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Today’s sporting world

Spotted upon the website of The Guardian today, two items relevant to the Rust’s sporting campaigns for 2019.

I give you:

 

PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS

Rusters will be familiar with our stance on this subject, i.e. zero tolerance – first, foremost and last.

Here’s a report upon a latest incident from the murky world of cycling – and this character should be banned for life if ever anyone should (!) – see here – THE GUARDIAN

 

THE MESS THAT IS RUGBY UNION

The world of rugby has many problems – chief amongst which, in my view, are player welfare, health and physical burn-out – and in many ways in the UK is going down the same well-worn organisational/business route as football.

Global professional sports, especially those which generate the most money, attract untold amounts of people who’d love to work in them.

If you were a just-qualified professional in your twenties, why would not jump at the chance to work in the sport you love most, if not any sport? It sounds glamorous and fun.

It also attracts shysters, con artistes, gangster-types and ogres. And that’s just the player agents.

The biggest clubs (we’re talking Premiership here  in terms of football) want to attract the best players, biggest crowds, biggest TV audiences and frankly – in order to be successful (as they see it) – are content to run lunatic business models in which the annual expenditure upon player transfers and salaries are out of all proportion to anything that a sensible business would ever contemplate.

In its own, much smaller, way rugby union is doing just the same.

The RFU let the cat out of the bag at the very outset in 1995 when the game went professional by letting the clubs control the players, instead of either centrally contracting them and/or creating geographical franchises covering the country.

As a result, rugby’s English Premiership is now yet again trying to do away with promotion and relegation – in order to pull the ladder up behind them and protect their premier status forever. It makes sound business sense for them, of course.

Only at the weekend news broke that they are now also contemplating a plan to ‘break away’ from the RFU in order to get greater control of their businesses.

It’s a similar wheeze to that when the leading English football clubs announced their plan to break away from the FA and start their own league competition. The FA caved in and – in return for being allowed to appear to be presiding over the scheme – let them get away with it.

Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

And so now England rugby is facing the same dilemma. Or so it seems.

See here for a link to a piece by Gerard Meagher in – THE GUARDIAN

 

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts