Home › Forums › The Player Rating Points at the end of the Pakistan tour › Heartland Championship
June 29, 2006 at 12:29 pm #5166
OK fair points, but this is my understanding as to how it all works from a GOVERNANCE perspective…
The NZRFU rules and governs the game in NZ (both professional & amateur).
It funds the game via a number of sources the main one being the TV deal it renegotiated last year with News Limited, they also have a fair stack of cash reserves (not sure of the exact amount) from the original News Limited deal signed in 1995 ($555M between us, SA & Oz) which was hedged against adverse foreign currency movement that occurred in the late 1990’s and into the 21st Century – this was one of the few clever things done by messers McCaw & Rutherford although that has now expired (or is about to).
They also made a great deal of money out of the Lions tour last however this is acknowledged as a bit of a ‘one-off’ event.
Anyway, the NZRFU administers the Amateur game (aka ‘Heartland’ or ‘Grass Roots’) via its provincial unions (I think there’s 26 or so of these). The main source of funding these Unions receive is again via the News Limited deal, in particular the grant given via profits generated via the 5 Super 14 franchises and their own NPC activities (gate takings etc). These unions then feed this money back to the true ‘Grass Roots’ or ‘Heartland’ areas (aka your local Rugby Club) via annual grants again based on profits generated by the individual unions – i.e. the better the Union performs, the more money gets fed back to the game at the lowest level and the more it prospers.
Like most business’ the clever, well performed ones do the best (cue Nemesis & another Canterbury post) although Wellington has done well too with its stadium and Auckland traditionally do well due to pure size etc). Other unions have foundered eg BoP went bung in 2000 (but recovered with the help of the NZRFU) and player numbers on the West Coast are extremely thin – no players no game. One also should include Otago in this (gates of around 5000 for an NPC game is a worry).
While the NZRFU and the individual unions belonging to the 5 Super 14 franchises haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory (especially when it comes to the hoarding and poaching of talented players) the revised Air NZ Cup (and salary cap) has been devised to spread the talent more evenly among the unions and allow a more even playing field (on an off).
To me this isnt neglecting our National Game at the Grass Roots or Heartland level….
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