Some positive signs for International Rugby League.
The RLIF has long been the poor cousin of FIFA, IRB (now known as World Rugby apparently), ICC and many other major worldwide administrative sporting bodies and International Rugby League has been the poorer for it. In a way it is a classic chicken and egg argument. If International Rugby League was in a better state then perhaps the international body administering the code could afford to be a bigger, more effective organisation. Conversely, if the RLIF was a bigger, more effective organisation perhaps International Rugby League would be in a better state. It goes round and round. Before I look at some of the recent positive signs (remembering the RLIF is almost working from a zero base) let’s look at the competition from a financial perspective at least.
The Finances of the Competition
FIFAs financial report is fascinating reading (if you are a nerd I guess). Making proper allowance for the fact that 2014 was a World Cup year (which is obviously its most lucrative competition) its key financial figures were as follows:
Revenue – $USD 2,096,000,000
Expenses – $USD 1,955,000,000
Profit – $USD 141,000,000
Reserves – $USD 1,523,000,000
Assets – $USD 2,932,000,000
BTW these figures are mind blowing in their enormity. You can buy a lot of kebabs for 1.523 billion dollars in cash.
These figures are skewed as the Rugby World Cup occurs later in the year but its 2014 Financial Report, which includes financial figures as at 31 December 2013, reads as follows:
Revenue – £6,652,982
Tournament related expenses – £11,223,691
Grant related expenses – £22,674,289
Administration expenses – £21,354,257
Other income – £2,074,439
Other gains – £1,406,225
Loss for the year – £45,155,571
Retained earnings – £77,287,502
Assets – £141,885,959
Obviously these figures would be upwardly adjusted if converted to USD and their 2016 financial report will look best of all post-World Cup. Like most international sporting bodies the World Cup is the big money spinner and funds are then distributed across a 4 year budget cycle.
The ICC also has a pretty impressive 2014 financial report (once again for FY ending 31 December 2013) as follows:
Revenue from ICC Events – $USD 110,927,000
Cost of ICC Events – $USD 33,383,000
General and Administrative Expenses – $USD 27,886,000
Total Profit – $USD 63,511,000
Reserves plus surplus – $USD 97,860,000
Assets – $USD 198,050,000
The Finances of the RLIF
The financials of the RLIF reveal the disparity between it and the other major international players. Firstly, the latest Annual Report relates to the FY ending 31 October 2012, which tells a story in itself. Financials are as follows:
Revenue – $AUD 164,265
Salary Related Expenses – $AUD 181,136
Development Grants – $AUD 680,104
Travel Expenses – $AUD 31,761
Loss on Foreign Exchange – $AUD 7,173
Other Expenses – $AUD 249,770
Loss for the year – $AUD 110,145
Retained profits – $AUD 1,663,511
Assets – $AUD 2,936,227
So little bikkies really.
What are the rumblings?
I should first mention that the game was facing the prospect of disappearing completely from an international perspective. Ground zero was reinstitution of the Tri-Nations Tournament (now the Four Nations) on the urging of Wayne Bennett after Australia dominated the game into oblivion. Everything has been looking up since then.
I’ve mentioned in a number of previous posts (here, here, here and also here) some ideas regarding improving the game. Some have since been implemented (stand alone representative weekend) and New Zealand won another competition (that makes 2005, 2008, 2010 and now 2014) so they aren’t going away in a hurry.
There are 2 really positive signs. The appointment of a non-Australian to the position of Chairman of the RLIF (former RFL and Super League CEO Nigel Wood) last year was the first. Currently, the NRL is the premier competition in the World and State of Origin is arguably better than anything internationally, although a good Australia vs New Zealand game is close. Australians sitting on the RLIF Board are generally going to have an Australian-centric focus and I don’t think that is a good thing, not from an international perspective at least. They will always be looking through State of Origin tinted glasses. Making the Chairman a non-Australian will hopefully bring a broader international focus to the game.
The other positive sign is the appointment of a CEO to run the shop day to day. The RLIF has never had a full-time chief executive. David Collier was at one time, the Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board. He has also held positions with the ICC and the International Hockey Federation. His appointment is long overdue. Having a Chief Executive brings a year long focus for the RLIF that has been missing in the past. Any extra resources the RLIF can give their Chief Executive will help as well.
Perhaps the upward trend of International Rugby League can continue…
What was sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- Cricket World Cup knockout rounds. No real contests in the quarters but still good to see top class Cricket.
- New Zealand vs South Africa. Both teams were nervy but that was a classic for the ages. There wasn’t much in it but Grant Elliott was the difference in the end. With games like this it is a shame there has to be a loser.
- Video Refs. They have a tough job and not everyone will be happy with their decisions but the Video Refs adjudicating the Gagai try in the Titans vs Knights game and the Watene-Zelezniak try in the Roosters vs Panthers game just looked like they were overthinking things.
- The Cows. Not looking good. Hoping they turn it around soon.
Bill James Award
For the statistically superior NRL human being.
Tohu Harris – Tries – 2, Run Metres – 140m, Try Assists – 0, Tackle Breaks – 8, Tackles – 26, Offloads – 0, Line Breaks – 2, Line Break Assists – 1, Errors – 0, Penalties Conceded – 0 and Chances of SBW keeping him out of the Kiwi Test team this year – Slim to none.
NRL Tips Round 4
Eels vs Rabbitohs – Rabbitohs (Everyone is gunning for the Rabbitohs but they will win again this week. They will miss Dylan Walker though. He is quality)
Tigers vs Bulldogs – Bulldogs (The Tigers will play the Bulldogs close but the Bullies will grind this one out)
Knights vs Panthers – Panthers (That disallowed Watene-Zelezniak try may have made a difference last night. Panthers will narrowly edge the Knights who are playing better than last year. I don’t think they will be undefeated after this game though)
Sharks vs Titans – Sharks (Titans were brave last week but the Sharks will be too strong at home)
Dragons vs Sea Eagles – Sea Eagles (Sea Eagles were in the contest until the siren last week and should roll the Dragons)
Warriors vs Broncos – Warriors (Broncos were impressive last week against the Cows but the Warriors usually find a way to win against the Broncos at home)
Roosters vs Raiders – Roosters (Easily)
Cowboys vs Storm – Cowboys (Cows are off to one of their typically slow starts to the season. It won’t be any easier this week but they will be desperate. They will also play better at home. It will be a close run thing against the Storm though)
Last week – 5/8
Season so far – 15/24
NRL Fantasy Round 4
Tohu Harris (Storm) for Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys) – There would be no way in the world I would trade Real Jason Taumalolo for Real Tohu Harris but Fantasy Tohu Harris for Fantasy Jason Taumalolo is a different kettle of fish.
Jack Bird (Sharks) for Beau Champion (Eels) – Injury replacement.
Robbie Farah (Tigers), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Andrew Fifita (Sharks), Shaun Fensom (Raiders), Corey Parker (Broncos), Tohu Harris (Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Thomas Leuluai (Warriors), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Iosia Soliola (Raiders), Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs), Lachlan Maranta (Broncos) and Tuimoala Lolohea (Warriors)
Kierran Moseley (Titans), Sam Lisone (Warriors), Jordan Kahu (Broncos) and Mitch Cornish (Raiders)
Balance of the squad
Rory O’Brien (Dragons), Chris Grevsmuhl (Rabbitohs), Brendan Santi (Tigers), Mitch Moses (Tigers), Jack Bird (Sharks), Kelepi Tanginoa (Cowboys), Eto Nabuli (Dragons) and Edrick Lee (Raiders)
Round 3 Score
2,893 from 97,542
EPL Tips and Fantasy Premier League
International break this weekend.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Wednesday, 1 April 2015 titled ‘South Africa are not Chokers!’