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1
The Guardian (a commie rag but a good article)

From top to bottom, rugby union is now staring into the abyss
From the best-run Premiership club to the grassroots, all parts of the game are in peril but not all its ills can be pinned on Covid

There is nothing quite like a pandemic for exposing hard, uncomfortable truths. And, give or take stand-up comedians, nightclub owners and first year university students, few face a bleaker midwinter than sports that live or die by people entering their stadiums each weekend. The word “catastrophe” usually jars in the context of mere athletic pursuits but increasingly, in rugby, there is no ducking it.

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the depth of the abyss into which much of the game – professional and amateur – in Britain and Ireland is now staring. At every level it relies, in sickness or in health, on the top of the pyramid delivering for the benefit of all. So when the Rugby Football Union, until recently the wealthiest union in the world, says a government bailout is needed to prop up the whole edifice a chill shiver should run down the spine of everyone with an oval-shaped heart.


Sport left to sweat on rescue from a half-listening government
 Read more
Imagine for a moment that, in addition to the many millions of pounds already lost, the 2021 Six Nations has to be played behind closed doors or cancelled altogether. In some ways the immediate pain it would cause within the elite game is the least of it. Bill Sweeney, the RFU’s chief executive, says there will be a £138m reduction in revenue if no spectators are allowed back into Twickenham before next summer, with the English community game braced for an estimated £86m revenue hit.

To transfer those numbers off a spreadsheet and drop them into real life is to risk a sizeable panic attack. Maybe a few Premiership clubs would be able to soldier on, courtesy of their sugar daddy owners, but a good number are already tottering. The Championship, supposedly the second tier of the English game, already looks doomed, with funding potentially set to be cut from £640,000 per club to £40,000 next season. Below them, dozens of impoverished local clubs with no income will struggle to survive, endangering the long-term supply chain from grassroots to national teams. The fledgling women’s professional set-up, sevens, age-group representative rugby, academies, referees … any number of talented and enthusiastic people have had the rug pulled from under them – or soon will.

The Irish Rugby Football Union’s chief executive, Philip Browne, has already given a stark assessment to an Irish parliamentary committee, suggesting the “very existence of professional rugby” in his country is under threat if fans cannot return in sufficiently large numbers. He revealed the IRFU’s cash surplus of €28m in June was likely to be transformed into a debt of around €10m by next summer and had no hesitation in using the “c” word. “Irish rugby’s net losses in 2020 are catastrophic,” he said. “The rugby infrastructure built over 150 years is under threat.”

Ireland v Wales
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 A packed Aviva Stadium watches Ireland take on Wales earlier this year. The IRFU says its net losses this year are ‘catastrophic’. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Few in Wales and Scotland would argue differently and even the best-run professional club in England are feeling the intensifying heat. Exeter are essentially a conference and banqueting business with a rugby club attached and are currently losing at least £1m per month. Rob Baxter, their director of rugby, has spent enough time in board meetings to be genuinely alarmed. “It doesn’t take a genius to have concerns. I am a club director so I see the financial predictions, the expectations of what we need crowd-wise, what we need to be taking over the bar etc.

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“There is a reality that this cannot go on, if we genuinely as a country want sport and sporting venues to be able to continue and provide what they do for their communities. Sport is a huge part of this country’s culture that we can’t just let slip by without taking some action about it. Let’s hope there is a genuine concern taken by the government in how they aim to help us and how they also aim to get crowds back in as soon as they possibly can.”

Then again, should government bailouts be casually handed to organisations that have previously been awash with money and seemingly put little aside for a rainy day? Should certain administrators have allowed their dominoes to remain so tightly stacked or been so heavily reliant on a golden goose that has now ceased laying? In France this week the vice-chairman of World Rugby, Bernard Laporte, has been questioned by prosecutors investigating possible corruption. In Australia, Qantas has just withdrawn as main sponsor after 30 years, delivering another heavy financial blow to the sport down under. Rugby is in serious strife and not all its woes can be blamed on Covid-19.

2
Registration/Contact Information AND Miscellaneous Chat / Test
« on: August 10, 2020, 02:53:36 PM »
Test...

3
Other Senior Rugby / Hull Ionians ask for help to avoid closure
« on: July 19, 2020, 07:52:53 PM »
It's very sad to see clubs with very fragile finances in real trouble. Hull Ionions have made a desperate appeal for funds to save their club... The link below allows you to contribute to their £10000k appeal(??? Doesn't seem much..?)

Anyone who cares about Is should make a contribution to allow them to continue trading.

Presumably all paid players have been let go?


https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hull-ionians-needs-your-help

4
North One / Restart of training...
« on: July 06, 2020, 08:39:55 AM »
I'm sure some clubs have already started but Scarborough are starting training on Tuesday in the required small groups.
Didn't seem any point in starting too early...

Anyone underway or due to be soon?

5
Other Senior Rugby / John Clayton
« on: June 02, 2020, 08:56:25 AM »
Sad news that John Clayton of Hull has died over the weekend following a heart attack. John is known to most of us through his involvement in refereeing and recently refereeing assessment. It was a lovely chap who will probably be known at most clubs.

6
North One / No rugby till 2021?
« on: April 29, 2020, 08:24:04 PM »
Who actually thinks that rugby will start in September?

I've become more pessimistic about the possibility of that.. obviously none of us know but it would be good to debate the variables...

There is even a possibility of a whole season off...

7
North One / We're back!!!
« on: April 29, 2020, 08:12:29 PM »
Hello everyone!

I can't thank Steve Bott enough for a huge effort to fix the forum. Thanks Steve...

8
North One / Sad news from Scarborough
« on: April 11, 2020, 09:21:40 AM »
I'm really posting this because Barry was known to so many people across Yorkshire.

This is a club announcement this morning.


It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that we must inform you of the death of Barry Beanland. Barry died at 8.45pm last night in Scarborough Hospital.

Barry represented everything that was good about Scarborough Rugby Club and has been at the heart of the club family for a generation. There will be few people who have had any involvement with Scarborough Rugby Club or many schools in Scarborough who haven't been positively influenced by Barry.

Clearly, due to the current national lockdown restrictions we are presently unsure of any further arrangements. However, in due course the club will be celebrating Barry's life and his immeasurable contribution to the local rugby community.

Our deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to Sandra and all Barry's family and friends.

RIP Barry

9
Yorkshire 2 / Very sad news at Wath
« on: April 07, 2020, 11:12:21 PM »
Deepest sympathy..

https://trib.al/e0x11vo

10
North One / Staying in touch....how is everyone doing?
« on: March 27, 2020, 06:40:23 AM »
I thought it might be useful to try and keep everyone in touch and see how you are all doing.

Strange time at home for me...the kids are off school and I'm working from home as much as I can. My wife is a service manager at the local NHS so is working a lot.

We are lucky that we live in a large house with a garden but I really feel for those in flats or who live alone. We are helping out people we know who live alone and I have to shop for my parents who are in their 70's. My dad is finding it hardest as they are still very active (they drive down to Italy twice a year etc..so they're not dribbling wrecks yet).
We all stood at the front of the house and clapped for the NHS last night and all across Scarborough you could hear drums, fireworks and cheering...it was very uplifting.
I manage to get out for a long dog walk each day over the fields and woods near my house and generally don't see a soul. Everyone I know is taking social distancing very important.

As for the club, this is taking up a large amount of time (and thought). We are a large staffed operation so there has been a number of complications which we are working through. I think small clubs and large clubs will both face challenges of an unprecedented nature. I fully understand that the loss of a couple of home games for a small club could have huge consequences (makes you wonder why the RFU want to impose this loss every year?/!!)
We have invested in video conferencing and will be ramping up meetings soon between various groups.... directors, senior staff, coaches etc...

As I'm sure is the case at most clubs there have been some incredible offers of kindness and generosity. Some people have made offers of donations and many answered a call to help us assist members living by themselves.
It's sad seeing all those rugby fields unused, new gym equipment empty and bars and cafes that normally fizz with activity empty....Silver Royd wasn't built to be empty!

The country and world is going to take several years to get over this so for the time being nothing is going to be the same. However there probably isn't a better country to be in when it comes to facing these challenges and finding ways through them...

Hopefully lots of people will post about what's happening in your life and rugby club....

Good luck all.....stay safe.

11
North One / Season over.
« on: March 16, 2020, 05:35:46 PM »
Well that's it...just waiting for the official announcement.

This is getting serious.

12
North One / Scores
« on: March 07, 2020, 05:31:18 PM »
Scarborough well beaten by a fired up and pacey Drif. No complaints...the better side won.

13
Other Senior Rugby / West Park Leeds
« on: March 01, 2020, 07:23:19 PM »
WPL are likely to drop in to Yorkshire 3... How is this possible?? For years as West Park Bramhope they were much higher up in the leagues and always formidable opposition. What could have gone so badly wrong that having been given such splendid facilities and from what I understand a reasonable dowry they seem to be in constant free fall.

Has anybody got any ideas why this is the case? Conventional wisdom would suggest that they should be motoring up the leagues..... There must be thousands of rugby players within a half hour journey of Bramhope.. one can only assume they are being run in a terrible manner.

14
North One / Make the call. Who finishes 12th.
« on: March 01, 2020, 07:25:19 AM »
I've looked at the fixtures and taking form into account, I'm going to put my head on the block and say the final relegation spot will go to.....

Percy Park.

They seem to have the toughest run and I just can't see where their points are going to come from.

Anyone agree or disagree?

15
North One / Scores (the day relegation will be decided?)
« on: February 29, 2020, 11:01:46 AM »
Looking at the table I think today is a seriously big day. Some clubs could be relatively sure of safety if they win today and losses to a couple of clubs leaves them starting to get cut off.

However a certain combination of results could leave every single side from 5th downwards still in trouble.

An intriguing day ahead..

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