Clarke comes in to try sal­vage Rugby Aus­tralia from disas­ter

In­terim boss out­lines what he wants: Fi­nances; Get­ting the do­mes­tic comp off the ground and; Work to­wards next year

Fiji Sun - - SPORTS -

In­terim Rugby Aus­tralia boss Rob Clarke has ar­rived at a crit­i­cal time for the game.

Clarke’s pre­de­ces­sor, Rae­lene Cas­tle, and de­parted board direc­tor Peter Wiggs bought the game six months with an emer­gency pay deal with the play­ers, busi­ness-wide cost-cut­ting and a loan pend­ing from World Rugby, which could be worth up to AU$16 mil­lion.

But Cas­tle’s sud­den res­ig­na­tion two weeks ago plunged the or­gan­i­sa­tion into chaos, leav­ing the game’s vol­un­teer board to seize con­trol of the many pro­cesses she had been lead­ing or over­see­ing, in­clud­ing the World Rugby loan ap­pli­ca­tion and com­pe­ti­tion plan­ning.

Wiggs, a pri­vate eq­uity spe­cial­ist who had spent the past six years try­ing to re­store value to the ail­ing Su­per­cars busi­ness in which his com­pany Archer Cap­i­tal had a con­trol­ling stake, had taken an im­me­di­ate in­ter­est in the fi­nan­cial pic­ture.

His res­ig­na­tion from the board on Wed­nes­day has left a hole in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s skillset, an­other gap Clarke will look to plug af­ter re­turn­ing to work in rugby af­ter a three-year hia­tus.

Clarke told the Her­ald his top three pri­or­i­ties were fi­nances, get­ting this year’s do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion off the ground and work­ing out what next year’s would look like.

Rugby Aus­tralia has a ma­jor cash flow prob­lem, which is to say there is no cash flow­ing.

The coro­n­avirus shut­down of pro­fes­sional and com­mu­nity sport turned off in a mat­ter of days al­most all of the game’s three sources of rev­enue - broad­cast deal pay­ments, ticket sales and sponsorshi­p.

Aus­tralian Wal­la­bies cap­tain Michael Hooper af­ter their Rugby World Cup exit in Ja­pan last year. Photo: World Rugby.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.