The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

NIGEL Wood is the boss of the English rugby league on a salary of $536,000 a year.

Not a bad earn for run­ning what is a mi­nor sport in the UK and trav­el­ling the world in his other job as chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Rugby League Fed­er­a­tion.

Wood has flown to Aus­tralia — busi­ness class of course — for the World Cup. That’s all fair enough.

How­ever, we were sur­prised to learn he flew him­self to the Philip­pines last week for a hol­i­day.

One would think he’d be on the ground in Aus­tralia do­ing World Cup busi­ness es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the shock­ing per­for­mances of Wales and Scot­land, the coun­tries he is in charge of in Eng­land. It gets worse. Wood is about to step down as chair­man of the IRLF to be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of the same body on a pay packet sim­i­lar to his UK Su­per League salary.

This paves the way for our other travel-lov­ing of­fi­cial, Aus­tralia’s re­tir­ing in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion boss John Grant, to be­come the new chair­man of the in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion.

It’s a farewell “gift” from the in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion when Grant steps down in Fe­bru­ary.

With Grant in charge, rugby league has gone back­wards in Aus­tralia over the past five years in at­ten­dances, TV rat­ings, par­tic­i­pa­tion num­bers and all ar­eas of fi­nance.

Crowds and player reg­is­tra­tions have gone back­wards un­der Wood’s watch in the UK, too.

The game is go­ing so bad in the UK, there was a vote of no­con­fi­dence in Wood on

More than 5000 fans have voted.

Now these two are about to run the in­ter­na­tional game and carve up a profit of close to $10 mil­lion from the World Cup. It’s scary.

Wood sent me the fol­low­ing text from the Philip­pines to ex­plain his ab­sence.

“I have taken a cou­ple of days an­nual leave to split up what is a near 7-week, 40+ day com­mit­ment to the tour­na­ment, which I be­lieve is nei­ther un­rea­son­able nor ex­cep­tional. I’m al­ready look­ing for­ward to the PNG v USA game this week­end fol­lowed by what should be com­pelling quar­ter-fi­nals, to­gether with the Women’s World Cup.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.