Sports Already Taken a Back Seat to the Business

In todays Irish Independent, author & columnist Billy Keane has a piece (Shame on World Rugby for putting money first) questioning World Rugbys ranking of the recent World Cup bids from South Africa, France and Ireland.

But I wonder, is anyone really surprised that World Rugby are doing the same as the RFU, SRU, WRU and the rest of the Unions – whose first instinct now appears to be “show me the money”.

Is World Rugby doing any different from the SRU charging parents £27 so they can go and watch their kid play on the back pitch at Scotstoun before a Glasgow game, or that it’s only £80 tickets that are available via Murrayfield to Scotland fans for the game in Wales in February.

No, it’s not World Rugbys fault they’ve ranked the bids the way they did, it’s just that in rugby, the sport now takes a back seat to the business, and today’s business is about maximizing income streams – or as Billy says in his article “fleece the picnic people and therefore charge more for the food and beer franchises”.