- By Kevin McCarthy
The fiasco of the European Super League should send a shiver down your spine.
Touted by some as a victory for fan power, it’s likely to be the sort of victory in a zombie film where the last ghoul is slain, but you realise there’s still 15 minutes running time.
I loved the guy outside an English club holding his cardboard sign that read Football is not a Business. I presumed he had not been in a coma ward for the past 40 years, which left you wondering exactly what he thought was NOT business when it came to football.
So, this coming week we have the Silver Lake deal being voted on by the NZR. $460 million dollars for 15 per cent stake is supposedly the deal but those are just numbers. The devil is not so much in the detail, as quite possibly in the deal itself. As in, is this the selling of the soul of the game.
Almost up there with the cardboard-sign-holding-former-coma-patient was this week’s worries that the All Blacks may be forced to play more often and in meaningless games. Which let’s face it is WHAT HAPPENS NOW.
I suppose a seven-game Bledisloe series will take the excitement to the next degree, as well as playing Ireland wherever pockets of the Irish diaspora are most common. Who knows, Saudi Arabia is always keen for overseas help in its handwashing programme.
You often hear the phrase that the All Blacks are right up there with Manchester United as a global brand. Well, in brand recognition, perhaps – although in a sport of much smaller global reach
Yet if that were really so, and the NZR knew how to unlock that potential, we probably wouldn’t be doing deals with venture capital firms. The latter pretty much have a short-term time frame in which they look to improve the value of their asset stake, and then sell it on at a profit.
Best way to do that is to identify an under-valued or under-developed asset. Which means Silver Lake will back themselves to develop that asset, i.e. the All Blacks. Now that may be terrible for rugby or it could actually be good, bringing in expertise and knowledge that quite frankly we don’t have.
In short, this is going to be a momentous week for New Zealand Rugby. When the decision is made and the deal done, or not, then it would be nice for fans and the game if we have a clearer picture.
Otherwise start setting aside some spare cardboard and a water-resistant marker pen.
Dunno about you but I tend to tune out when the latest Star XXX to sign wth NRL, or AFL, or the Karori Bowls Club (there isn’t one) story comes out. As we know, the leaks are usually from very vested parties in the middle of or approaching negotiations.
All that matters is whether they do a deal or not in the end. All the rest is hot air.
What you can do is still enjoy the rest of the season. Starting with those pesky Chiefs tonight.
I feel since we gifted them the win a few rounds back that reignited their season, then we need to cruelly crush their aspirations tonight in Hamilton.
I’d say let them blow out to a four try advantage, then release the Kraken and come thundering home in the dying minutes. Sounds good to me, and possibly plausible.