Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The ORFU drama - is it time to go cap in hand to Government?

I guess it was only a matter of time before someone made the suggestion that the Government could bail the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) out. Fortunately the PM has poured cold water on this suggestion.

This from the PM:
"It's a bit of a worry, it's a very old union, historically very successful. I understand, amongst other things, they had a lot of debts racked up against Carisbrook that they couldn't sell for the price they anticipated they would."
If there's one thing I've learned over time, it is that history counts for very little when it comes to paying the bills. Sport is no different, semi-professional or not, than any other business. If the bills can't be paid one way or another, then maybe it is time to shut up shop. I have two concerns with a proposed Government approach. My main concern would be what message would be sent to other unions who have been and continue to struggle by on modest means if the Government decided that the ORFU was worthy of a bailout. It might seem heartless, but the reality is that sports must also pay their way and live within their means, just like the rest of us. The other concern is the movement of good money following bad - how much would be 'enough'?

Of course, if there was a wealthy benefactor (or more) in the deep South who felt that the continued presence of Otago rugby was worthy of private investment, I am sure the ORFU would gladly consider all offers!

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