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SYDNEY, Dec 18 AAP - After just one season, the Australian Rugby Union has decided to scrap the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) after the competition suffered a $4.7 million loss in 2007.
A thorough review of the tournament revealed it was more than $2 million over the ARU's budgeted investment, plus there was a forecast of a further $3.3 million in losses next season.
The cumulative loss of $8 million in just two years would be fiscally irresponsible, the ARU said.
"Strong leadership is paramount to the success of our game and, to that end, there are times when tough decisions need to be taken," said ARU deputy chief executive Matt Carroll.
"Continuing with the ARC was considered by the (ARU) board to be an untenable financial risk for the ARU and rugby as a whole."
The ARU did say the failed league achieved many player development goals and the Union remained committed to improving talent pathways for players and coaches and expanding the game nationally.
"While the format of ARC and the stakeholder investment strategy has proven to be flawed, the concept of an affordable high-quality rugby competition remains a key strategy," Carroll said.
"We want to reach a full understanding and agreement on the most appropriate structure for the game in this country."
AAP jd
they have no idea!!

ok they lost money on it last year...NO WONDER~!! they show the games on shitty ABC, and do NO marketing...

Waht are they going to do now??

Club rugby is at such a poor level that Australian players are going to suffer without a decent competition after the Super 14.
So... we appoint Robbie Deans and all of a sudden rugby in Australia is saved. To be honest, even before this competition was scrapped, I was doubtful that we'd advance too much in the next two years at least. The ARC was an excellent competition, both in terms of entertainment and player development - now where does this leave us... Up **** creek without a paddle. The ARU is to be held fully accountable for the financial failure that this ARC has been. Lack of extensive marketing and very little support of the clubs to do their own - it was to say the least a shambles. The ARU say they are run as a business, though it seems they have forgotten quite a basic "rule" to financial success: don't be afraid to spend money in the short term, to gain in the long term.
What an absolute joke.

The ARU is a disgrace.

I bet you lads are REALLY pleased that the ARU hired Mr O'Neil now arncha?! :lol:

To be honest in regards to the ARC, I would have thought the ARU would have at least taken the time to see where other nations like Scotland have gone wrong when running regional franchises or trying to control everything from the center.
I'm really peeved about this decision. Competitions like this need time to grow. I think a lot of people were not fully aware of this competition and what it involved.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but some of the Wallabies would have been available to play next season? Surely the ARU could have waited one more year to see the effect that would have had on crowds/ratings/media coverage and the like.

The games I went to were really enjoyable and a great display of rugby. Heaps better than the Waratah games I went to this year.

It's just another blow for rugby in this country. You can bet the league/soccer/afl are all laughing right now.
Well at least the old boys down at Randwick get thier way right?

Yes :)

Myself and everyone else down at Coogee will be all the merrier for the demise of the ARC
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Well at least the old boys down at Randwick get thier way right?

Yes :)

Myself and everyone else down at Coogee will be all the merrier for the demise of the ARC

You guys enjoy your boring amateurish rugby.

We'd like the real thing back please.

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What an absolute joke.

The ARU is a disgrace.

I bet you lads are REALLY pleased that the ARU hired Mr O'Neil now arncha?! :lol:

I was never a fan of the guy.

He's more interested in throwing money at league converts than actually improving the game in this country.

Plus, before Robbie Deans came back into the mix he wanted Alan Jones to coach the Wallabies.
Look on the bright side, at least he didnt try andy robinson or gareth jenkins. Any port in a storm eh?
Not good news for Oz rugby. I still think the national team will be strong though.
Don't fret too much on JON scrapping the ARC.

This was the brain child of former CEO Gary Flowers, and is the last legacy he left behind in a dodgy administrative period for the ARU.

Basically the ARU has cut away most of those individuals that were put in place under the Flowers administration and have started a fresh.

What you'll likely see is come 2009 a new version of the ARC will start again with the more succesful ARC teams retained (Vikings, Spirit) and the Sydney teams replaced with a merged version of the big clubs.

Basically, clubs like Randwick, Easts an Uni will merge to create a next generation of the Fleet and this team will bring with it the money, crowds and sponsors from these teams. A similar approach will be applied to Brothers Sunnybank etc in Brisbane.

This way there will be no bickering from the Clubs behalf and a more universal support from all followers of club rugby in Sydney and Brisbane behind the competition.

But apparently, more importantly for the ARU (and a big reason why JON pulled the pin on this comp rather than tweaking it) is that the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) controlled all the players in the comp, while the ARU was the only financial stakeholder.

In the past, RUPA and its head Tony Demsey have been a real pain to the ARU by threatening strike action for both the 7's team and the Wallabies (pre WC03) unless the ARU pushed up the wages.

Under the ARC setup, RUPA could again hold the ARU to ransom and really stretch the purse strings even further if the ARU remained the only stakeholder in future years.

So, the ARU has cut the ARC completely and will introduce a club based structure where each club shares responsibilty, not just the ARU. That way, if RUPA threatens to strike there will be all the club bosses on the side of the ARU.

Dempsey has seen the writing on the wall from this decision and is rightly worried by what it could mean for RUPA losing any power against the ARU. So it's no coincedence that he's been the loudest critic of the ARC axing decision. Even going as far as suggesting the players will take a massive pay cut to keep the comp as it is.

So basically the point is with any business, when you change administration, most of the old staff get the chop too. And most of their work is changed. In this case O'Neill and Carroll have gotten rid of anything Flowers left behind and will attempt to build a more financial viable and safer comp in 2009.

It's just a pity that they haven't made this clearer so rugby fans get to see the real silver lining that exists from this apparently bad decision.

Look on the bright side guys, before it started there were so many opposed to the idea of the ARC. However, after just one season look at how many people so passionately want it retained in some form.

Heck, we may even see the ARC and NPC merging some time pretty soon. Keeps your chins up!
I remember feeling pretty bad when reading this, the ARC was one of the few promising aspects which has come out of the past few years. I find it disgusting that the ARU will cut a competition (without consulting the player unions) because it ran a loss in its first year barely proportionate to the amount they spend on players like Giteau or Tuqiri.

Just illustrates that O'Neill's first responsibility is to his stakeholders (ie. frequent use of the term 'fiscally responsible') rather than the development of rugby in Australia. He's simply downsizing ARU assets, regardless of their promise, so as to engender confidence with investors.

Yes the ARU has made murmurs of a future competition, one which will assumably have to run off the scent of an oil rag. Yet these ARE murmurs, nothing has been promised, only hinted at, using overly politic phrases as 'may be' or 'could, in the future' so as to stave off the negative feeling about what is essentially more evidence that the ARU sees anything below state level as a bloody non-entity.

The ARC exhibited some really promising rugby, I'm genuinely sad to see it go and I know that a large proportion of Aussie rugby fans are too. The future of Australian rugby is a rather depressing prospect.

Though i'm sure the bunch of rich white guys that constitute the Randwick old boys and a few clubs in the North Shore will be creaming their pants at the ARC's death.
Its sad to see it go after just one season, but it was definately a poorly thought out competition. Scuuba has basically said what I was going to say in terms of the club involvement.
That's very surprising....surely there is a market for an all states Australia-wide rugby union competition
That's very surprising....surely there is a market for an all states Australia-wide rugby union competition [/b]
Unfortunately it is pretty much considered a niche market to the majority of people outside of QLD and NSW. Aussie Rules dominates everywhere else.

In time Rugby will grow. Maybe too amibitious, too quickly?
From an ACT rugby perspective this is certainly very disappointing. This scrapping will leave the Vikings without a tournament AGAIN, and will be a great disadvantage to possible future greats. The likes of Jack Vanderglas, Dan Guinness and Christian Lealifaano had superb tournaments and such a competition was perfect for them. All three currently play in the ACT club comp, which is not anywhere near a high enough level. It could be that they'll have to go out of their way to play in Sydney - if they can get a signing to a club. Though even this could become detrimental for the Brumbies with a certain possibility of some of these players being enticed away into the Waratah organisation... petrol costs are so high at the moment...
Terrible news, I really enjoyed the comp. **** marketing and a lot of other factors, there fault they lost money. Better to watch than Reds games and you could watch younger players that would shine in super 14.

Hopefully in comes back in the near future.

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