AUGUST 5, 2005
Something to consider
The International Rugby Board has just announced that it is to invest $53m in the sport to improve the competitiveness of rugby worldwide. The investment is part of the IRB's Strategic Plan to develop the game. Rugby has a problem in that some nations are much more advanced than others and so countries like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Canada, Japan, Romania and USA cannot compete with the likes of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England and France. In order to boost the game in these second-tier nations the IRB is pumping money into the game to create better domestic rugby structures, coaching, facilities, equipment, sports science and medicine. Additional money will be used to establish new regional tournaments. The aim is to ensure that more teams can challenge and potentially win the Rugby World Cup.
The IRB, which is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the world governing and law making body for rugby union. The revenues come from the Rugby World Cup, a commercial entity, owned and controlled by the IRB. The Rugby World Cup was inaugurated in 1987 and has enjoyed huge growth.
It is a rather different commercial structure than motor racing and one is left questioning whether or not the FIA should not be looking at more sensible arrangements for the future at a time when the commercial structures of F1 are under discussion.
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