1 Jul

John O'Groats Speaks Out
by Paul Waite
1 Jul 2007

Having finished up a highly successful mission abroad offending large numbers of people for lots of money, John O’Groats has once again slipped his Armani-trousered derriere into the Chief Executives chair of the ARU.

Once there he immediately got up again and, as is his wont, started to do what he’s best at – making the easy things hard, and the hard things even harder. Here is a news media report of a recent address, together with some helpful editorial clarifications to aid understanding (our thanks to The Anger Management Weekly).

Angered by South Africa’s decision to send an understrength Tri-Nations squad to Australasia, O’Groats revealed the Australian Rugby Union was considering seeking compensation.

The returning ARU chief executive then also suggested the Super 14 should be extended and expanded if European nations continued to send second-string teams south in the winter.

“It’s my first day in the job and I’m very angry about this,” he said of the Springbok “betrayal”.

[There's nothing like a bit of perspective, balance and restraint, and true enough, this is nothing like it. - Ed.]

“You expect it from the northern hemisphere nations but you don’t expect it from your Sanzar partners, it’s not in the spirit of the relationship.”

[O'Groats is very well-placed to know all about what is, and is not, in the spirit of a relationship, owing to the valuable experience he acquired when managing the 2003 Rugby World Cup co-hosting rights 'betrayal' of his counterparts, the New Zealand Rugby Union. - Ed.]

O’Groats said South Africa, which claimed leading players needed to be rested for their welfare before the World Cup, had given an unsatisfactory response to the ARU’s disapproval.

[That would be "unsatisfactory" on the What Satisfies John O'Meter we suppose. That's the meter with a scale of a huge red zone from 0-9 and a tiny green zone at 10 labelled "Everything My Way" - Ed.]

It has ARU officials raising the issue of compensation, in the order of $A200,000 ($NZ223,000) for potential lost gate revenue for the July 7 Springbok clash in Sydney, to the SARU.

[Rumour has it that, following this very same reasoning, legal sources assert the New Zealand Rugby Union has grounds for suing the Australian Union for a much larger amount due to the Wallabies being such a useless bunch of losers over the years resulting in poorer gate receipts and betting income for the TAB than would have otherwise been the case. - Ed.]

“That issue has to be on the table,” O’Groats said.

“If this was a normal commercial transaction and if one party had arguably not met their end of the bargain then the other party would be looking at some claim for damages.

“But that’s not the rugby way and I accept that but the financial damage and the reputational (sic) damage has to be spelt out.”

[Unfortunately we have discovered that "reputational" can't be spelled out at all because it isn't actually in the dictionary. - Ed.]

O’Groats warned the damage filtered down to broadcasting rights, with a new contract to be renegotiated with News Ltd at the end of 2010.

“What if our broadcasters and sponsors claim on us and say you didn’t deliver what you promised to deliver. Then you have to have recourse to someone,” he said.

“I’m trying to get through to (South Africa) that this can have a knock-on effect.

[Well you should settle that with a scrum then. Oh I forgot, Australians couldn't scrum against a team of grannies. - Ed.]

“We are only two-and-a-half years away from a new broadcasting deal. Do you really think News Ltd and the broadcasters that they have sold the rights to haven’t noticed this and noticed the resting of 22 New Zealand players in the first seven rounds?”

O’Groats will spell out his concerns on the effect of the World Cup and the reluctance of European clubs to release test players for southern tours to the IRB in the coming months.

[It took O'Groats only four paragraphs of his first speech to threaten and rubbish the South African Rugby Union, ten more to stick something very long and spiky up the rear end of the New Zealand Rugby Union, and a further single paragraph to tee-up the Europeans for a bit of a tickle. O'Groats ought to be leading the UN diplomatic effort in the Middle East. He'd clear up the little problems they're having over there in no time. - Ed.]

“We’re used to doing battle on this issue due to the club v country dilemma and there are regulations that cover that but now we’re in a World Cup year and it’s Rafferty’s rules,” he said.

“(There’s a view) the holy grail is September to October and so everything that leads into that, doesn’t matter. Well sorry, commercial partners won’t accept that.

“If we have to deliver protocols in a World Cup year, well let’s do it.

“I guess the message now is that we have to turn our minds to preserve the integrity and protocol of the international contest. Otherwise we will fall into friendlies.

[The pieces of gibberish making up the previous couple of paras have all of us completely stumped. At the time of going to press, no actual meaning could be elicited from these words. - Ed.]

“If the encroachment of (European) club competitions become so extensive then you have to really start to think about some options about expanding Super rugby is a better way to go.”

O’Groats was speaking after attending the 1400-strong Weary Dunlop Lunch in Melbourne, where he announced the city would host a Wallabies-Ireland Test at the MCG or Telstra Dome next year.

A guest at the lunch was predecessor Lands End, who resigned in May.

The above speech was put through the WotESaid program, a special high-powered software package which condenses prose into its component parts, removes all of the meaningless verbage and para-phrases the remainder into concise sentences. We felt that O’Groats speech required it. Here is the condensed meaning of that speech (certain ‘technical’ jargon has been removed on the grounds they might cause too much clarity):

“South Africa can go and —- itself, or be —-ed by me, and either way I’m going to win. New Zealand can go and —- itself AND be —-ed by me because it’s a hobby of mine that I like very much indulging in and intend to keep on doing happily in the years to come. The Europeans can just —- off generally. And all you buggers here listening can —- right off too, because I don’t give a —- what I say as long as I make an unfavourable impression.”
(the above condensate has an accuracy level of 99%)

Paul Waite

Paul Waite

Haka editor-in-chief. Please do not feed.

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