It’s crunch day for Otago rugby. There’s been a series of intense meetings, and there’s interest from all over the country in whether the team will survive to play later this year, and whether ORFU will ditch it’s creditors and be resurrected in some other form.
After a week of hectic rugby the ODT has gone relatively quiet, waiting to see what comes out of the day.
All Black captain Richie McCaw is among a high-powered rugby delegation in Dunedin to negotiate a North-South fundraising match, as part of a final push to save the Otago Rugby Football Union.
The Otago Rugby Football Union’s plight is not an isolated problem, Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin says.
The rest of the country keeps the ruck going:
TVNZ: The day of reckoning has arrived for the troubled Otago Rugby Union which is battling a financial crisis.The 131-year-old union will be forced to stop trading if a solution cannot be reached by 4pm this afternoon.
Roar: So it’s come to this. A Rugby Union that is over 120 years old will be left to burn.
The ORFU dilemma is only the start of many to come unless we overhaul the cause. To sit on our hands and say we have no need will means no fans, no money, no rugby.
Make the game worth going to and the money will flow.
We need a decisive and resolute policy to fix it now, not the fiddle mumble we are currently hearing from the rule committees, who would like you to know that the meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s quite alright with the rest of you.
Taranaki Daily: Like their counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere the great and the good of Otago and New Zealand rugby are inspecting the rotting carcass left by financial mismanagement and are wondering if they really want to soil their shoes in the detritus of decay.
Several people and organisations are making the right noises but there remains the nagging thought that Otago rugby, hand on heart, history notwithstanding, is no longer deemed too big to fail.
Radio Sport: Otago Rugby Union chairman Wayne Graham is believed to have been working furiously since Monday’s announcement of possible liquidation, trying to piece together some form of rescue plan.
However if none is forthcoming by 4pm this afternoon, and that looks probable, the Otago Rugby Union will be forced to concede defeat after 131 years in existence.
Otago rugby has been badly managed. Nothing more, nothing less. That doesn’t make the model bad, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, it just means like in any collection of businesses some will be run better than others.
Going backwards will simply kill the game. Is Otago rugby too important to lose? Well only from the point of view that if they go belly up tomorrow, something will rise from the ashes. So given that, you may as well work with the existing infrastructure and save yourself a fortune in duplication costs.
But the concept that just because something’s been around for ages and it would be sad to see it go, all that nostalgia went the day they turned the game into a business and the dollar became the major motivation.