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Storm in a farcup?

 
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:22 pm
I know there's precious little interest on these boards in local Australian sport, let alone our National Rugby League, but for the unititiated:

Yesterday the Melbourne Storm, a club that has appeared in the last four grand finals (read Superbowl, World Series, European Champions League, Stanley Cup equivalent) winning two, was found to have breached the salary cap rules systematically over a five year period.
See the latest stories
The NRL has stripped them of three minor premierships and the two grand final victories achieved in this period. In addition they have had all points gained so far this season stripped as well as being penalised any points they might gain for wins for the rest of the season. And copped a $500,000 fine.

While I feel for the players, coach and supporters I applaud the NRL's tough stand on the breach that must scare the bejeezus out of the other clubs.

I must confess to some schadenfreude as the Melbourne Storm were created by News Limited money (and still rely on it) in 1997 in a city that has no rugby league tradition, and Rupert Murdoch business was the architect of the exclusion of the South Sydney Bunnies (a foundation club) from the NRL, an action subsequently overturned by the courts . Eat sh1t Rupert.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,599 • Replies: 29
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 08:24 am
@hingehead,
I confess I would have never stopped in this thread on a topic I know absolutely nothing about if it hadn't been posted by you.

msolga and I were pondering your absence not long ago.

It's nice to see you posting again!
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:17 pm
@boomerang,
Hi Boomer, thanks for stopping by. Hope you are well!
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 09:15 pm
@hingehead,
I suspect they're all doing it...and just haven't been caught yet.

Where did those players think all those extras came from - Santa Claus?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:05 pm
@margo,
Hi Margo

Actually I don't think everyone else is doing it, or a least not systematically over a long period of time. I think the Bulldogs catastrophe of 2002 is still a strong memory. And certainly player movements and team performance of the rest of the teams bear that out.

As for the players, I somehow doubt each individual player asked each member of the squad what they were getting and then did the math. If they were getting payouts in brown paper bags then they do wear a ethical burden but I don't know the details. Apparently the player agents have much dirtier hands.

I'm wondering how long before the ATO starts asking questions if there was undeclared income.

I do think the salary cap system needs some refining. Especially in the area of junior development, and the for players to stay with one team if they choose without that team being penalised unduly. But for the Storm to cry 'look how much we spent developing young players' is a pretty weak excuse, every other club is in the same boat, but manages to keep the one set of books.

My other concern is that the disparity in income between the top and bottom players is starting to reflect the disparities in CEO pay as compared to rank and file pay.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 07:19 am
I have no doubt the players involved knew. Proving that they (the players) knew these payments were outside the clubs salary cap is another ball game.
I suspect most would not know what the clubs player payment cap is.

The penalty i would have likes to have seen applied is to fine players the equivelent of their overpayment.
additionally i suspect the file that was found in "another room" was "left out to be found" in a "we better come clean now Waldron is gone" scenario.
Large bets were placed on a storm wooden spoon days before the announcement. Someone knew what was going down.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 07:24 am
One thing i think will be interesting will be two league ladders. one official ladder with Storm gaining no points and another showing what would be the case if Storm were getting points.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 10:07 am
@hingehead,
Quick question for you guys down under.

Rugby is different from Australian football?

I know the basic rules of Rugby but have never studied up on Australian football other than reading American's are pussies for wearing pads and helmets in their football games.

Do you have leagues for both?



Quote:
South Sydney Bunnies
dlowan has a team named after her?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 11:02 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

Quick question for you guys down under.

Rugby is different from Australian football?

Yes. Australian rules football is like a cross between rugby and Gaelic football, played on a cricket pitch.

parados wrote:
Do you have leagues for both?

Yes, the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League.

parados wrote:
Quote:
South Sydney Bunnies
dlowan has a team named after her?

The Rabbitohs.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 03:30 pm
Lots of leagues - 4 major ones...

Rugby League - involved in the current scandal - sponsoring body - National Rugby League.

Rugby, or Rugby Union - not currently involved in any major scandal, but just wait...Australian Rugby Union

Australian Football - scandals were last week - Australian Football League - probably has the most supporters of any code - and one-eyed they are, too.

and then there's soccer - now called football, despite the above 3 codes being more popular, and also apparently football. (can't recall the name of the league, but Sydney FC just won the premiership)

and there's a (very) small group of American football players. (who knows why??)

Rabbitohs are owned by Russell Crowe - again - who knows why?

hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 04:13 pm
@parados,
To add to Margo's explanation.

Australian Football is a derivative of Gaelic Football (indeed there is a hybrid game that Ireland and Australia play internationals against each other in) and was first introduced to keep cricketers fit in winter - which is why it's played on cricket ovals. It is the most popular sport inVictoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, and also big with indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. It suffers in that there really isn't any real occasion to play international tests.

Rugby Union (which calls itself the game they play in heaven) is popular in NSW and Queensland and was the 'amateur' game (like the Olympics used to be - in fact Australia are the raining Olympic Champions, having won the gold the last time it was played in the Olympics in 1908. Teams partake in the Super14 league (which involves provincial teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) in Australia there are teams from NSW, QLD, ACT, WA and there will be a new team from Victoria soon when the Super14 becomes the Super16. The Victoria team just sacked it's CEO because he was the architect of the Melbourne Storm rort.

Rugby League was born as the 'professional' Rugby at the start of the 20th Century - it is born of the class war in Northern England. Because it was amateur there was no money payed, however if you were working class and injured you had no means of support, unlike the upper classes, so a breakaway game was established where players could be compensated for their efforts.

In the hundred years since the game is very different from Union in rules and emphasis, but the actual skills to play are still similar and players do switch between the codes. It is common for boys to play Union at school and League in weekend leagues.

Union suffers from rules that make tries (touchdowns if you will) not significantly more valuable than penalty goals, so it is not rare to see a match where the goal kickers are the only scorers, particularly as the arcane rules particularly around ruck, maul and scrum make play a stop start affair at times. As I've quoted a few times Union tragics know in their hearts that as one of their kickers lines up a penalty goal, somewhere in the world a rugby league try is being scored.

What Union does have that League doesn't is that it is played to high level in a lot more countries, so international competition has meaning. In fact the Rugby Union World Cup is the second biggest single sport event in the world after the Football (soccer) World Cup. League is only played at the highest level by three countries (Aust, NZ and UK), and their world cup is usually a case of seeing whether NZ or UK will play Australia in the final (and generally lose - all but once in the last 30+ years).

If you were raised on American football I think a good game of NRL rugby league would be a revelation, because it just doesn't stop, the teams throw themselves at each other for 80 minutes with precious few stoppages and little protection. It's a mix of attrition, tactics, individual brilliance and brute force. Not to say an NFL game doesn't have that, it just has a lot of breaks between the action.

The current National Rugby League is a bastard compromise between the Australian Rugby League (the sports governing body) and News Limited which set up it's own 'Super League' in competition with the old NSWRL competition (which evolved from the elite Sydney comp which played its first season in 1907, and had developed into the most watched of the state leagues and unlike the QRL had teams from interstate (Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville).

Football (nee Soccer) has the A-League, a nation wide competition with members of all the mainland state capitals and a few regional centres. It is part of the Asian Confederation. It is the most played team sport among kids. But doesn't yet have the pulling power of League or AFL (or Super14 Union). But unlike the other codes there is no sense that it is the game that 'those other states play'. It is truly the world game. Though dominated by Europeans and South Americans, there are still moments of glory in the World Cup for the North Americans, Africans and Asians.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 04:19 pm
@margo,
Russell owns the Rabbitohs because he is a diehard tragic fan, but unlike many of us, he had the power to do something about the club's administrative malaise.

For Rusty it's not about Rusty, it's about the bunnies. MPTH.
0 Replies
 
ragnel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 06:53 pm
@hingehead,
Hingehead said -

"Rugby League was born as the 'professional' Rugby at the start of the 20th Century - it is born of the class war in Northern England. Because it was amateur there was no money payed, however if you were working class and injured you had no means of support, unlike the upper classes, so a breakaway game was established where players could be compensated for their efforts."

I saw a British documentary some years ago which attributed the origin of Rugby League to the fact that most men worked a six-day week. Anyone in this category who wanted to play football would have to give up a day's pay to play on Saturday, (Sunday, of course, was out of the question!) and so a system was introduced whereby contributions were divided up among such players to off-set their loss. This naturally created a logistical nightmare and so the code split into two, Rugby Union for amateurs at school, university and those with enough money not to need reimbursement and the more professional Rugby League.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 08:30 pm
@ragnel,
Sorry, I should have clarified, my apocryphal 'injury' story is from the birth of Rugby League in Australia (Sydney in particular) and your recollection of the Yorkshire and Lancashire motivations for forming the League hold true with what I've just read. It seems that in Australia it wasn't just 'Saturday' work but that was part of it. Injury compensation and distribution of wealth (from gate money) were also elements.

I've just read that Dally Messenger's conversion to League is the chief reason why Australian Football didn't catch on in Sydney and Brisbane, because Union was the 'upper class' game but Dally M's adoption of league ensured its popularity (with the working classes) and survival whereas in the southern states Aussie Rules became the working class game.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 08:37 pm
@dadpad,
Hi Dad

The exposure of the Storm was definitely based on tips from former insiders. Bets on the Storm getting the wooden spoon were place in the couple of days leading up to the announcement but the amounts weren't so high that the bookies didn't take it on the chin and pay up without much of whinge. I'd say someone in NRL headquarters let it slip to someone that it was a possibility - maybe even my aforementioned my insider got a bet in. Or maybe it was Waldron?
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 08:43 pm
@dadpad,
Quote:
One thing i think will be interesting will be two league ladders. one official ladder with Storm gaining no points and another showing what would be the case if Storm were getting points.


Doesn't interest me much. The team is illegal as far as the rules stand, who cares where it places. That's like caring where Marion Jones places when racing against steroid free athletes; meaningless.
ragnel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 02:24 am
@hingehead,
Hopefully some good will come from all of this. I imagine every board of every club of every code in the country will be spending some time making sure they are squeaky clean. Let's hope so.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 03:17 am
Rugby League -is crap. Don't bother

Rugby, or Rugby Union - is less crappy then League because of the technical aspects of the game. the internationals are worth watching but the Wallabbies havn't been the same since John Eales retired.

Australian Football -Proper football. combine American football, ice hockey and basketball. You are watching rules. We got it aaaaaalllllll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx_nZhqfx68&feature=related

Margo

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2057/2415999228_a101ff2025.jpg
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 03:19 am
PLUS...
the reason Storm is in trouble is because the northern contingent just cant stand it that a team based in Melbourne is winning
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 04:05 pm
@dadpad,
Ha! Parochial antagonism. How very Melbourne of you. If you were the least bit interested in League (which you have no obligation to be) you would know how respected the achievements of the Storm were - they were the team everyone aspired to be, until now.

Except for two things:

They rely on News Limited funding for their existence (unlike any other club - Cowboys having bought out News in 2007/8).

They have no juniors to speak of - all of the player and coaching roster comes from those same evil northern states or New Zealand.

I kind of laugh at the support Victorians give the Storm now - where were you the previous 12 years? Up till now it was just expat NZders and 'northerners' Still if it means the club survives more power to you.

I saw someone refer to the Storm as the 'Purple Rain' - hope that catches on.
0 Replies
 
 

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