>We've been hearing alot about the dodgy finances of alot of old
>and venerated English clubs, and I know that not all of them
>are having trouble, but then I read the following in the SMH:
>"Meanwhile Wallaby second-rower John Welborn has knocked back a $700,000
>offer from the Bath club in England, to remain with NSW and Australia
>I know the exchange rate is crocked, but seriously, how can Bath
>justify those sorts of salaries? Are they really more cashed up than
There are special reasons for Bath's offer I think, Aidan. Bath is one
of the "sugar daddy" clubs, the owner a Mr Brownsword, who made a
fortune (600 million pounds?) selling greetings cards. So although
they are probably not making a profit, they still have potentially
huge resources behind them. Add to that the fact Bath are *very* short
of locks, having let Llanes go, and it would seem they have rightly
poinpointed lock as a "must strengthen" position. The most likely
first team locks, Haag and Redman, have never been the best pairing in
England, and I'm surprised Redman hasn't retired.
I make the offer about 135k sterling p.a., which is very much at the
top end of the salary scale from what I've heard. I doubt they would
have offered nearly as much for any other position except perhaps at
Newcastle are, as far as I know, spending the most on one player, 250k
p.a. on Tuigamala. Absolutely insane in my view, especially as they
couldn't afford the 100k they needed to keep Pat Lam at the club. Lam
was far more important to Newcastle's league win last season in my
One of the problems that hasn't been mentioned much on rsru is the
fact owners themselves can get into difficulties very suddenly.
Bedford, recently promoted to AD1 are suffering because their ownter,
Frank Warren is in legal dispute with Don King, the boxing promoter,
and his assets have been frozen (ouch).
I haven't noticed any comment here about the fact that the biggest
sugar daddy of them all, Rubert Murdoch, is being divorced by his
wife. It isn't inconceivable that this might cause problems with his
rugby funding in the future.
All the best