Player strike the only solution

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Tony1974, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Tony1974

    Tony1974 Guest

    Throughout the continuing battle between the clubs and country over control of England players there is one glaring area of weakness, that if strengthened, would resolve the whole issue (though not painlessly). There is absolutely no leadership from either the players union or from senior national and international players. The bottom line is this, the club owners do not give a monkeys about player welfare, player development or the future quality or reputation of the English league on the world stage. As long as they continue to make bags of cash they couldn't care at all, and to make remonstrations to the contrary is blatant spin/bullshit. The players need to get a grip on this situation. They must become more like the club owners, that is more selfish and put their self-interest first. Those that have the ability and hunger to become great players will never do it playing in the national league. Great players are made on the international stage. Therefore if you play for a bog standard, mediocre international side you will never be classed as a great player in the eyes of the great rugby public. So for the love of god, get off your arses and take a stand. The solution is simple: a player strike. Say to the clubs that those who are good enough get central contracts and will play for their club side when they can. If the clubs don't like it, tough. Do not play until you get what you want. They will soon cave when the money stops rolling in. You have this right under employment law. Do it. Start to show some balls and stand up for yourselves before you all become regarded as no better than average. Those teams with central contracts will continue to pull away. Show some leadership, show some courage, and show that you are more interested in being great players than simply money grabbing leaches as the clubs are now becoming. Put simply: STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES.
     
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  3. So who is going to pay for all these centrally contracted players? Why should fans such as myself continue to renew my season ticket if I know that most of the matches I see won't feature the best players in the country?

    How about someone tells the RFU to pull their head out of their arse, stop crowding the calender with meaningless fixtures and actually try co-operating with the clubs and other national organisations.
     
  4. Tony1974

    Tony1974 Guest



    Jesus. You go to the rugby to watch the best players in the country play, no offence but you sound like the kind of person who would queue for hours outside a book shop to get an autographed copy of Johnson’s biography. They are only people. I would rather pay to see the best players in the world on the occasions that they are there, than the best in the country all the time. And the best in the country is relative to how good the national side is. Crap national side means crap national league means crap best players means crap attendance means crap future. The England team should be the target for the players and clubs alike, it reflects well on the whole England rugby establishment. As for “looking at the stars†sounds like something Francis Baron would say after meeting Rob Andrew in Oscar Wilde’s favorite haunt, I’m sure they would fit right in.
     
  5. Well f*** all the clubs and the fans at grassroots level then. Most true rugby fans don't have a hope in hell of getting tickets to see the top players on the international stage, because all the tickets are gobbled up by coporate suits and hospitality groups.

    I am very patriotic, but I (along with thousands of others) have a much closer link with club sides. All players should strive to represent their country, but that doesn't mean to say the fans who pay their wages shouldn't be allowed to see their talent first hand.

    I think you will find that crap, money-grubbing RFU eqauls crap team and crap organisation. You only have to look at the playoffs in the Premiership and the Anglo-Welsh Cup to see examples of where the cash has clouded their judegment.

    As for mocking the quote in my sig - shows just how well read and literate you are. I was impressed you managed to identify the author it relates to. Wonder if you'd have managed if it wasn't there in front of you.
     
  6. Mr. Laxative

    Mr. Laxative Guest

    Anyway Tony, wlecome to The Rugby Forum and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

    Actually, I think in this case the new kid is right SaintsFan. If you are an avid supporter of a club you will go to see them play, no matter what. There is no need to complain about not getting star players, because there are plenty of players that don't get the opportunity that are just as good. Only a true rugby fanatic will not care what their clubs talent pool is like week-in, week-out.


    I do think however, that the RFU should rearrange the timetable for both test matches and the club tournaments to avoid overlaps. The idea could be very well managed by having a set England squad throughout the season and only have few call-ups in special cases or when there is injury. Also, the Heineken Cup should be played first, when there are no tests - a la Super 14. Then the Guinness Prem should run during the Autumn Tests and Six Nations window - similar to the Curry Cup, APC and Air NZ Cup.
     
  7. Tony1974

    Tony1974 Guest


    One can only respond to what is presented, otherwise it wouldn't be a response. Hey, but the whole play-off thing I have always hated. The first time I came across it was for promotion from the first to premiership in football (and I despise football and all it stands for). Also in rugby league, I hate the whole grand final concept. It kind of detracts from the league as far as I am concerned.

    As you say about paying wages, there is something in that. However the flow of money to clubs i.e. TV, sponsorship, tickets, strips etc, is so diverse that to say that the only people who pay the wages of the players are those that pay for tickets and go to the games, is simply wrong. Sky subscribers, BBC license fee payers (it all goes into the same pot), RFU investors to name but a few. You have to admit that unless the national side is successful then investors/sponsors are going to go elsewhere. The clubs can’t take the current popularity of the premiership for granted. Without a successful national side they will wither on the vine. Yes they may lose the ultimate veto over their players that are in the national team, but it’s worth it for the overall health of the game. I worry that we are going the way of football, I mean who gives a **** if a bunch of South American's/ African's/ European's/ randoms beat another bunch of South American's/ African's/ European's/ randoms, apart from football fans and rugby union club owners.
     
  8. fcukernaut

    fcukernaut Guest

    But it all comes back to the consumer doesn't it? If the public didn't watch rugby, BBC wouldn't be buying any TV deals, if there weren't people watching there would be no comercial advertising. So in the end, yes the fans do pay the wages, whether it's through buying tickets or buying the cell phone you see on the ad. It's all about the consumer.

    However, a players strike is just not the answer. All I have to do is point to past history of player strikes, every single one of them has failed; barring the Major League Baseball strike of 1994. And that was a strike conducted by the MLBPA, which is quite literally one of the most powerful and influencial unions in North America. Even then the players found out that did nothing but kill the game for 6 or 7 years and in turn their salaries went south. The fact of the matter is every single players union or association over estimates their value to the game whether it be the NFLPA, the MLBPA or most recently the NHLPA. The game has always, is always and forever will be greater than the players.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    So if all the club owners make a big bag of cash and don't care about players, why is there a Matt Hampson fund set up by the Leicester boss? Why is Robbie Kydd playing after Barwell paid for all of his rehabilitation? And last of all, why are only Northampton, Leicester, Gloucester and Bath clubs that make a profit?

    Even though it may work in the SH, their setups for the domestic game is much different - the NZRFU for example actually care about the game, hense why the the NPC is the biggest national league in the world. Central contracts will ******** up the domestic game in England. If the domestic game dies, no players come through. If no players come through, the international game dies. Then rugby dies and we're stuck going to watch 13 man kickitaway or sitting next to a burberry clad chav in some shitty stadium watching footy.
     
  10. The quality of rugby might go up if the players were less tired. it's been suggested in several articles that pro rugby follows the NFL model where they only play for 13 weeks. Granted, I think there's also a need for things like the Heineken Cup to add colour to everything. but reducing the fixtures in all these leagues and actually getting rid of some tournaments might be a really good idea for the players, and might be more profitable in the end.
     
  11. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    To help the English game, that's best done by dumping the EDF rubbish altogether, forgetting about the playoffs and increasing the league to 14 sides, keeping relegation.

    Making the GP the min focus for the media will improve the game for the long run, not making it the low budget side show to the crap we're currently seeing at Twickenham; Imagine if the FA made football Premiership matches "that boring stuff" comp[ared to England playing; The game would die straight away.
     
  12. Tony1974

    Tony1974 Guest


    I agree, the EDF is a total waste of time. It adds nothing, I was at a Wasps v's Irish EDF game a few weeks ago and I saw (other than Dallaglio) no top players. It goes back to the whole Carling cup situation in football. Man Utd never play there best side, rather their U21 side in that comp because it means nothing. If that isn't a reflection of basing everything on cash, as opposed to quality, I don't no what is? I love my club, but if England get their arses kicked every time all it means to me is that the club team I am following is a second rate, bog standard "provincial" side. I may continue to support it, but my son will not.
     
  13. if they really want to, they can keep the EDF cup as a U21 league or some such. But keeping the tournament is just garbage. The GP season needs to also be reduced.
     
  14. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Well I for one actually believe Tony1974 is spot-on wrt central contracts- I also think that`s the way to go. In SA, we`ve had them for a few years now, but the Boks are only contracted for the international window, so the national team coaching staff has precious little say in what happens during the Currie Cup and Super 14, and this is definately to the detriment of the players. A classic example of this was during the S14 semi-final, when the Bulls played a clearly injured Bakkies Botha for 40mins- funnily enough his last rugby for 2006.

    In New Zealand, they have the central contracts issue sorted, the result is that the top All Blacks play only approx. 28 matches per year. Not surprising that they are always fresh, and always the best of the SH tourers during November. I read somewhere that with international and club commitments, the top English players are playing approx. 40 games per year- a ridiculous situation, and one where a scenario of 17 out of the elite group of 40 identified for the AI`s are injured is quite likely.

    Also fully endorse the view that rugby is in danger of going the football route where clubs takes precedence over country all too often- how many utterly meaningless "friendly" football matches are there every year?

    A player strike might just be bit drastic, but the issue of club vs. country MUST be sorted 1st before England will make any progress again. Eng won the RWC with Clive Woodward having the final call on his top players. I fear that as long as the clubs( or in SA`s case, the provinces) calls the shots, the All Blacks will continue to move forward, while SA and England continue to just make up the numbers.

    Also true, the clubs also have their grassroots supporters- I for one am an avid Western Province supporter, hence the sig. "Mountain Goat for life"' but shouldn`t the clubs/provinces actually be providing the up-and-coming youngsters, and prepare them for the biggest stage of all, ie the Test stage? In countries with huge player bases, like Eng and SA for that matter, the "loss" of internationals to the Test stage should actually be the grooming ground of the new, young talent- in this way, both the club/province and the country can move forward, to the benefit of the great game of Rugby.
     
  15. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    That's all well and good, but if a GP side has a player that's only allowed 28 games per year, (including internationals, so that's a maximum of 10 for their club), they simply won't be employed. Who's going to pay £50,000 or so a year for someone who isn't allowed to play more than half a season?
     
  16. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    If the national union has 1st right of call on the players, and if the players are centrally contracted to the RFU, then obviously the RFU has to foot the bill.

    I hear exactly these same comments from Saffers over here every time I call for central contracts, but at the end of the day, if NZ can get it right, why can`t anyone else?

    By the way, does Eng really play 18 international matches per year? 3 in May in the SH, 5 in the 6 nations, and 3-4 in November- that gives me 11 to 12 per year, leaving 16-17 for the GP season, Heineken Cup etc.

    In SA, if we went with 12 tests, 8 Super games( 6 during the prelims and possibly semi and final), then a player would still be available to the CC competition for half the season. The big money for SARU comes in via our Newscorp deal, thus the tests and the Super 14- keeping those sponsors happy, and using the CCas the breeding ground for future stars, would give the top players sufficient rest, but also provide sufficient revenue to the home union to centrally contract their top players, while at the same time providing a conveyor belt of young talent for the future of the test side.

    Don`t know if this can work in Eng with the HK and GP, but it should by all means be investigated. If it isn`t, you`ll continue to have overworked players not performing optimally on the test scene- Clive Woodward also shares this view, and I reckon he knows a thing or 2 about rugby player management.
     
  17. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Seriously Bok, if you're so famed for being an excellent manager of players, the very LAST person you want on board to do PR for players and be your advisor is Alistair bloody Campbell!

    It'd be like Jake White inviting P W Botha (when he was still alive) to be "motivational guru" for the Springboks.

    I think I make my feelings clear about Sir Clives 'mythical' man management abilities.
     
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