As Monday’s RugbyWA-ARU arbitration hearing edges closer, it appears propaganda has become the new truth in the Australian Super Rugby saga.
Take the Daily Telegraph article which The West Australian chose to publish today.
The article’s two central claims were (1) The ARU will axe the Force if RugbyWA loses next week’s arbitration hearing; and (2) the Victorian Rugby Union buying the Rebels licence from private owner Andrew Cox will “secure the franchise’s future.”
Really? What a load of bollocks.
Let’s take a closer look at both those claims.
- It will not be the end of the road for the Force if RugbyWA comes out second best in next week’s arbitration hearing. The Daily Telegraph, which has supported the Rebels’ cause from day one in the Australian Super Rugby saga, conveniently omitted the elephant in the room in its analysis of the situation – Andrew Forrest. With the iron ore magnate in its corner, the Force has both the passion and the wherewithal to take the fight to the High Court, if necessary. Twiggy has already let the ARU know in words of one syllable he is up for the fight. A long fight, that is.
- Just like all the noise about Cox launching legal action against the ARU, the sale of the Rebels licence to the VRU is all just talk. And while that chatter has at various times extended to the involvement of the Victorian Government and some mystery consortium of rugby backers form Bleak City, no one has put their hand in their pocket or shown a willingness to underwrite the Rebels’ financial future. The bottom line is that the Rebels are losing money (as well as Super Rugby matches, players, administrators, coaches, spectators and sponsors) and will continue to bleed cash whether they are owned by Cox, the VRU or the Weary Dunlop Rugby Foundation for that matter. In fact, the argument run by The Daily Telegraph that transferring the Rebels licence to the VRU would somehow “secure the franchise’s future” has shades of the joke about Paddy and Murphy selling spuds from the back of the truck. One day Paddy says: “Murphy, we’re buying these spuds for a dollar a bag and selling them for a dollar a bag, and not making much money.” To which Murphy replies: “Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that Paddy and I’ve got a solution – we’ll buy a bigger truck.”
The ARU’s plan to axe an Australian Super Rugby team has never been about which team deserves to go – but rather which team would be the easiest to cull. They got it wrong thinking that was the Force.
Stay tuned …