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Is the 2021 Lions Tour Doomed?

RedruthRFC

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Don't think there's any hope of our gov. signing off on that really. Far too many fans would come through Belfast.
I'll rise above making a comment on borders! Fair point though, I hadn't considered that aspect.
 

munstermuffin

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Don't think there's any hope of our gov. signing off on that really. Far too many fans would come through Belfast.
May be a case of tempting a cash strapped IRFU and Gov. Especially now there is stricter requirements on arrivals
 

TRF_heineken

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Mid February has been talked about as a date for a decision.

I'm sure you're right that the UK doesn't have a full picture of the situation in SA. Given current testing levels, does South Africa? What's the current positive test percentage? This seems a more indicative metric when testing rates are at a low level. Unless you're pro-covid, I wouldn't fear a lockdown. I fear that we went into our current one too late and will come out of it too early. I would be much more afraid of a government who place their own popularity over doing the best thing for public health and the economy.

As far as I can see, the Covid situation in SA is an irrelevance though. The SARU have said that they don't see the tour as viable if matches are played behind closed doors. In a country on a steep upward curve, without a vaccination programme in place, there's more chance of porcine aviation that full rugby stadia in the time frame we're talking about. As I've said further up the thread, either the SARU are confident that they can strong arm the other stake holders into doing what they want or have been very naive in making the statement that they did. It strikes me that they're running the risk of turning down 50% of something in the pursuit of a greater percentage of what they were expecting in the first place.

Ah, well hopefully by then, things will be better here in SA.

The news reports yesterday highlighted that we will be getting 1.5million doses of the Vaccine end of January, which will firstly be given to all health workers. Then in February we plan to do the roll-out to the general public.

Seems like by March we will have about 14million doses ready, which is currently being produced locally by Aspen pharmaceuticals.

We are also not going into a hard lockdown, and the Currie Cup is still being played every weekend.
 

Jimcardiff

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It should be called off , what happens if a tourist gets infected , will the whole squad have to go into isolation , they can’t isolate at home
 

EdBirch

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Just an idea but if the French pull out of this seasons Euro cups, surely move all competitions to fill those slots and put more of a gap between them and the Lions Tour (If it goes ahead in whatever format)
 

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Just an idea but if the French pull out of this seasons Euro cups, surely move all competitions to fill those slots and put more of a gap between them and the Lions Tour (If it goes ahead in whatever format)
Personally I would rather dump the Lions tour and try to ensure all the other comps ,including 6N, can be finished to reasonably satisfactory conclusions.
If the french are pulling out of Europe, surely they'll be doing same in 6N. More space can be created for an extended season .
The Lions tour is supposed to be the cherry on the cake, so having it when the cake has turned to mush seems slightly ludicrous.
 

TRF_heineken

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There's a local pharmaceutical company in SA, Aspen, who has now also developed a vaccine. And according to their latest research, should it be approved, they can make 1 million doses in a day.

Which could mean they will be able to vaccinate the entire country within 2 months. Pending approval. That vaccine, as well as the one we'll be getting from India, should be enough to make the country safe by the time the tour starts.

Here's hoping.
 

Kiwiwomble

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don't mean to be a downer but we're seeing administering the jab seems to be the real issue, not making it
 

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It should be called off , what happens if a tourist gets infected , will the whole squad have to go into isolation , they can’t isolate at home

It's manageable, just have players train in bubbles, make sure you don't have all your props or all your fullbacks together at any one time.

The NFL has navigated a 5 month season with 32 teams, each with 55 players and a dozen coaching staff.
 

munstermuffin

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It's manageable, just have players train in bubbles, make sure you don't have all your props or all your fullbacks together at any one time.

The NFL has navigated a 5 month season with 32 teams, each with 55 players and a dozen coaching staff.
The NFL could rely solely on TV money to survive.

SA and Lions need fans as all the corporate packages and match ticket sales are what make it sustainable.

Also on keeping PODs together. Who does an Itoje train with? Backrow or 2nd row. Or Who does a Stuart Hogg train with if he is a 10, 15 or Elliot Daly.
 

RedruthRFC

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SA and Lions need fans as all the corporate packages and match ticket sales are what make it sustainable.
I know that I keep beating the same drum, but this is being so widely reported without evidence. Whose figures are you basing this on?

I may well be underestimating the costs of getting something played, or overestimating the amount that the broadcast rights are worth, but I don't see why it should be the case.

The UK only rights to the 6N are worth £90m p.a. or £6m per game. Surely the world wide rights for a Lions match would be worth more than this. Even if each game of a 3 test series played behind closed doors Lions series is only worth the same £6m, saying that you need crowds to make it worthwhile is essentially saying that you can't get two squads of rugby players bubbled and get them to play 3 matches for a cost of less than £18m, which seems nuts to me. This is why I continue to assume that those pushing this narrative are doing so because they think that in doing this, they can force a different option that will make them more money. In my view, anyone who is doing this is effectively gambling the profits that they would have made on the scenario I've described on the possibility of greater profits if whatever scenario they want pan(demic)s out.

Am I missing something?
 

munstermuffin

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I know that I keep beating the same drum, but this is being so widely reported without evidence. Whose figures are you basing this on?

I may well be underestimating the costs of getting something played, or overestimating the amount that the broadcast rights are worth, but I don't see why it should be the case.

The UK only rights to the 6N are worth £90m p.a. or £6m per game. Surely the world wide rights for a Lions match would be worth more than this. Even if each game of a 3 test series played behind closed doors Lions series is only worth the same £6m, saying that you need crowds to make it worthwhile is essentially saying that you can't get two squads of rugby players bubbled and get them to play 3 matches for a cost of less than £18m, which seems nuts to me. This is why I continue to assume that those pushing this narrative are doing so because they think that in doing this, they can force a different option that will make them more money. In my view, anyone who is doing this is effectively gambling the profits that they would have made on the scenario I've described on the possibility of greater profits if whatever scenario they want pan(demic)s out.

Am I missing something?
Yes you're missing in Lions tour alot more scheduling costs, travel, promotional and many more costs are involved.
Factor in 4 unions here still have to fund their own tours and unlike 6Nations time all other Unions have their own tours. Factor in tv money for tour games is not huge yet travel cost etc are. There many mitigating factors without fans a risk assessment done by EY independently has said there will be losses of 15million. I sure they had back up for this. Similarly if Pro16 doesn't go ahead in March then we will loose 1-2mill as a league.

You base tour view on just 2 teams. A Lion tour is much much more. Commercial deals etc
 

RedruthRFC

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Yes you're missing in Lions tour alot more scheduling costs, travel, promotional and many more costs are involved.

I don't see that I am. The costs of my example scenario are a hotel to create a bubble in, running costs of a stadium for 3 matches and 2 charter flights for whichever team travels and the time of two squads of players.

Factor in 4 unions here still have to fund their own tours and unlike 6Nations time all other Unions have their own tours. Factor in tv money for tour games is not huge yet travel cost etc are. There many mitigating factors without fans a risk assessment done by EY independently has said there will be losses of 15million. I sure they had back up for this. Similarly if Pro16 doesn't go ahead in March then we will loose 1-2mill as a league.

All of those things are extraneous to the scenario I've described, so I don't see why they would factor into the Lions' / SARU's decision making process.

You base tour view on just 2 teams. A Lion tour is much much more. Commercial deals etc

I am indeed, as I'm struggling to see why the scenario I've described wouldn't be better than nothing. I'm not blind to the fact that there would ordinarily be more revenue streams, I'm saying that if (as the pandemic / home usions would suggest) access to them is cut off, a behind closed doors test series would be better than nothing.
 

munstermuffin

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I don't see that I am. The costs of my example scenario are a hotel to create a bubble in, running costs of a stadium for 3 matches and 2 charter flights for whichever team travels and the time of two squads of players.



All of those things are extraneous to the scenario I've described, so I don't see why they would factor into the Lions' / SARU's decision making process.



I am indeed, as I'm struggling to see why the scenario I've described wouldn't be better than nothing. I'm not blind to the fact that there would ordinarily be more revenue streams, I'm saying that if (as the pandemic / home usions would suggest) access to them is cut off, a behind closed doors test series would be better than nothing.
Well in that scenario fair enough but as said take Sky. Their fee needs to be renegotiated down to.just 3 games. All sponsors too. Then sides like Bulls will be getting fees for loss of earnings etc. My point is if that option is taken then it obviously has obstacles. Like tour party will be minimised and cosches etc
 

RedruthRFC

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My point is if that option is taken then it obviously has obstacles.

Agreed. I'm not trying to present it as anything other than the worst case scenario. Unless someone climbs down or a magic wand is waved at the pandemic, it seems like the only possible one to me, which is why I'm struggling to understand why it's being written off.
 

munstermuffin

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Agreed. I'm not trying to present it as anything other than the worst case scenario. Unless someone climbs down or a magic wand is waved at the pandemic, it seems like the only possible one to me, which is why I'm struggling to understand why it's being written off.
Again because even in pandemic alot of money that would have to be refunded is spent
 

RedruthRFC

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Again because even in pandemic alot of money that would have to be refunded is spent
So are you saying that they don't have the funds needed to fund a behind closed doors series, or that if it's the only viable option, they would somehow be better off by doing nothing rather than recouping some of this money?
 

The_Blindside

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Let’s face it. As things stand this tour isn’t going to happen this year. Too much uncertainty and with SA not vaccinated and thousands of Lions fans flying out in less than 6 months and who may not be all vaccinated themselves, at risk of catching it and bringing a mutated strain back.
 

Kiwiwomble

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crazy idea

if you're choices are behind closed door in the UK or behind closed doors in SA...would you consider both teams coming to NZ, quarantine for two weeks and then play games in front of crowds, both teams can play mid week games against NPC teams, probably wont get 80-100,000 people like you might at home but we do love rugby and it might make viewing on TV more enjoyable as people tend to say its not the same having fake crowd noise etc
 

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