this cohort of players wore on their back.
“Stirling Mortlock, Wendell Sailor. Elton Flatley” she says.
“With names like that, you are certain to dominate on the field”
“Clyde Rathbone. This wasn’t necessarily a class thing, these men were from all kind backgrounds, but they just had strong names that sounded like swashbuckling Jane Austen characters”
“Where are the Wycliff Palus anymore.”
“Or Matt Giteau? A bit of French flair would do wonders for the current game.”