ARU Issue Update On Which Australian Franchise Will Be Cut From Super Rugby
The Australian Rugby Union expect to make a final decision on which Australian team will be cut from Super Rugby in the next three days.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver admitted the 2016 expansion to eighteen team was a ‘mistake’.
The national body announced on Monday that the decision would be made between the Force and the Rebels, with the Brumbies officially in the clear after meeting financial and on-field criteria.
Chairman Cameron Clyne said no vote had been taken over which team would go. Instead, the governing body will ‘consult’ with the two under threat teams before making a final call.
“This is a big decision, we want to make sure of the information that we’re making a decision on, and we owe it to those franchises to test our assumptions,” Clyne told the Australian Rugby Union’s official website.
“That’s why we think the decision will be quick but we want to give them the opportunity to say this is the financial data we’re seeing, is it valid?”
The Western Force are favourites to be axed, despite overwhelming fan support, but it appears at the end of the it will come down to money above all else.
“This is where we have to detach and look at it in a very commercial sense,” added Clyne.
“Under pressure, under threat, you can generate activity. It’s a question around is that sustainable in that market long-term?
“It’s difficult. We anticipate we’ll probably have to provide financial assistance going forward.”
ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said while passion was hard to ignore, that passion must convert to revenue ultimately.
“Yes it will (count) but understand fan passion should convert to revenue,” he explained.
“Actually everything we do, whether growing participation, engaging with fans, delivering high performance outcomes, ultimately it should all be financially measurable.
“That’s why your overarching guideline here will be financial sustainability of the game with the related high performance impact.”
The Rebels are privately owned with that expected to hugely work in their favour, despite poor results on the field.