Amazon Dumps English Rugby Documentary


English Rugby A Mess

As a passionate fan of English rugby, it pains me to witness the current state of the men's game in our country. It's more than just a slump; it's a mess that threatens to relegate our beloved sport further down the list of minority sports unless drastic changes occur soon.

Once European behemoths, Saracens slumped to their biggest defeat in the European Champions Cup on Sunday night as they wilted under the pressure of the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas and were beaten 55-15 by a rampant Bordeaux-Begles side.

It's easy for many to point fingers at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and blame them for the chaos, but the reality is far more complex. The RFU is not a governing body with the power to impose laws; it's an amalgamation of conflicting interests, from member clubs to the Council and board of directors.

Financial Issues

The current discord involves the Premiership battling with the Council over financial allocations from the RFU. Meanwhile, the Championship is entangled in conflicts with both the Premiership and the Council, lacking a credible plan beyond the plea for more funding. The Rugby Players Association (RPA) finds itself at odds with clubs and the RFU on financial matters, while England players have opted to distance themselves from the RPA in pursuit of better remuneration.

The severity of rugby's issues is highlighted in a recent Ernst and Young report, revealing that although rugby ranks as the fourth sport in terms of the country's engagement base, it plummets to 28th for the 18 to 24 age group.

Wake Up Call

Amazon Prime's refusal to continue its documentary series 'Mud, Sweat and Tears' serves as a harsh wake-up call for English rugby. Beyond the reported issue of limited access to 2023 World Cup preparations, Amazon bluntly labelled Premiership rugby as ‘a disaster.’ 

For those advocating the abandonment of overseas player rules, the challenge becomes apparent. How do we compensate for the departure of top players abroad? How can we make the Premiership appealing to broadcasters and fill stadiums without these star players?

These questions demand thoughtful answers and strategic planning for the sake of our beloved sport's future. As fans, we must rally behind solutions that ensure the vitality and success of English rugby, acknowledging that change is not only necessary but imperative.


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