SARU shows second face, again.
I can only imagine that his blog is not the only loss this decision will cause. Look, I guess we all knew it was inevitable. SARU was never forthcoming with a decision, and the only things they mentioned were that they are trying to work it out with Sanzar, that the Kings must be included, and no franchise will be impacted negatively. Now, I’ve for long knew that SARU cannot be trusted. They often do a round about on their word and this is not the first time they’ve shown what big fat liar they are.
But it is sickening the see it really happen and in such a blase manner. To think that the Golden Lions Rugby Union will not be negatively impacted by excluding them from the Super Rugby next year is a true indication of how narrow minded and idiotic the South African rugby administrators are. And what do they promise GLRU in return? “Oh, you’re screwed by the way next year, because all your players will leave because you cannot pay them, because you don’t have money because you don’t have Super Rugby exposure, but please try again to play with your dilapidated side against the Kings, who will have most of your players anyways, and play your way back into contention…for the next 2 years….”
What? Do SARU actually, really expect a franchise to stand on its own two feet outside of any tournament for a year and be strong enough to come back in, only to face the task of playing a relegation match again the year after? Where is the security in that? I bet there are even a bunch of nervous Kings players thinking that they might only have this one shot, and then its back to square one.
Why did it have to happen now, in 2013, at the cost of one of our longest standing Rugby Unions? The Kings have been waiting so long already, supposedly, to get their spot in the Super 15, but why not then wait in any event to get in from 2016 when the new broadcasting rights will be negotiated?
Yes, they were hoping for a spot instead of the Melbourne Rebels and the Rebels won that contest for the current format. But it didn’t happen, and maybe they should have just waited for their chance.
In terms of viewership, viewers will decline and if I had the broadcasting rights, I would be properly upset that the Lions were cut. EP supporters probably watched and supported some team in the SR. But there is no team that the Lions supporters will turn to. You don’t just shift a passion over night, and those supporters will most likely rather watch a repeat of the 1999 Cricket World Cup semi final between South Africa and Australia than watch EP play…and no, I don’t even think a destruction of EP will sooth the wounds, it will only be salt rubbed in, knowing the Lions had a better chance to succeed than the Kings.
What SARU, and perhaps the other so-called Unions who voted in favour of this silly decision, forgets, is the severe impact the lack of direction and decision making had on the Lions this specific season. The proposal was already made in January to go the relegation route, but SARU stalled and stalled until, I guess, they saw that the Lions were the last team on the log. The Lions players of course felt insecure, while they didn’t know if they have a future or not. Difficult to make a move, because “what if we stay in?” Difficult to really perform, because “What’s the use, were screwed anyways”.
But had SARU made the decision at the inception of this year’s (at least) Super Rugby, perhaps the Lions would have known exactly what they were working for, and it could just as easily have been the Cheetahs’ heads on the block. Or would it….?
Something just tells me that, had it been either the Bulls, Cheetahs, Stormers or Sharks at the bottom of the log this year, the decision would have looked different. Yes, consistently being the bottom team counts for something in terms of being relegated…but what if a team suddenly found themselves going from nr 1 to nr 5? Relegation just like that?
Fact is, there is nothing the Lions can or could have done to avoid this. It comes down to SARU being a bunch of jellyfish (and regard that in terms of anatomy ie spineless, and the fact that jellyfish are know to eat and shit from the same orifice) and not to mention the rumours of under-dwelling personal interests at play in the form of Messrs Watson and Keohane…
Fare thee well Lions. I hope you guys can build on the decades of tradition and rugby you put together and not let this speed hump derail you for ever. Come back next year, and moer the Kings!