South Africa threatens to quit Super 14

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Fushitsusha, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    So the rumours begin...


    South Africa threatens to quit Super 14
    By Wayne Smith

    February 17, 2009 AUSTRALIA would be well advised to make contingency plans for a trans-Tasman competition also involving Japan to cover the shock withdrawal of South African teams from the Super 14.

    The upper echelons of Australia and New Zealand rugby are buzzing with the rumour that South Africa is negotiating to take its five teams - the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks, Cheetahs and Lions -out of the southern hemisphere competition once the SANZAR broadcast agreement expires next year and put them into the Magners League.

    Former South African Rugby managing director Rian Oberholzer, the man rumoured to be negotiating with the Magners League - the old Celtic League involving 10 major provincial teams from Ireland, Wales and Scotland - told The Australian he had no involvement in such a scheme.

    But even if that is true, there would be little comfort in his denial for Australia and New Zealand. It was Oberholzer who helped negotiate South Africa's entry into an expanded Celtic League contest called the Rainbow Cup back in 2005, the year the SANZAR broadcast deal was signed.

    Australia and New Zealand were kept in the dark about those negotiations, eventually forcing former South African Rugby president Brian van Rooyen to confirm the rumours over the board table at a SANZAR summit.

    The Rainbow Cup fell over without a ball ever being kicked as a result of financial difficulties at the European end, but ever since the two trans-Tasman neighbours have been bracing themselves for another attempt by South Africa to gatecrash the Magners League, the only provincial-based series among the major European competitions.

    Certainly they have been on full alert in recent months with the clock ticking down to the June 30 deadline when SANZAR must present its proposal for an ongoing southern hemisphere competition to its major broadcast partner, News Corporation.

    Every time a broadcast deal draws near, South Africa turns up the volume on its ongoing complaint about how its teams are disadvantaged by all the extra travelling they are forced to do in the Super 14.

    There still would be some long flights involved in getting to Britain but at least they would still be in the same time zone. And of course that's the bottom line. Same time zone means larger television audiences back in South Africa and that converts to more money. The rugby wouldn't be as good but the bottom line would be a whole lot healthier.

    Interestingly, there is no talk whatever of South Africa withdrawing from the Tri-Nations, recognising that SANZAR members have won every World Cup except in 2003. So it would seem that whoever is running South African rugby at the moment - and no one in this part of the world is entirely sure who that is because there seem to be two factions vying for supremacy - isn't entirely driven by money.

    At the moment it is understood all of Australia's energies are being channelled into an expanded 15-team competition to be played out on the "Cadbury" model of a round-and-a-half of full-cream rugby.

    Should the grim economic climate make that unworkable - and SANZAR must be kicking itself that this broadcast deal wasn't scheduled for renegotiation last year - then the plan is to stick with the status quo of a Super 14.

    But it would be madness for Australia and New Zealand not to at least prepare a worst-case scenario plan that takes into account South Africa's withdrawal from Super 14. The most likely replacement would be a trans-Tasman competition also involving Japan.

    From a pure rugby perspective it would make sense to also bring in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa and even Argentina but in hard economic times, that's not likely to happen.

    It goes without saying that any proposal not involving South Africa is going to take a massive dollar hit from the broadcasters. But, ironically, Australia might actually do better out of such a deal than it does from an "all systems go" Super 15. South Africa gobbles up around $8 million of SANZAR's annual $11 million transport and accommodation budget.

    What's more, although the three SANZAR partners share an equal one-third of costs, Australia is allocated only a quarter of the income. South Africa, which also diverts 95 per cent of SuperSport's television money flow to the sport directly into its own coffers, takes the lion's share of the SANZAR spoils. And rumour has it that it wants more, a 45 per cent cut of the pie.

    So there might very well be an element of "good riddance" if South Africa does decide to redirect its Lions, Cheetahs, Bulls, Sharks and Stormers elsewhere.

    One thing is certain. There will be some fairly blunt exchanges at the next SANZAR board meeting in Dubai on March 4.
     
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  3. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    I'd be surpirsed if this one worked out in all honesty. It would take away from the heineken cup as a soley european competition but I don't think that'll cause that many problems. logistics are probably the main stumbling blocks - it's a hell of a long way for fans to go, expensive too. I'd be worried if I were involved with the Italian proposals I mean surely bringing SA into it is going to be more tempting to celtic rugby than Italian teams that will struggle at least for the first few years and bringing both parties in would no doubt overpack the system. But then again its all hypothetical
     
  4. dundeesmiffy

    dundeesmiffy Guest

    I think a move to the Magners League would be a bad thing...the travel would be a bit difficult and where would they fit in to the European cup set-up, I suppose they will have to come to some conclusion soon...obviously some people in high places want things changed.
     
  5. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    well i doubt the travel distances would be any bigger an issue than they are if a SA team was to play in new zealand. It's the timezones thats the whole point really, in that sence it would be easier for them to compete in europe
     
  6. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    for it to work you'd need it to be like the format format of the Super 14 so in this case a Super 15, there'd have to be a hefty tv deal and sponsorship to compensate for the loss of 2 home games compared to the ML. Ideally the competition would need to be scheduled so that the away teams travelling to SA play their 2 or 3 matches back to back, while for the 5 SA teams it would be worth their while establishing a training base in the UK or Ireland, they'll always have to do more travelling with at least 3 separate stints over here, with 2,2,3 matches. It could work and I disagree with the statement that the rugby would be poor, with 2 less match days compared to the ML there would be no need to arrange matches during the 6N. Can't see it happening though, just a negotiation tactic by the South Africans to get a bigger slice of the pie with SANZAR.
     
  7. QLD

    QLD Guest

    No offense to SA fans here but I would like SA to go.

    From an Aussie point of view, it would be good for both parties as all matches in Aus/NZ would be in the same timezone for us.
    Less travelling.
    More interest with just two countries playing.
    Would give FTA a better chance of getting rights IMO.

    Doubt its true though.
     
  8. Sti83

    Sti83 Guest

    Despite the timezone differences etc, I've come to like the Super 14 a lot and it would be sad to see our teams withdraw from it.

    Don't know how much of it all is true, but the SA rugby board at least owes it to NZ and AUS to make their future intentions known to them in good time
     
  9. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    My honest opinion? A complete and utter disgrace if it did happen, especially after leading the Italians on for the best part of six months.

    Yes the logistics could work but jet lag or not, a ten hour journey be it by car, train, bus, horse, skiddoo, plane or bike takes it out of you. Utter hypocrisy with all the whinging about "player burnout" going on as how exactly would it benefit the players if they have to face an utter marathon of upping sticks and flying around several extra times a season?!

    This is also reeks of total cynisim. At a time when we should be expanding the game beyond the traditional top eight by bringing Italy into a decent league we're just being incredibly selfish and insular by proposing a bullcrap Bokke/Celtic league mashup and buttering Japan with some crappy franchise packed with ANZAC exiles which will only be watched by..ANZAC exiles.

    You do have to wonder why some of the non-top 8 nations even bother at all these days...
     
  10. One of the dumbest idea ive ever heard. Except for viewing times how is this possinbly a benefit to South African rugby? The jetlag would just destroy the players over a full season.
     
  11. Maccaweeny

    Maccaweeny Guest

    Yeah I agree with everyone, wouldn't be a popular move, it's also something I can't see eventuating in the immediate future. If it did happen, I could see promise in maybe one Japanese team but more attention should be put on the Pacific Islands.
     
  12. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    I didn't think jetlag was possible when flying within the same timezone but there you go. I don't see how the travelling wouldn't be much different to what it is now for the South African teams, bar the travelling across timezones, suppose it depends on the tournament format.
     
  13. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (An Tarbh @ Feb 17 2009, 08:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I wasn't talking about jetlag, I'm talking about overall fatigue when travelling. I used to train it between Aberdeen and London, a seven to eight hour journey even without the hour long tube ride to Epping and it used to absolutely kill me for a day or so in general travel fatigue. Also check out Jeremy Clarkson trying to drive to Scandinavia the long way around in a luxury Mercedes McClaren SLR, the overall journeytime of roughly 18 hours straight driving almost caused an accident due to overall fatigue.

    You see when you travel, your brain has a higher level of activity and stress which while mitigated if you fly first class or travel in the back seat of a luxury car is still much higher than if you were at home in the same country. Over time, that travel stress gradually wears you down and if you are continually travelling for a period of eight hours it just exhausts you. It is even worse for pilots and drivers as they have to concentrate so there is the added stress there.

    EDIT: Pilots (especially helicopter pilots) have their flying hours limited to a recommended maximum for a reason regardless of whether they're flying between time zones or not. Read up on Chickenhawk and the experiences of Royal Navy chopper pilots in the Falklands.
     
  14. C A Iversen

    C A Iversen Guest

    If they go, they go. Seeing those greedy figures posted at the top, makes me realise that if we got rid of them and had a 10 team comp with Japan, financially we'd be a lot better off. If our comp only got small television rights money for a 2 year trial deal, I could only see it skyrocketing after that, as our comp would still be awesome. Especially if Japan managed to buy some good ex-Aus or NZ players and had a 5 or 6 wins. We'd get the asian viewers soaring and loot galore for Aus and NZ.

    Meanwhile South Africa burn themselves out playing a competition that they wouldn't truly have their hearts in, sharing monetary spoils with all of Europe.

    South Africa would be taking a short term financial gain, for long term hardship. Go South Africa, take your money and run.
     
  15. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (C A Iversen @ Feb 17 2009, 09:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    That is pure speculation and you know it. Not once has SANZAR, the ARU or John O'Neill produced any research to back this mistaken belief that if you dump an ANZAC franchise in Tokyo, millions of Japs will flock to see and will make lots of dollar for Australia and New Zealand.

    The Japanese would warm to a team made up of ethnic Japanese if it started scoring wins in the Super 14 but a team mostly made up of exiles? Where is the link to Japan? Where is the evidence to convince the Japanese that this is something more than a mere team there just to entertain the ANZAC ex-pat English teachers living in the ghettos of Tokyo's suburbs? None. Therefore the obvious conclusion is that the Japanese will shun this franchise and continue as they always have and back the corporate team run by the company they work for and their University team.

    This plan to start a Japanese adventure is so full of holes its crazy. And seriously, the ARU and John O'Neill have had some cra-aa-a-a-azy schemes in the last few years. Where is the funding going to come from for this Japanese franchise? Where is the support going to come from? What do Japan's corporations who basically bankroll the entire Japanese Rugby system think about being dumped for what is frankly in their view a foreign, dirty, barbarian XV squatting on what is rightfully their turf?

    The whole thing is stupid. Markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle and Seoul have far better potential than risking a cultural and diplomatic incident by forcing this on the JRFU...
     
  16. QLD

    QLD Guest

    How long would it take to get from Aus/NZ to Japan and HK?
     
  17. C A Iversen

    C A Iversen Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Feb 17 2009, 11:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    That is pure speculation and you know it. Not once has SANZAR, the ARU or John O'Neill produced any research to back this mistaken belief that if you dump an ANZAC franchise in Tokyo, millions of Japs will flock to see and will make lots of dollar for Australia and New Zealand.

    The Japanese would warm to a team made up of ethnic Japanese if it started scoring wins in the Super 14 but a team mostly made up of exiles? Where is the link to Japan? Where is the evidence to convince the Japanese that this is something more than a mere team there just to entertain the ANZAC ex-pat English teachers living in the ghettos of Tokyo's suburbs? None. Therefore the obvious conclusion is that the Japanese will shun this franchise and continue as they always have and back the corporate team run by the company they work for and their University team.

    This plan to start a Japanese adventure is so full of holes its crazy. And seriously, the ARU and John O'Neill have had some cra-aa-a-a-azy schemes in the last few years. Where is the funding going to come from for this Japanese franchise? Where is the support going to come from? What do Japan's corporations who basically bankroll the entire Japanese Rugby system think about being dumped for what is frankly in their view a foreign, dirty, barbarian XV squatting on what is rightfully their turf?

    The whole thing is stupid. Markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle and Seoul have far better potential than risking a cultural and diplomatic incident by forcing this on the JRFU...
    [/b][/quote]

    Yeah my post had some speculation in it, I wasn't reporting anything as fact. I'm seriously surprised at how much of yours was speculation, nearly all of it. Talk about throwing stones from the glass house.

    I love that last bit, cultural and diplomatic incident, HAHAHAHAHAHA, ROFLMAO and LOL! You have to be kidding! Forcing this on the JRFU? Thats the bit that really proves you must be joking. Who's talking about "forcing" any nation, to do anything? How would they even begin to force Japan to take part? These are all ideas, suggestions at this point.

    As for my "loot galore" comment, well that wasn't so clear to be fair to you. I mainly meant that we'd have extra money because South Africa wouldn't be taking so much of the travel budget and such a huge cut of the overall revenue. I never said we'd be taking Japanese money.

    I also loved this bit "What do Japan's corporations who basically bankroll the entire Japanese Rugby system think about being dumped for what is frankly in their view a foreign, dirty, barbarian XV squatting on what is rightfully their turf?" . You are trying to speak as though you know the minds of every Japanese corporation. Outstanding! After all, they may have different corporate sponsors for a Japanese All-Stars side or whatever they may call it. No-one's claiming it'll be the national team for sure.

    I'm honestly at a loss for words now. I'm not trying to win a debate through mockery, I'm just stunned, truly.

    Thats the problem with being a truly great poster, Pete. You just have so much further to fall than the rest of us when you unleash a golden clanger. Is this Brainiac's Finest Hour?
     
  18. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (C A Iversen @ Feb 17 2009, 10:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Riiiight, so Japan's natural skepticism for things that aren't Japan-centric (and this isn't Japan centric) is just speculation? That their preference for home grown alternatives in commerce and culture doesn't mean anything here? Obviously not in this case!

    I'm pointing out that this whole wacky scheme is based on the hope that the Japanese will break the social habit of a lifetime and turn up in their droves after winning a few games.

    Lets just work this out here.

    You say that a Japanese Franchise made up of mostly foreign players would be popular amongst the Japanese after five or six wins and make lots of money. That is speculation.

    I say that based on previous experiences with various products, sports and so on the Japanese will be naturally sceptical and cautious about what they see as a foriegn team. That isn't speculation, that is a statement based on past what has happened before.

    As you can see, there is a difference.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    Yes because I really was trying to insinuate that the ARU are sending the Aussie SAS over to kidnap the JRFU and Corporate heads of Japan and force them to sign against their will. <_<

    This isn't mockery Craig, this is just you looking silly because you don't know what to answer back with so lets just mine LOLCATS for some answers, shall we? I mean..seriously. :rolleyes:

    This is being more or less foisted on the Japanese, people seem to talk about it as though its a done deal and yet we haven't heard not one word from the JRFU, John Kirwan or anyone else about this? We haven't heard anything about what the JRFU are going to get out of this. All we've heard so far is how much money SANZAR and the ARU are going to make out of this and how eager they are to get the ball rolling and how its already sewn up and how they don't seem to give a crap what the Japanese think.

    You may be just simply at a loss for words but I am at a loss for words at how you've just ignored most (if not all) of the glaring issues and holes in this "deal".

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    I'm sorry but why are you trying to be such an utter knob today? I'm totally baffled at what you're trying to say as it doesn't make sense, doesn't seem to convey any kind of point other than a classic Homer Simpson "pfft, maps" moment when he's just about to drive over a cliff and just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid cunningly disguised as..as..as..no it just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid.

    And despite all that, you failed to answer the question. Japan's teams in the TOP LEAGUE are mostly owned and run by the big Corporations. They are corporate teams and have a say in how the game is run in Japan. Thus, what in the hell did you expect me to say then when you take those facts into account?

    I'm basing this on what I've read in various publications and books on people's experiences of Japan as well as other current affairs magazines like The Economist.

    Seriously what has gotten into you today.

    EDIT: I'm going to run away like a coward now as I'm actually at work, nyo ho ho!
     
  19. Woldog

    Woldog Guest

    This is pretty old news actually.
     
  20. C A Iversen

    C A Iversen Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Feb 17 2009, 11:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Riiiight, so Japan's natural skepticism for things that aren't Japan-centric (and this isn't Japan centric) is just speculation? That their preference for home grown alternatives in commerce and culture doesn't mean anything here? Obviously not in this case!

    I'm pointing out that this whole wacky scheme is based on the hope that the Japanese will break the social habit of a lifetime and turn up in their droves after winning a few games.

    Lets just work this out here.

    You say that a Japanese Franchise made up of mostly foreign players would be popular amongst the Japanese after five or six wins and make lots of money. That is speculation.

    I say that based on previous experiences with various products, sports and so on the Japanese will be naturally sceptical and cautious about what they see as a foriegn team. That isn't speculation, that is a statement based on past what has happened before.

    As you can see, there is a difference.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    Yes because I really was trying to insinuate that the ARU are sending the Aussie SAS over to kidnap the JRFU and Corporate heads of Japan and force them to sign against their will. <_<

    This isn't mockery Craig, this is just you looking silly because you don't know what to answer back with so lets just mine LOLCATS for some answers, shall we? I mean..seriously. :rolleyes:

    This is being more or less foisted on the Japanese, people seem to talk about it as though its a done deal and yet we haven't heard not one word from the JRFU, John Kirwan or anyone else about this? We haven't heard anything about what the JRFU are going to get out of this. All we've heard so far is how much money SANZAR and the ARU are going to make out of this and how eager they are to get the ball rolling and how its already sewn up and how they don't seem to give a crap what the Japanese think.

    You may be just simply at a loss for words but I am at a loss for words at how you've just ignored most (if not all) of the glaring issues and holes in this "deal".

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    I'm sorry but why are you trying to be such an utter knob today? I'm totally baffled at what you're trying to say as it doesn't make sense, doesn't seem to convey any kind of point other than a classic Homer Simpson "pfft, maps" moment when he's just about to drive over a cliff and just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid cunningly disguised as..as..as..no it just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid.

    And despite all that, you failed to answer the question. Japan's teams in the TOP LEAGUE are mostly owned and run by the big Corporations. They are corporate teams and have a say in how the game is run in Japan. Thus, what in the hell did you expect me to say then when you take those facts into account?

    I'm basing this on what I've read in various publications and books on people's experiences of Japan as well as other current affairs magazines like The Economist.

    Seriously what has gotten into you today.

    EDIT: I'm going to run away like a coward now as I'm actually at work, nyo ho ho!

    [/b][/quote]

    "Lets just work this out here.

    You say that a Japanese Franchise made up of mostly foreign players would be popular amongst the Japanese after five or six wins and make lots of money. That is speculation."

    I never said that. I suggested a few. Maybe 5 in the whole squad. That help?


    "I'm sorry but why are you trying to be such an utter knob today? I'm totally baffled at what you're trying to say as it doesn't make sense, doesn't seem to convey any kind of point other than a classic Homer Simpson "pfft, maps" moment when he's just about to drive over a cliff and just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid cunningly disguised as..as..as..no it just sounds incredibly pretentious and stupid."

    That's your viewpoint and I can live with it. You decided to counter my 2c viewpoint with a bluntly opposing (in my personal opinion) view, so I responded.


    "And despite all that, you failed to answer the question. Japan's teams in the TOP LEAGUE are mostly owned and run by the big Corporations. They are corporate teams and have a say in how the game is run in Japan. Thus, what in the hell did you expect me to say then when you take those facts into account?"

    Oh I dunno, whatever you like. It's your perspective. Maybe that this could be another corporate team, sponsored, owned, run (whatever you like), by any corporations in Japan willing to put pen to paper. Our NZ side was in the Australian Soccer League a few years back, but it wasn't our true international team.


    "I'm basing this on what I've read in various publications and books on people's experiences of Japan as well as other current affairs magazines like The Economist.

    Seriously what has gotten into you today."

    I just felt like saying what I really felt for a change, like you do most of the time. It was probably a bit over the top, but I just get sick of the modern style of people arguing against my point of view. Quite often the style nowadays is for people to take what I've said or written and then say "So your saying this........", and then add whatever they want to twist my words to.

    It's really not fair and being fair has never got me very far to be perfectly honest. Perceived crushing intellectualism has done a lot for you (just the way I see it) on the forum and at the end of the day a large part of anyone's contribution on here is their own opinion and one shouldn't feel bullied into not saying what they want to because a Head coach reads The Economist (a joke).

    I think your a fantastic bloke and I've no doubt that your a smart fella, I just think that the difference between us is that I'm not always going to be right about things. I retract the tone of my earlier post, but not the incredulous disbelief in your interpretation of my words.

    Hey, I just hope you feel the same way that I do on this point. A strong disagreement can make for an interesting thread read, as long as a theres still a degree of civility.
     
  21. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (C A Iversen @ Feb 17 2009, 12:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    Thats perfectly fine but I do find it hard to reconcile that with the tone of the reply. In my view it is like saying to Zanzibar "its fine, you can do what you want because its a free world" before letting rip with the biggest cannon.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    See my above quote. As for crushing intellectualism, I don't think I have that at all. I do try to be crushing though and having a big beard while reading Monocle magazine definitely helps. I do try and remain civil and keep away from the personal broadsides.

    Try to anyway.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
    Ditto. Hey, when you're bored and you notice something wrong with the internet, you simply can't stand by and watch things happen. Nip & tuck, way of the Wolf..
     
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