Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently)



  • So, up here in good old blightly, across the ever so vibrant, virtuous, permanently outraged rugby community, the demise of the Samoan rugby infrastructure is once again being lamented. In a nutshell, it looks like they are going to (or have by now) declared themselves bankrupt.

    As we are all aware on this board, nothing gets the broomstick up the arse brigade ready to get up on their soap boxes and shout their uniformed, xenophobic, outdated and often uneducated opinions, than the talk of PI rugby and their struggles.

    I'm sure it'll filter down to you colonials in about 35 years, that apparently, once again,NZ is largely at fault here (although to be fair, the RFU is taking a bollocking too). From our schoolboy recruitment system, where we drag young islanders kicking and screaming, in chains, shackles whilst holding their families to ransom down to our schools, basically forcing them to commit to NZ rugby and the All Blacks, against their true wishes, to the now circulated theory that all 150,000 plus samoan/tongans in NZ are all there due to schoolboy rugby recruitment, it's all flying!

    So, get ready down there in NZ ... like a freight train, it's coming ...

    On a serious note, it is shit that any union has financial troubles which makes it hard for them to put funded, professional team together. But with any luck, perhaps the long needed clearout and restructure which PI rugby has needed at the top for many a year, is finally going to happen.



  • I don't think any Samoans are blaming NZ (cue Eliota). All my family and friends (Samoans ofcourse) are putting the blame squarely on the Prime Minister. We all know they're corrupt, and we knew we were in the shit when he was in charge of the Samoan Rugby Union. There are fears that he is trying to sell out to the Chinese in Samoa.



  • The good news is The Manu have selected TNW at first-five for this weekend's test. It's the experiment The Fern has wanted to see. And if it works it could ignite their flailing test side.



  • @mimic From what I've read about it, since this hit the media late last night, I got the same impression.





  • Not sure if I should go stargazer on this one and protest that this wasn't appended to the existing Revenue Sharing thread. 😉

    http://www.thesilverfern.com/topic/1978/revenue-sharing/104?page=6

    I'd put a reasonable amount of work into that one explaining Samoa's revenue sources ......



  • @stargazer said in Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently):

    Newshub:

    Samoan Rugby Union declared bankrupt ahead of Test matches against Scotland and England

    Stuff:

    Can a PM (or administrator) just 'declare' an organisation bankrupt in Samoa? or do they need to file for bankruptcy through normal channels .....

    I see this as a play by the SRU, in an attempt top put a focus on revenue sharing. I think they saw how the threatened player strike in the lead up to their 2014 Twickenham appearance was 'effective' (It wasn't really, the players got a $200 a week raise. But it did put focus on the SRU governance, follow the money etc ......)

    The SRU debts aren't actually very big.

    However, I entirely agree that the SRU should be angling for a revenue share, so I have plenty of sympathy. I also however have plenty of suspicion of the administrators of the SRU.



  • From that article.

    The Rugby Football Union will make a goodwill payment of GBP75,000 (NZ$142,043) to the Samoan Rugby Union after the association was declared bankrupt ahead of internationals against Scotland and England.
    

    SRU were asking for for $200k USD (300K NZD) a few weeks back.

    RFU appears to have finally buckled, and come back with half the amount. (which is the same amount they gave to Fiji last year).



  • I wonder what this part means.

    Press Association Sport understands the RFU are set to make a similar payment to the Samoan Rugby Union, who wrote to their hosts detailing the issues of their dispute with global governing body World Rugby over on-going funding issues and their national administration.
    

    the issues of their dispute with global governing body World Rugby over on-going funding issues and their national administration.

    More layers to this I suspect. Are IRB with-holding some of this year's funding? Have SRU not met some of their goverance criteria that funding is dependent on?



  • This is the closest I can find to a SRU financial report.

    http://www.samoaobserver.ws/en/18_10_2017/local/25561/Rugby-Union-struggles-with-over-$1m-debt.htm

    The Union has had a tough year in 2016 trying to deal with a large overdraft due to settling over $1 million in debts during 2015. 
    
    Overall activities of the Union for 2016 saw a net loss of $106,000 with the S.R.U posting a profit of $153,000 which was offset by a loss in High Performance Unit of $259,000. 
    
    The Unions immediate debts have decreased from $685,000 to $480,000 and the Union is looking at closing off all long outstanding debts by 2018.
    

    Debts aren't large. Don't know the currency. $480k
    But income was a loss of $106.

    I don't know how they managed to reduce their debt in they year by 205K.

    So maybe they made a $106k loss last year because they were re-paying $200k of their debt, and reduced their debt by 30% in a single year?
    Not sure if that is bankruptcy territory.



  • In the lead up to this over the last few days we had

    Manu and Mako urging their team mates to give a little fo their GBP22k match fee to their Samoan opponents;

    Then reports of a Radiothon in Samoa to raise funds for their rugby union:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/2018620878/sport-samoan-public-asked-to-bail-out-broke-rugby-union



  • It's difficult for me this issue, I want revenue sharing for T2 unions, I'm ok with the SRU using an opportunity to highlight the issue.

    But there is just so much misinformation trotted out, by the SRU, or on their behalf.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/2018620878/sport-samoan-public-asked-to-bail-out-broke-rugby-union

    TIPI AUTAGAVAIA: It's just been reported that World Rugby is not giving any funds to this tour but it's early for me to say exactly what reason is behind that but it was in local newspaper reports last weekend, about the financial situation of the Rugby Union
    

    World Rugby - for the November window, support package includes insurance cover, underwriting assembly costs for a pre-tour camp, flights to and from Europe.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/343386/bg-distraught-by-samoa-rugby-union-s-bankruptcy

    Samoa play Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday and England at Twickenham on Nov. 25.
    Tuilaepa said there was no money to pay for player insurance and the head coach's salary.
    

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/08/england-players-will-consider-donating-fees-to-samoa-anthony-watson

    Malielegaoi added that the union could not afford to insure its players for the autumn fixtures, initially casting doubt on Samoa’s games against Scotland on Saturday and England this month. It is understood, however, that World Rugby underwrites insurance for players during the official November window and pays for flights while England and Scotland will cover costs in the lead-up to their matches.
    

    So, the only costs Samoa have for a November tour, are player payments £650 / NZD$1000 per game, and the coach's salary.

    There's plenty enough money provided by IRB and by hosting unions to keep SRU ticking along. The difference that revenue sharing would make is that it would allow SRU potential to improve.But I do believe there a problems closer to home that SRU need to fix before increased revenue would make too much difference.



  • In the late lamented revenue sharing thread. I estimated that Samoa get NZD$1.7m a year from IRB in direct funding

    So on average, a union like Samoa diretly receive £3.4m form the IRB over 4 years. Which is about $7m NZD, plus have about £1.6m of their costs covered via IRB competions
    

    So Samoa average NZD $1.75m a year in IRB funding.
    And benefit from by NZD $0.4m a year by having costs covered when the participate in IRB funded tournaments (HSBC 7s, PNC, Oceania U20s, U20 world cup/trophy, RWC qualifying, Their A team participated in an IRB tournament in Montevideo).
    There is an IRB funded bricks on the ground rugby academy in Apia.
    Then when Samoa tour they have their in-country costs covered.
    Their players are full time professionals in foreign leagues.

    There is absolutely no reason for them to be losing money and going bankrupt. Follow the money.

    Their costs are:

    • 15s coach & 7's
    • 7's players salaries
    • administrators
    • local amateur rugby

    There is an issue, but it isn't (or shouldn't be bakruptcy)
    The issues should be

    • fair revenue sharing for Tier 2 nations with no domestic revenue source
    • governance of PI unions (which is actually being addressed)


  • I got a feeling the Tongan RFU at one time was being run by an IRB employee in an attempt to sort things out over some issues (pretty obvious what those issues must have been), maybe about five or six years or so ago. Think the locals ended up shunting him aside and the IRB ceasing grants to Tonga as a result.

    I'm sure we all want local rugby in the pacific to be strong and for that to happen takes good governance, whether that be by the locals or IRB personnel (given the IRB fund the vast majority of costs anyway). We can only hope that some sort of permanent working solution can be sorted out so that rugby in the pacific can continue to grow and thrive.



  • @higgins said in Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently):

    I got a feeling the Tongan RFU at one time was being run by an IRB employee in an attempt to sort things out over some issues (pretty obvious what those issues must have been), maybe about five or six years or so ago. Think the locals ended up shunting him aside and the IRB ceasing grants to Tonga as a result.

    I'm sure we all want local rugby in the pacific to be strong and for that to happen takes good governance, whether that be by the locals or IRB personnel (given the IRB fund the vast majority of costs anyway). We can only hope that some sort of permanent working solution can be sorted out so that rugby in the pacific can continue to grow and thrive.

    Yes. In particular for Tonga and Samoa I'd say the biggest source of revenue are IRB direct grants. But some of those grants are dependent on certain governance standards. E.g. the IRB get a say in who is employed in a position if they are funding it.

    You don't want a situation like Zimbabwe cricket, before the ICC was hijacked by the Big3, where the richest men in Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe must have been his cronies that were in charge of the cash-cow Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

    Unless there was an earlier instance. The Tongan example was just a year ago. Billy and Mako Vunipola's dad Faeo assumed control of the TRU and sacked two guys employed in positions (Head coach & High Performance Manager) funded by the IRB, without consulting the IRB, and hired 2 new guys in those positions, without consulting the IRB. The IRB froze funding.

    The IRB appears to be fairly hands on with its grants to Tier 2 unions that don't meet their governance criteria.

    I'd assume is Peter Harding in article below is the guy you mean when you say "Tongan RFU at one time was being run by an IRB employee"?

    World Rugby is after a "please explain" around the decision to not renew the contracts of high performance manager Peter Harding and XVs coach Mana Otai, both of whom served the last four-year cycle. Those moves came after interim chairman Feao Vunipola, the father of England rugby stars Mako and Billy, assumed control.  
    
    As part of the agreement for funding those roles, World Rugby expect to be consulted about such decisions. Vunipola did not respond to a request for comment.
    
    "If they have chosen not to continue with the contracts of those staff then we want to understand why because we fund those positions in full."
    

    Actually. Maybe you mean this earlier instance from 2011:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/4904390/Tonga-rugby-in-serious-financial-strife

    Tonga's Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, says they are trying to rectify problems inside the Tonga Rugby Union Authority.
    
    Controversy blew up over the salary being paid to authority chair Bob Tuckey of Australia, a former International Rugby Board (IRB) vice president.
    
    Tuckey took over after the IRB effectively put the authority into administration when it could not account for what happened to the equivalent of NZ$2.5 million given as a development grant.
    
    The former authority, headed by now Member of Parliament Sangstar Saulala, has petitioned the government to remove Tuckey.
    
    They allege he was paid T$300,000 for his chairmanship, along with ongoing accommodation at the Dateline Hotel out of public funds, something the petitioners called "costly to taxpayers."
    


  • I sure hope they are able to find some money before this transfer fee system England are proposing comes in.

    Sounds pretty suspect by all reports - union paying overs for players to stay at board members hotels etc etc - the works. I would be all for a 'death penalty' sanction in the future similar to college athletics where the union could be excluded from international competition and/or World Cups if mismanaged. Yes, you punish the innocent in some instances - but mutiny is a pretty big disincentive for funny business in rugby-passionate countries.

    If paying the Head Coach is an issue the NZRU should approach SRU and offer up NZ contracted coaches for a discounted rate. Only have six top tier head coaching spots and obviously one international. Would always nice to be a friendly opening to stash coaches wanting that international experience.



  • Did the Samoan RU make/lose any money from the Blues-Reds game this year?



  • @rotated said in Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently):

    I sure hope they are able to find some money before this transfer fee system England are proposing comes in.

    Sounds pretty suspect by all reports - union paying overs for players to stay at board members hotels etc etc - the works. I would be all for a 'death penalty' sanction in the future similar to college athletics where the union could be excluded from international competition and/or World Cups if mismanaged. Yes, you punish the innocent in some instances - but mutiny is a pretty big disincentive for funny business in rugby-passionate countries.

    If paying the Head Coach is an issue the NZRU should approach SRU and offer up NZ contracted coaches for a discounted rate. Only have six top tier head coaching spots and obviously one international. Would always nice to be a friendly opening to stash coaches wanting that international experience.

    NZRU did pay for Samoa head coach circa 2003 IIRC. Was it John Boe?



  • This is quite an interesting read, by Lee Smith - Oceania Development manager (2001 – 2010) and also a former NZRU development manager

    http://leesmith.co.nz/?p=863

    Surprisingly candid.

    Don't know why all my google searches to find out info on Samoan rugby funding always comes back with loads of dirt on the Tongan Rugby Union ........ Is there a Samoan employed by Google manipulating the algorithim .....

    Funding, once it arrives, maybe used for its intended purpose, but more often than not, it isn’t, it just disappears. When checks are made and funding cannot be accounted for, funding is stopped, but there is still plenty on the list of benefactors to tap into.
    
    This is further compromised by the hierarchical society protecting those at the top of the social order especially if it is deemed that the miss-used funding helps the extended family, village, church and community. In these countries there is a superficial democracy. Also be aware that there are informal structures within these societies that go back for hundreds of years and nothing will move without their say so.
    
    Organisations such as the IRB have had to put in place systems to ensure accountability. One answer is to put in your own staff, but living in the society, implementing what you want but not what the locals want, can mean that these individuals become isolated and lonely. They can become politically involved to solve the petty corruption, petty by Hanover and Enron standards. This means they take sides. This can be fatal especially if the parent organisation is more sensitive to the opinions of the union establishment than to the job their employee is doing.
    
    

    Some of the bad bits, misappropriation;

    Rugby in Tonga reflects what the royalty and aristocracy assume is their right to do unto themselves and to no others. They run their rugby union with this in mind.
    
    This has led to growing conflict and IRB dissatisfaction with the union.
    
    At the 1995 RWC the Tonga management sold match tickets that were for the players and pocketed the money.
    

    More bad bits;

    Tonga played Korea in a Rugby World Cup qualifier in Seoul and their next game was a Pan Pacific game against Japan in Tokyo. They went from Seoul to Tokyo and charged the IRB for travel from Seoul to Nuku’alofa to Tokyo pocketing the difference. This was followed by a game in San Francisco against the USA to which they sent 16 players and the union executive and their wives.
    
    The union’s development grant was cut in half as a disciplinary measure. We knew we were in trouble when the then CEO resigned only to become Minister of Police.
    
    The criteria set out at the time for development funding was flawed as it was based on the assumption that all unions had infrastructure. My fault and they don’t. Recommendations were made to audit, but these were not taken seriously until high-performance funding was made available.
    
    The deputy chairman of the IRB visited the union, and at last we had a policy of allowing unions to identify their own needs and to be accountable to them. But even then it has been hard going as, since this time, local autonomy has been used by self-interested groups to undermine any efforts to deliver a high performance programme.
    

    yikes;

    Appointments
    
    It is not always the Tongans who have difficulty. Most of the offshore coaching and managerial talent do a good job, but an indifferent method of selection to these positions can lead to appointments on mate’s rates.
    
    The mate’s rates appointment that was most flawed was a New Zealander who was appointed manager for 2003 Rugby World Cup along with the New Zealand coach and entourage. The manager’s credibility was based on family links with Tongan royalty.
    
    Prior to the Rugby World Cup, the Japanese had negotiated a tour for the Tongans all expenses paid for, for Rugby World Cup preparation.
    
    I was warned about what was happening by Ross Cooper and we met the Japanese CEO Koji Takamasu, who was touring New Zealand with the Japanese “A” team, the Tongan CEO and the manager. The guts of the situation was that preparations for the tour had gone past the point of no return, assisted by the Japanese being people whose word is their bond.
    
    The tour was only weeks away and suddenly the Tongans were demanding excessive amounts of training equipment, training gear and apparel. The training gear was to be new at each training venue and from there shipped back to Tonga. In addition, they wanted apparel for each season of the year. The tour was in the summer – fleece tracksuits were not really required. The Japanese were shell shocked, having never struck such a blatant, excessive and dishonourable attitude.
    
    The Tonga team manager’s attitude was “take it or leave it”, no compromise. The tour went ahead, but what the manager didn’t realise was that Japanese memories are long. Maybe he didn’t care, he would be long gone.
    

    Keep in mind, this article above is from a guy who worked in the region 2001 - 10.
    It's relevant from a culture POV.
    Is background as to why, I suppose, the IRB is putting governance criteria these days in their grants.



  • @rapido Yes, The one I was referring to was the Bob Tuckey affair but as you can see it was a number of years ago and I could not recall the names of the people involved other than they (a faction involved in Tongan rugby) ousted the IRB appointee. But you can see from your searches plenty of instances or utterly gross corruption and it has existed for a fair while. I still hear talk about times when "bolters" were selected in teams so it was not just financial aspects that were under a cloud but also team composition. The latter is probably not so prevalent nowadays, or at least not in the national XVs team but some of the 7s teams do see some "newly discovered talents" on the team list.
    One wonders how much longer Sir Gordon Teitjens will remain given the rotating door that the Samoa 7s coaching position seems to have become, often at the behest of the Samoa Rugby CEO and its Board.