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Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 18:54

First things first - especially for opposition supporters looking at this.

What I say now is in no way "shifting the blame for our cheating". That is entirely down to the management and board at the club, and the fine/relegation are fully deserved. Right or wrong, we can't be stripped of trophies, but there's no question that there's a case to be made for an asterisk against them in the records showing that we were in breach of the financial regulations at the time.

For that reason alone, I respectfully ask visitors to keep this thread on topic - we don't need telling for the hundredth time what we've done, or what individuals feel should have been a more suitable punishment. Serious contributions to a serious question are, of course more than welcome.

OK - the point of the thread title.

PRL was established as a stand-alone competition for a number of rugby clubs - some historically elite, some with financial backing from wealthy individuals - with the agreement and endorsement of the RFU.

With the exception of some financial agreements regarding certain payments, that was the limit of their involvement so far as I know. The management, oversight and governance was left in the hands of the respective club chairmen - an "old boys club" in all but name. Well meaning amateurs, but ultimately all with a conflict of interest (namely their own club versus the wider game.)

They stumbled along without major calamity until four or 5 years ago when SC breaches first raised its head as a serious issue. What happened? Secret investigation, secret evidence, secret settlement, confidential agreement which a few of the clubs quickly decided weren't that important. "Wasn't us guv". Nobody was happy, and the legitimate questions didn't go away.

Five years later, here we are. It looks like we spent the next 5 years still cheating which raises several questions. Why were we not seriously investigated sooner? In hindsight, why did the other clubs accept a settlement - were they playing fast & loose and keen to see the issue go away? Why did PRL not look to get some independent people involved in the governance of the organisation?

Now, I'll say it again - this isn't about Saracens punishment, it's fully deserved. It's about the way it's been handled.

Again secret evidence, secret investigation and secret report - the results of which were held back during the WC so the press. pundits, fans and Uncle Tom Cobbley & all could leak & speculate at will. Result is finally made public - big fine and points deduction, followed immediately by Owen Slot revealing that there's more to come.

Then followed by more speculation with added spite and bile. It's hard to take - but equally hard to blame anyone spitting it either. My point is, why are they in a position to do so? Answer - the incompetent, frankly shambolic handling of the situation.

Ultimatums from rival Chairmen? Let's see your books or take relegation? Well, what happens when they've seen our books? Who leaks first? Relegation now having given Wuss a towelling chasing a BP - but now nothing at stake for us but possible Euro qualification for opponents ?

Talk about looking like making it up as we go. If it wasn't so tragic it would be funny. It isn't funny, but PRL are a laughing stock as an organisation running an elite competition. They couldn't run a bloody bath.

Hence my question. Is there a case for the sport's governing body to step in and actually get involved with the governance of elite rugby in England? I don't necessarily mean taking over - but insistence on being an independent presence, an overhaul of the rules and regulations, the oversight of club accounts, and not only take this mess by the scruff of the neck - but clean it up and ensure that it stays clean

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: plzd (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 18:58

Quote:
JL904
First things first - especially for opposition supporters looking at this.
What I say now is in no way "shifting the blame for our cheating". That is entirely down to the management and board at the club, and the fine/relegation are fully deserved. Right or wrong, we can't be stripped of trophies, but there's no question that there's a case to be made for an asterisk against them in the records showing that we were in breach of the financial regulations at the time.

For that reason alone, I respectfully ask visitors to keep this thread on topic - we don't need telling for the hundredth time what we've done, or what individuals feel should have been a more suitable punishment. Serious contributions to a serious question are, of course more than welcome.

OK - the point of the thread title.

PRL was established as a stand-alone competition for a number of rugby clubs - some historically elite, some with financial backing from wealthy individuals - with the agreement and endorsement of the RFU.

With the exception of some financial agreements regarding certain payments, that was the limit of their involvement so far as I know. The management, oversight and governance was left in the hands of the respective club chairmen - an "old boys club" in all but name. Well meaning amateurs, but ultimately all with a conflict of interest (namely their own club versus the wider game.)

They stumbled along without major calamity until four or 5 years ago when SC breaches first raised its head as a serious issue. What happened? Secret investigation, secret evidence, secret settlement, confidential agreement which a few of the clubs quickly decided weren't that important. "Wasn't us guv". Nobody was happy, and the legitimate questions didn't go away.

Five years later, here we are. It looks like we spent the next 5 years still cheating which raises several questions. Why were we not seriously investigated sooner? In hindsight, why did the other clubs accept a settlement - were they playing fast & loose and keen to see the issue go away? Why did PRL not look to get some independent people involved in the governance of the organisation?

Now, I'll say it again - this isn't about Saracens punishment, it's fully deserved. It's about the way it's been handled.

Again secret evidence, secret investigation and secret report - the results of which were held back during the WC so the press. pundits, fans and Uncle Tom Cobbley & all could leak & speculate at will. Result is finally made public - big fine and points deduction, followed immediately by Owen Slot revealing that there's more to come.

Then followed by more speculation with added spite and bile. It's hard to take - but equally hard to blame anyone spitting it either. My point is, why are they in a position to do so? Answer - the incompetent, frankly shambolic handling of the situation.

Ultimatums from rival Chairmen? Let's see your books or take relegation? Well, what happens when they've seen our books? Who leaks first? Relegation now having given Wuss a towelling chasing a BP - but now nothing at stake for us but possible Euro qualification for opponents ?

Talk about looking like making it up as we go. If it wasn't so tragic it would be funny. It isn't funny, but PRL are a laughing stock as an organisation running an elite competition. They couldn't run a bloody bath.

Hence my question. Is there a case for the sport's governing body to step in and actually get involved with the governance of elite rugby in England? I don't necessarily mean taking over - but insistence on being an independent presence, an overhaul of the rules and regulations, the oversight of club accounts, and not only take this mess by the scruff of the neck - but clean it up and ensure that it stays clean
. No it was nothing to do with accounts
U cheated. Other club do not need the league to look at the account they don't cheat

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: 1876-Fez (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:02

4 mins and they start all the repetition again!!



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Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: maynas (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:04

I think you have a good point , though Iím not that sure the RFU are much better!. Sarries management are idiots and I now hate them and what they have done to us Sarries fans and players and hope they are all sacked or kicked out of the game, but the system isnít great either. Who, having seen how many years this has seemingly gone on for ,unchecked or ignored ,would be happy in leaving the future of the game in the hands of PRL? I suspect none here but also possibly not many at other clubs either. Iím sure other clubs are happy with the result but its taken years, and only stuttered there this year . Our sport deserves better.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: maynas (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:10

Oh and this guy plzd is smearing the same vitriol over every thread on here, so not only seems short of a life and an ability to use punctuation but doesn't have the wit to realize how stupid he really looks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/01/2020 19:13 by maynas.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:23

Quote:
maynas
Oh and this guy plzd is smearing the same vitriol over every thread on here, so not only seems short of a life and an ability to use punctuation but doesn't have the wit to realize how stupid he really looks.

Obviously has learning difficulties.

Seems not to understand the bold and underlined paragraphs.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Banzai1314 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:23

Brilliant response from plzd - he does all his own PR !

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:25

Quote:
plzd
Quote:
maynas
I think you have a good point , though Iím not that sure the RFU are much better!. Sarries management are idiots and I now hate them and what they have done to us Sarries fans and players and hope they are all sacked or kicked out of the game, but the system isnít great either. Who, having seen how many years this has seemingly gone on for ,unchecked or ignored ,would be happy in leaving the future of the game in the hands of PRL? I suspect none here but also possibly not many at other clubs either. Iím sure other clubs are happy with the result but its taken years, and only stuttered there this year . Our sport deserves better.
rubbish i own my own company i do not pay money into a shell company for my employees i know where my money goes no other club has paid money inro some companies account the only club who have done this is sarries rather than expect every club to pay for some private accountant just do don't pay money into a shell company how easy is it

You are Nigel Wray and I claim my £5

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Westy68 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 19:30

I think you are totally right, the way the PL has conducted itself shameful.

For years many supporters were saying how can Sarries be below the cap and the PL did nothing about it. Maybe they believed NW, which is just silly.

The PL really need to get they house in order to make sure this doesnít happen again, a 2nd time around by any club will not be acceptable.

This is a professional sport and the PL need to stop acting like amateurs.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Exiled Falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 20:14

Can the RFU do anything as such, is it not like in football where we have the FA and Football League where the FA (no comments please!) canít intervene in the league system? I may be wrong ofcouse, wonít be the first time.

Agree that PRL arenít really fit for purpose, for one thing English rugbyís top flight should never have been allowed get to a stage where it is so debt ridden.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: wolfgangvonb77 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 20:23

+1

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: gladiator923 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 20:26

I couldnít agree more with the OP

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Duncan96 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 20:47

From a very brief look around the world it looks as if leagues are usually run by the club owners who appoint some type of CEO. E.g. the football premier league, and the US NFL. Presumably they all feel this is better than being run by sports administrators like the FA and RFU who have hardly covered themselves in glory.

Arenít the lessons to learn that a: when you have a salary cap it must be policed in a competent way, and
b: if you have disciplinary rules then donít go making up new ones on the hoof in private?

In Australian Rugby League they employ 5 full time people whoís job is to seek out breaches. They have the power to eg turn up at owner/directorís houses and interrogate private computers. That would have nipped this problem in the bud years ago. Compare that to the time this has all taken despite everyone apparently knowing about it for years.

And if you are going to meter out justice it must always be open and be seen to be fair. The way this has been handled on all sides is neither of those.

PS: Great opening post. What a shame it doesnít seem possible to have a discussion here without having to emphasise that we arenít denying or excusing anything, and then when you go out of your way to do that, the small minded have to but in with their boring repetitions.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: NickL (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 21:03

While the RFU's organisational abilities have sometimes left a bit to be desired, not least when they were asleep at the wheel while the game went professional, they can't be any worse than PRL can they?

Without excusing anything Saracens have done, the salary cap manager has clearly been incompetent if it has been going on for three years, and it's amazing that they haven't been relieved of their role. There's a worrying sense of PRL making up the rules as they go along in response to media coverage. All the secrecy and non-disclosure agreements just make it worse. Let's have the full report and see just how deep the rot has gone so it can be cut out and doesn't happen again at any club. A group of club chairmen running the top level of the English game lacks sufficient independence and impartiality - I'm not going to argue Saracens wouldn't deserve it, but the temptation for other club owners to eliminate an irritating rival permanently by scrapping relegation and ringfencing the league with them outside it must be great.

Rugby is not football - the relative importance of the club and international games is very different. The conflict between the interests of the England team and the clubs when it comes to limits on playing time and the length of the season doesn't seem to be getting any better. After "ruining" the European Cup in the opinion of many in the Celtic nations, now PRL are putting Lions tours at risk by stretching the season further into the summer. Maybe it's time they were stopped.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: KT8Sarrie (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 21:17

ď Obviously has learning difficulties.

Seems not to understand the bold and underlined paragraphs.Ē

Just a point of order. I work in a state secondary school and support students with learning difficulties, please do not disparage them, they would all pretty much understand the importance of bold and underlined words in the text they have been given.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Marlow Nick (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 22:09

JL904
Good points well said.
I believe the chairmen are too hands-on, preferring confidential deals in metaphoric smoke filled rooms over a transparent, independently managed process. They should agree the high level objectives then step back and leave it to the managers to manage.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 22:13

@ KT8

Fair point, but my post wasn't intended to disparage your students - it was specifically aimed at the person who did manage to misunderstand my bold and underlined text.

Forgive me, no offence meant to you at all.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: siNBin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 22:31

JL904 - I think your suggestion is quite interesting. However, will CVC allow anyone else to intervene? They have invested a huge sum in this and I cant see them passing any control to anyone else. They are one of the most prestigious PE houses with an enviable track record (F1!). I think that allowing the RFU to intervene would be seen negatively by them.

I have been mulling the CVC position over in my mind during the last few weeks and wondering what their strategy is in this. Are they just "cleaning the brand" or does this create an extra opportunity for them to consolidate their position?

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: BlackheathSarrie (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 22:51

100% the Premiership should be run by and "policed" by and independent body, answerable only to itself, not the shareholders, and acting in the best interests of rugby. Will it happen? no.

Re: Time for the RFU to get a grip on Elite Rugby?
Posted by: Trawling (IP Logged)
Date: 19 January, 2020 23:27

I have read the original post and noted the content in bold type but what it really says is: 'shouldn't someone have saved us from ourselves' or possibly 'if we realised people really meant it when they said don't cheat we would have taken it more seriously'. Possibly both accurate but not particularly admirable and notable for the timing of your post.

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