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The World Cup goes ahead


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27 minutes ago, Damien said:

How much of this funding has been provided by the Australian Government? I certainly know an awful lot of work in Fiji and PNG has been due to that funding.

To answer my own question, in Fiji:

The Australian Government have also included funding support for an elite-level rugby league team in Fiji to compete in the NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said sport has been a longstanding element of Australia's engagement in the Pacific.

"These announcements are part of the Australian Government's commitment to the Australia-Pacific Sports Linkages Program which will deliver $40 million in grants over five years to support the development of sport throughout the Pacific," Minister Payne said.

"Sport has been a longstanding element of our engagement in the Pacific. This new program recognises the role and reach of sport as a major connection between Pacific and Australian people and communities."

https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/01/18/nrl-teams-to-play-trial-matches-in-pacific-nations/

 

In PNG:

Rugby League in Schools program, together with the SP PNG Hunters, will undergo the Australian NRL’s Level 1 Coaching course this Thursday and Friday at Bomana Police College, which will include the entire Hunters squad.

Up to 50,000 students from 80 schools will participate in the ‘Rugby League in Schools program, which is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the Australian NRL, over the next three years. The program targets girls and boys of all abilities and uses a range of in classroom and on field rugby league and related activities to improve the quality of education. The program also focuses on teacher training and increasing the capacity of the PNGRFL to deliver school based rugby league programs.

https://png.embassy.gov.au/pmsb/214.html

And again:

The League Bilong Laif program is expanding into a fourth region of Papua New Guinea, commencing its school-based rugby league activities in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville this month.

League Bilong Laif uses rugby league as a tool to support education outcomes. It is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the National Rugby League (Australia) in partnership with the PNG National Department of Education and Bougainville’s Department of Education.

https://png.embassy.gov.au/pmsb/449.html

And the NRL strategy:

The NRL is seeking tens of millions of dollars in federal government funding to introduce rugby league into schools throughout the Pacific Islands with a view to becoming the No.1 sport in the region.

..

The participation of the Kaiviti Silktails, financed primarily by the Australian federal government

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/having-beaten-covid-19-nrl-sets-its-sights-on-conquering-the-pacific-20210227-p576d3.html

This is all great and if the sport can get others to fund it then even better. However the Australian Government has there own strong reasons for doing this, without wanting to get political, and a lot of this work simply wouldn't be happening without their funding.

Edited by Damien
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The Australian Government does help fund these programs, however they don't fund the programs end to end.   Using the PNG Hunters as an example, DFAT provides the Hunters over AUD300K per year for the club to operate, the NRL provides the Hunters a grant of AUD400K per year.   They have provided of AUD200K to the Silktails in 2021.

The Pacific Tests double & triple headers cost over a million dollars each year to run.  

Of the Pacific programs, the DFAT funding is exclusively for programs.  The staff in the countries are funded by the NRL.  The NRL also funds the staff that negotiate these deals, they don't just happen because DFAT likes Rugby League.

The NRL lists in their Financial Report that the NZRL, NSWRL & QRL get $46m a year.  Now the NSWRL & QRL get $20m each of that (which you can see in their respective Annual Reports), leaving $5-6m for the NZRL. 

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16 minutes ago, Yakstorm said:

leaving $5-6m for the NZRL. 

According to the NZRL's annual report they only got $4.2m in sponsorship and funding so I don't see how that's true. In 2019 it was less than $4 million. These figures obviously include other sponsorship funding sources too.

Isn't the current NZ TV deal $20 million a year with the new one rumoured to be double that?

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15 hours ago, Damien said:

The answer is simple, just put the NRL season back 2 weeks or more next season, they have plenty of time to do that. They always take the year off internationals following a World Cup anyhow so pushing it back should make no difference at all.  As with every problem the NRL create there are simple solutions but the NRL just aren't interested in them. They just want to create obstacles.

Taking aside the will they, won’t they part of the argument, the reason why the NRL season will not be pushed back two weeks is because the final always falls on the NSW October long weekend. It is simply a matter of gaining the most eyeballs and $$$ from the season ending fixture.

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6 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Taking aside the will they, won’t they part of the argument, the reason why the NRL season will not be pushed back two weeks is because the final always falls on the NSW October long weekend. It is simply a matter of gaining the most eyeballs and $$$ from the season ending fixture.

It's the final. I find it hard to believe that less people would watch because its not a long weekend.

This again though comes down to where there is a will there is a way. The FIFA World cup is being played at a completely different time of year than ever before and disrupting countless domestic competitions with far more money at stake than the NRL can even dream of. Yet people are seriously suggesting the NRL can't push back their season by 2 weeks. When people constantly just look for obstacles rather than solutions it shows where the priorities lie.

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Just now, Damien said:

It's the final. I find it hard to believe that less people would watch because its not a long weekend.

This again though comes down to where there is a will there is a way. The FIFA World cup is being played at a completely different time of year than ever before and disrupting countless domestic competitions with far more money at stake than the NRL can even dream of. Yet people are seriously suggesting the NRL can't push back their season by 2 weeks. When people constantly just look for obstacles rather than solutions it shows where the priorities lie.

I’m just giving you a reason why it won’t be moved. There are bye weekends which could be abolished, sure. I was just answering the question.

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Taking on board the International game is pivotal for the growth of the game, I actually agree with @The Great Dane. I fail to see huge correlation in international sport increasing consumption of local domestic product. 

What would be far more helpful to grow the sport in the UK would be to remove the paywall that the sport of RL predominantly sits behind. Odd weekend’s of CCup fixtures will not cut it. The accessibility of club RL in the UK is frankly shameful for a body like the RFL that sprouts interest in expansion and growth.

You want little Johnny to get interested in RL, give him accessible, weekly servings or more of the top domestic product.

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5 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

I fail to see huge correlation in international sport increasing consumption of local domestic product. 

 

In that case there`s literally no point trying to explain it to you.

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13 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

I’m just giving you a reason why it won’t be moved. There are bye weekends which could be abolished, sure. I was just answering the question.

I see that, I just think it's a very lame reason.

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2 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I’m just giving you a reason why it won’t be moved. There are bye weekends which could be abolished, sure. I was just answering the question.

Shame on Australia! 

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I love the NRL as a comp but it's lack of respect for international RL is and has been a huge concern for a long time. I was quite pleased earlier this year when rumours surfaced the NRL could be taking an interest in SL - from a commercial/broadcasting stance it's pretty impressive the revenue they now generate, which is everything SL lacks. But, the fact they don't seem to grasp the importance of international RL shows just how insular their success has made them. They may well be looking over at long term rivals the AFL and thinking those guys get on pretty well without the need for an international scene - who knows? Either way, it's not really controversial to say the international game could really be on a knife edge, long term, if the Aussie/NRL players don't turn up. Whilst i'm sure the big wigs in Sydney won't lose too much sleep just now - if in 8, 12 years time their comp starts to decline you won't find too many outside QLD & NSW with any help or sympathy on offer. 

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6 hours ago, Dave T said:

Why do you think there is no harm in delaying this? Millions and millions of pounds have been pumped into the World Cup.

This isnt an Aussie World Cup which consists of just opening a few grounds and seeing if people bother coming.

This this this and this a bit more…

The scale of this WC is on another level in terms of funding; and pretty much looks in terms of sponsorship as well. The players will be on chartered flights and no doubt be in bubbles is lovely hotels with great facilities; we’ll probably have them vaccinated as well. As long as the infection rates over here don’t stop crowds attending, there are no real reasons for this competition not to take place. 

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10 hours ago, Damien said:

Yeah right 😂

So how much do you think it costs then?

Remember you have accommodation and insurance for every player taking the field (102 players), travel for a significant portion (PNG players were predominantly based in Port Moresby in previous years, and players from the UK have flown back to take part and in 2019 one of the matches was played in Auckland), daily allowances for players in camp as per RLPA agreements, match officials fees, venue hire, marketing, fee to the IRL, etc.

Sure the NRL makes up some of these costs in ticket sales, corporate hospitality, government grants, TV rights, etc, but the upfront costs are still around the million mark.

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9 hours ago, dkw said:

In that case there`s literally no point trying to explain it to you.

Not without a compelling reason it isn’t, no. Albeit, my previous post did give a pretty good account for difference in mentality of the general public of Aus and UK and the impact that the COVID experiences of each nation will have on the opinion of safety and logic of competing in sport. Not to mention the strenuous bubble that RL players have been predominantly living in for the last 16 months.

The success and size of domestic soccer in England isn’t because of the international game. Nor can it be said for any of the top four domestic sports in the US. Success in the NRL, AFL is neither down to international competition.

Similarly, club rugby in NZ, Wales or Scotland hasn’t exactly been set alight by the hordes of interest in the international game. You may be able to draw a loose parallel to Ireland and England.

I can’t think of one successful domestic cricket league that is reliant upon the strength of the international game. They are successful in their own right. 

The WC will be a great event, hopefully it gets to be a great one this year. Those arguing that the show must go ahead now on the basis the WC to be the dawn of a new age for domestic RL success in UK are very wide of the mark. I have no faith in the RFL sustaining any short uplift in RL interest, because there is no track record of the RFL doing so, even in times when the organisation was (at a guess) four times larger than it is today.

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5 minutes ago, Yakstorm said:

So how much do you think it costs then?

Remember you have accommodation and insurance for every player taking the field (102 players), travel for a significant portion (PNG players were predominantly based in Port Moresby in previous years, and players from the UK have flown back to take part and in 2019 one of the matches was played in Auckland), daily allowances for players in camp as per RLPA agreements, match officials fees, venue hire, marketing, fee to the IRL, etc.

Sure the NRL makes up some of these costs in ticket sales, corporate hospitality, government grants, TV rights, etc, but the upfront costs are still around the million mark.

You said they cost over over a million dollars each year to run. That indicates that is after all income and that they lose over a million dollars each year, anything else just makes it a completely meaningless statement. Now you are trying to move the goalposts.

You can fall hook, line and sinker for what the NRL use in its calculations to give its press releases but forgive me for wanting a little more substance. Obviously you have no idea and are just plucking figures from thin air. As is the NRL sells this as part of their TV rights, have almost 20k in attendance, have NRL branding all over it for free, plus corporate sales and sponsorship. All the while the players involved get paid little with the vast majority based in Australia. Its pretty easy for the NRL to make out you are losing money on something by being selective about what they use in their calculations and that they are making up the shortfall out of the goodness of their hearts.

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The point about international sport is it gives automatic buy-in to anyone watching it.

Club cricket is reasonably popular but it pales into insignificance compared to England playing Test and limited overs matches.

Why? Because we all buy into this political construct called England. We are all English and we all want England to succeed because when the national team wins it makes us feel good - and the people around us feel good - to be English.

This is particularly so when England beats a historic rival - this is linked to our nation’s centuries of conflict with other nations. It’s deep in the English psyche - something that perhaps isn’t so prominent in Australia, which is a younger, more isolated nation.

The English’s love of international sport means England vs Australia will always attracts more eyeballs than club/county games - be it Yorkshire vs Middlesex, Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins or, indeed, Castleford vs St Helens.

Now, I’m not saying the RLWC will turn everyone in England into a rugby league fan, but what it will do - backed by all 61 games being on the national broadcaster - is attract new followers (and players, and hopefully sponsors), some of who will pick Castleford and others St Helens. That in turn gives a financial boost to the sport, something which is sorely needed right now.

Ultimately, because of that automatic buy-in, international sport reaches parts the club game cannot. That’s why this World Cup is so important to British rugby league. 

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2 hours ago, Jim from Oz said:

That was a good read, I totally get the commercial considerations from an organising committee perspective.

My only thing is if the tournament goes ahead, it will likely do do featuring a watered down Australian team made up of volunteer players, while teams from NZ and the pacific nations will be so watered-down they will be near uncompetitive.

I think the one positive out of this is England will be unbackable favourites to win the tournament. But assuming they win, their win will hold limited credibility due to no other real contenders. It will be a 'clayton's world cup'. 

It may still draw a good crowd and be financially succesful, but it won't really be a World Cup - more of a glorified European championships. 

 

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