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USWNT score predictable own-goal

It was no surprise but the USWNT decided to avoid the invitation to the White House. Yet if these superstars truly can’t stand the democratically elected leader of the country they represent, why not use the opportunity to prosecute their convictions face-to-face instead of acting to the level they criticize him for?

If these people want to oust him in 2020, showing their love of self over love of country will only backfire when people mark their ballot papers. For world champions they really know how to kick the ball in the back of their own net.

Forbes addresses the equal pay argument in soccer

Forbes has thrown light on the gender pay gap in women’s soccer. The numbers are rather telling. As CM has always stated, if the earn more than then men they should Ben paid more, not equally. Journalist Michael Ozanian notes,

France earned $38 million from FIFA for winning soccer’s World Cup in Russia, while the women’s champion in France this summer will earn just $4 million, has prompted outrage…

…The total prize money for the Women’s World Cup in France this July will be $30 million compared with total prize money of $440 million for the men’s teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar…

…The men still pull the World Cup money wagon. The men’s World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women’s World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.”

Thanks to JL for the flag.

Equal pay! Equal pay!

No longer is pride in representing a nation the core of a major sporting event. It is all about activism and grievance. The oppression obsession. The crowd joined in shaming the FIFA boss and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) based off little or no true understanding of the facts at the women’s World Cup Final. The stadium would have made Kim Jong-un blush at the symbiotic coordination. It felt eerily similar to the crowd scene from 1984. It is unfortunately so telling of today’s society. Never have they had it so good, but act is if they’ve never had it so bad.

However isn’t the point of playing for one’s country about the “pride” in representing it? If Rapinoe hates Trump, that is one thing and her personal choice. She is not alone. Should her personal pet grievances outweigh the 330m other Americans she represents? Why not ask for the flag to be removed from her strip?

If she wants to kneel during the national anthem she is nothing more than a hypocrite who seeks to rub it in the face of those who have pride in their country. She is a conditional citizen. Much like those Hollywood celebrities who claimed they’d leave the country if Trump won. He did and they’re still all there.

If Rapinoe wants to truly protest, she should refuse to play. She should sit out and watch America flail and then witness the USSF panic as sponsors dry up and have them run to her. Yet the trappings are such that her principles take a back seat to the expediency of the luxuries afforded by her talent.

She can rant all she wants outside the field. Free speech. CM is all for that. She has a profile to do that. Yet when representing the country, why not respect her fellow citizens rather than throw the toys out of the pram using profanity against a democratically elected president? What she doesn’t realise is her wokeness is exactly the type of thing that will produce the same result in the 2020 election. People are sick and tired of the constant political correctness dragged into places it needn’t be. She is only going to retard the growth in the sport if she continues turning a beautiful game into a platform of white noise.

Rapinoe may tell the media that “we’re over it” with respect to equal pay. However has she considered that if she stopped being such a brat that even more sponsors might beat a path to her door? If she displayed the types of values that represent those of the sponsors and broader society rather than lower the level to the man she repudiates she might surprise herself? Set the standard, Megan! Don’t lower yourself to it. Is having a high number of LGBT players truly the secret sauce of the US team as you claim?

What if men identifying as women demand a place in the side? Physically they’ll dominate the women players as they are already doing in so many areas of sport. Don’t they deserve an equal opportunity? If they trial and outplay all the biological women, will you begrudge them? Or accept that “Science is science. Trans rule“? The Democratic Party has enshrined trans players in women’s sports as policy. Be careful what you wish for.

For the record, CM has always stated equal pay in sports is a farcical quest. It has never been equal. Nor should it be, because the talent pool would never be able to be developed in a way that is self sustaining for the audiences to watch it. Cristiano Ronaldo gets $100m per year because he is “that good”. He sells more strips each year than his fellow teammates. He scores lots of goals. He gets endorsements because he is so talented. Corporations see a return in the investment. Ronaldo has 78 million Twitter followers vs his Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos who has a pitiful 16m. Rapinoe has 725,000. Should she get paid the same as Ronaldo? US men’s soccer team player Landon Donovan has 1.3m followers. Does the USSF see that the box office is sadly still skewed to the men’s game?

If we truly want ‘equal pay‘, shouldn’t we demand that each player plays for exactly the same amount of time and limit the physical distance they run? After all it would be unfair for one player to do less or more work than another. If the goalie had to be included in the physical exercise equality argument then field players could only have a two minute stint at best. 10 players would need to be replaced every two minutes of the 90 played meaning a 450 player side. With GPS tracking, the rules of the game can be changed so that can be accommodated in theory.

We know that such a game would be boring to watch and cause audiences to abandon such spectacles because professionals sports require no participation medals. We cheer the player that has the extra stamina, skill and guile to win matches and pay to watch that privilege. Not watch a game where talent is castrated.

For starters, Rapinoe should address the inequality within women’s soccer, before targeting the broader gender pay gap. No doubt she gets paid a lot more than some of her lesser known teammates. No one discusses that factoid. Crowds consumed by propaganda based group think champion the causes of people who already earn probably way more than they’ll ever do. Were the crowd chants aimed at the Dutch women too? Or just the Americans who were the ones fighting this pay dispute.

CM is also on record for saying that female tennis players should be paid more than men for the higher audiences they attract. The reality is outside of the World Cup, women’s soccer does not attract the revenues of the men’s game (partly due to men’s game having decades more time to develop). That will take time. It is hard to find willing sponsors to even it up if the return on that endorsement is lower. Sponsors aren’t just rich benefactors.

In closing, shame on the crowds for dragging an international event into a twisted spectacle. What they don’t realise is that such actions will only work against them. Fans want to escape the stresses of daily life, not pay high ticket prices to have it directly served up. Maybe the #USWNT needs to look at what has happened to the NFL after political correctness engulfed it.

Megan, a bigger truism is that, “Economics is economics. The market rules!”

NZ Rugby vs Rugby Australia – the franchise stats

Well, well, we’ll. Who’d a thunk? NZ Rugby (NZR) is focused on the game, not appearing to be woke. Is it any wonder Australia are unlikely to win the Bledisloe Cup for many more years to come. The investment NZR pour into the All Blacks swamps Rugby Australia’s (RA) pittance into the Wallabies because sponsors and fans see the Kiwi franchise for what it is – a united team of winners with returns!

It shouldn’t surprise us when RA & NZR reveal primary objectives.

Objective 1 in the NZR 2018 Annual Report is “REMAINING ON TOP OF THE WORLD” (p.18)

Objective 1 in RA’s 2018 Annual Report is written as, “For rugby to continue to be a sport of choice in a rapidly changing society…community coaches are responsible…for creating fun, safe and inclusive environments” (p.10).

With that RA mantra, NZR is faced with a longer term dilemma. Because the fans might have to consider they might “get tired of all this winning!”

In all seriousness, NZR should seek to form a new version of the Bledisloe with a worthy adversary in Europe because the Wallabies will drift even further away from being competitive with RA focused on such utter malarkey.

Or to even it up, perhaps the All Blacks under-18s should play the Wallabies?

So why the gap? The numbers between the two are as follows.

RA took in approximately A$30m in licensing and sponsorship last year. NZR raked in A$65m. More than double for a country with one-fifth the population. Think about it. The advertising base is smaller yet the sponsors must see the returns as superior to do so.

Total revenues for RA sum to around A$110m. NZR takes in A$182m in 2018.

Match day revenue for RA reached A$20m last year. NZR collected A$28m.

Total assets for RA sum to A$69m. NZR total assets are A$183m. Total equity for RA is A$27m vs NZR at $99m.

Just looking at financial metrics alone, RA is not going to rebuild this franchise without focusing on what NZ already knows. The business has one sole focus – the pride of a nation.

Should we be surprised that Eden Park has been sold out every game since 1962 when the All Blacks play the Wallabies? That’s a franchise. Maybe RA should ask why Australian based attendance of the same series has drifted 20-35% in the last decade.

Until the Wallabies have a priority that focuses on a winning formula that is driven from the top, expect to see turnstiles become rusty.

Pathetic really. This is exactly why the RA board and leadership need a complete overhaul. Amateurs playing against professionals. Get woke. Go broke.

High Priest of Rugby Australia hits the nail on the head

If Rugby Australia (RA) Chairman Cameron Clyne had a decent product he wouldn’t need to worry about sponsors. Sponsors want brand exposure. That requires packed crowds following the Wallabies.

Some quick facts since 2014 vs 2018.

-Wallabies team costs (coach, support etc) +70% ($9.97m)

-Match day revenue -42.1% ($20.17m)

-Sponsorships -11.5% ($28.23m)

-Player contracts +3.2% ($16.79m)

– Licensing revenue -12.9% ($1.67m)

– RA has $18m in cash and equivalents as at 2019.

– RA made $5.87m net profit in 2018 on $119m of revenue but is expected to post a loss in 2019.

The SMH points to the very problems that RA has created for itself. To take the notion that “no” sponsors would want to be associated had they done nothing is absolute garbage. The Australian Christian Lobby might fill the Qantas void…

Does Clyne honestly believe that LGBT staff within RA may have sued it for not creating a safe and respectful environment had Folau not been shot? What a joke. If it is that easy to get a payout, CM would identify as such to ride that gravy train. How weak is the board to fold to this dross?

Did RA do anything when Pocock was arrested for chaining himself to an excavator for 10 hours at the Maules Creek mine? He was charged with “trespass, remaining on enclosed land without lawful excuse and hindering the working of mining equipment.” Raelene Castle wasn’t CEO at the time but Cameron Clyne, Paul McLean and Ann Sherry were and still are board members. Where is the balance in sanctions handed out? Wasn’t there a risk the climate skeptics inside RA might sue for the lack of a respectful environment?

Clyne also mentioned there was a risk of state and federal funding cuts if this wasn’t dealt with. In 2018, these grants totaled $3.5m out of total revenues of $119m. Less than 3%.

Once again if RA was run for the fans it would stand a far higher chance of not needing to fear its own shadow.

Alinta Energy sponsors Cricket Australia post the cheating scandal with the cheats still representing their country. Is cheating any better or worse than tweeting passages paraphrasing the Bible? The point is sponsors took advantage.

Here’s a suggestion. Put Folau back, sack Cheika based solely on (lack of) performance, drop Hooper, Foley and all the other publicly woke players to the bench, replace the board, CEO and chairman, call Qantas’ bluff and watch the fans flood back. A sponsor that is presented with an opportunity to back the team at its nadir will reap the benefits like Alinta.

NSW Chair pleads for a truce

Could it be that those who are fed up with political correctness have proved their pockets are way deeper than Rugby Australia (RA) ever imagined? For the Rugby NSW Chair Roger Davis to pipe up that, “the game is paying too high a price for RA to be proved right in this matter” speaks volumes. Sounds like fear that RA might lose.

The ACL suspended the Folau fund raising as it went over $2m in two days. Now he can comfortably fund an excellent team of silks to prosecute the case against RA. Plenty more ammunition behind that one imagines too. RA is outgunned unless Qantas intends to deploy shareholder capital?!?

Once again, this has moved way beyond Folau’s contractual dispute. People are fed up with the lecturing from the left. Regardless of whether one agrees with what he said or not or the GoFundMe stunt, the people have spoken with their wallets. They don’t want to have corporates tell them how or what to say or behavioral awareness officers at the games marshaling their stress outlets.

Rugby Australia’s problems started way before Folau’s tweets. The attendance and performance of the Wallabies stems from the incompetence at the top. The numbers are abysmal. The identity politics obsessed board which keeps a coach despite the worst track record in the team’s history. Australia will be lucky to make the play offs.

As David rightly said, It’s not about rights or wrongs now, it’s about pragmatics. I don’t think rugby should be defining freedom of religion rights or freedom of expression rights. I don’t think it’s our job,

Exactly. Which is why $2m was lined up to let RA know it should drop all of the gender and identity political garbage period and focus on who pays the bills – the fans.

Slam dunking slavery

When will we reach peak woke on grievance where it actually doesn’t exist? The NBA has decided that the use of the word “owner” is racially insensitive given most of the basketball players are African-American. The idea is that it has links to “slave owner.” Therefore the use of “governor” is deemed more appropriate terminology for the individuals that legally “own” the team.

Hang on a minute, doesn’t Michael Jordan, legendary black basketball player of Chicago Bulls fame, own, sorry, govern the Charlotte Hornets? Will he get an exemption? Perhaps the NBA should have a quiet word about using blonde white supremacist females to promote his basketball wear as being unfair to models from minority backgrounds? Or could it be he doesn’t give a damn, like many of the basketball players held back by the chains of multi-year multi-million dollar contracts?

Steven Curry must be feeling oppressed by his $201m 5yr deal. Perhaps governors can get around the salary cap by including slavery reparations as a component of pay. It would be unconscionable for NBA Governor Adam Silver to deny such action.

This political correctness is just plain stupid. Silver should be sacked. If there were own-goals in basketball, he’s scored it. Let’s see if NBA attendance falls on the back of this crap.