Don’t you hate it when a game ends in a draw?
With a result, at least one team gets to celebrate. With a draw nobody wins. Both teams and their supporters come away feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. It’s a lose/lose situation.
So it was with Wednesday’s announcement that Rugby Australia had come to terms with Israel Folau. The marathon mediation had ended in a draw. Both sides apologised to each other for the hurt they may have caused. Other than that, the terms of settlement remain unknown and bound by confidentiality agreements. Which means speculation will run rampant for weeks, months or years to come. Yet, both sides are claiming victory.
I’m not sure how those who backed their favourite, Folau, to win to the tune of $2 million feel. Probably the same as the feeling you get when your horse is the subject of a late scratching or the whole meeting is abandoned due to rain and all bets are off.
I, it must be said, am not Rugby fan. I am, however, a tragic devotee of Rugby League. Which are two (almost) entirely different games – a fact that seems lost on many AFL fans. Rugby (sometimes called Rugby Union) is to Rugby League what Gaelic Football is to AFL – except that unlike Gaelic Footy, Rugby has developed into a massive international sport since it was first played on the hallowed fields of Rugby, a school in Warwickshire, England circa 1845.
I have no opinion one way or t’other of Rugby Australia or its management. I’d never heard of RA CEO, Raelene Castle until this Israel Folau kerfuffle started about seven months ago. What I have gleaned, though, is that, to some, she is the most hated woman in Australia, especially at 2GB and the Murdoch press – much of it driven by Alan Jones regular column in The Australian which deals almost exclusively with taking RA and Ms Castle to task over the way they administer the game.
Also, I’d never heard of RA Chairman Cameron Clyne until last Friday when I heard him talking to Ben Fordham on 2GB.
A clearly agitated Cameron Clyne rang into Ben Fordham’s Drive show to take umbrage at an earlier discussion Fordham had had with the station’s Sportzone presenter James Willis. In that chat (audio below) Willis, after a withering critique of Castle, tells Fordham that she’ll be voted out at the next RA Board meeting on Monday (today).
Clyne (also recorded below) hotly disputed that claim, asserting that Castle is safe and has the full support of the board. Of course, in the corporate world the phrase that so and so ‘has the full support of the board’ is often used as a precursor to the subject being frog-marched out of the building a short time later. We’ll soon see if that’s the case on this occasion.
Fordham finished the interview asking Clyne: So, this board meeting on Monday, you’re 100 per cent confident that no one will raise Raelene Castle’s future at that board meeting?
Clyne replies: I’m 100 per cent confident.
By C.O.B. today, someone will have egg on their face.
Note: My apologies to James Willis who I misrepresented (above) as saying, ‘she’ll be voted out at the next RA Board meeting on Monday.’ What he actually said was that some board members are “talking about the idea of dismissing Raelene Castle. That will be discussed on Monday for the simple reason that they were kept in the dark on the Israel Folau matter.”