If you are part of a management team that decides to give away the naming rights sponsor of a competition that is struggling for money for no money what so ever, you should be fired.
When you go back to your superiors and tell them about the great deal you “negotiated” that will see you rename the entire competition in exchange for some stickers on some trucks, the next order or the day should be to pack you shit and get the fuck out of the building.
Unfortunately that is not what happens and the Rugby Football League. At the Rugby Football League accountability doesn’t exist. So as the people in charge of running the game run it into the ground and make it less appealing to sponsors on a month by month basis, you find stupid decisions are made and then ridiculous reasoning is used to justify those stupid decisions.
Yesterday a Twitter follower of mine called @neilbarraclough wrote an article called Time to ditch rugby league’s family game image. It focused on the ridiculous reasoning the RFL came up with in its decisions to give away the naming rights sponsorship to Super League for free.
I thought it was a bit strange because, I’ve never thought that Rugby League in England was trying to market itself as a family game. With the poor crowd behavior you see every so often, the terrible off field behavior by players that is just accepted or the way every single English side that has every player the game has looked to start a fight because they can’t handle their ego being bruised when its clear they are losing a game….I just don’t see where this family image is supposed to come from.
Turning away betting and alcohol sponsorship in Super League isn’t about the games image. Its about the stupidity of the people running the game. Its about the rarefied air that the games administrators live in, thinking that anyone honestly gives a fuck about some ridiculous moral stance that the RFL pretends to stick solid to while all around them Rome burns.
Just a few days ago the NRL accepted an offer of $50 million from a betting company to align itself with Rugby League in Australia. That does not even take into account the money the game will receive from all gambling companies that carry NRL betting options in Australia.
I personally don’t bet on the NRL. The competition is too tight and anyone can win any game on any given day. Its a mugs game. Do you think a brand new betting company is able to shell out $50 million dollars to the NRL because people win money betting on the game? The problem is, the genie is out of the bottle and has been for years. It is not up to the sport to try and pretend it holds sway over the moral compass of the nation and can change government policy. They simply have to take the money while it is there because if they don’t, other sports will.
Rugby League in England simply does not have the luxury of turning money away. If I can go to a Super League game and buy a pint of some shitty locally made beer without any problems Rugby League in England can grow up and stick one of the logos from that shitty beer on the front of the jerseys.
The Rugby Football League needs to think less about leading the push for prohibition and more about finding ways to fund the clubs that are dying every single season because not enough money is being generated by the game to cover its bills.
Its the choice between Rugby League in England pretending to be a family game, or just being a memory. A pretty easy choice if you ask me…
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Mar 12, 2020 0