Andy Marinos opens up about changing face of SANZAAR
IN CONVERSATION WITH STEFAN TERBLANCHE: “Today’s structure becomes tomorrow’s fish-and-chips wrapper.”
This was the aphoristic words of SANZAAR Chief Executive Officer Andy Marinos, when he described how COVID-19 had impacted on their planning for the rest of 2020 and the future.
In the interview with South African Rugby Legends Association CEO Stefan Terblanche – as part of the #RugbyUnites webinar series to raise funds for needy families affected by COVID-19 – Marinos touched on many pressing issues surrounding the current state of the game across the globe.
They talked about how COVID-19 has completely changed the landscape for Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship, as well as how the game might change in years to come.
“Everybody has worked really hard to ensure rugby resumes,” Marinos said, adding: “It has not been easy.”
He said the focus now is to get domestic rugby “up and running” and hopefully have an international series toward the end of the year.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said earlier this week the Rugby Championship looks set to take place between 24 October and 5 December in New Zealand.
Marinos confirmed that New Zealand looks to be “the safest place” to stage such a tournament.
He added that there is a “huge dependency” on the broadcast revenue and that is why it is critical that they stage some form of international rugby”.
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“If we can’t provide content, we can’t expect to be paid,” he said of the contracts they have in place with the various broadcasters.
“It has been tougher on the unions that on SANZAAR, as they have had to consolidate really heavily.”
He added that getting the Rugby Championship up-and-running is “pretty critical” to the ongoing sustainability of the SANZAAR organisation.
“There has been an impact in that we were not able to deliver the July [international] window, and that is why it’s all hands on deck and everybody has been proactive in seeking a solution for us to get the TRC up and running,” Marinos said.
“It is not just about giving our fans and the game a much-needed boost by having live traditional rivalries back on the field, but also enabling the unions and broadcasters to generate revenue to continue to sustain them through the third and fourth quarters of 2020.”
He said the date and venue – while expected to be October through to December in New Zealand – is still in the planning process.
“That’s the new narrative for all of us now.
“We can only really understand for absolute certainty probably a day ahead of us.
“That’s certainly where we are going. There are other permutations, as covered in the media, about getting players released out of the European leagues. That is very important when you look at South Africa and Argentina, who have a fair sprinkling of good players in those competitions.”
He added it is also important how much both South African and Argentinean player can play before the Rugby Championship kicks off.
“They require at least a good five or six weeks of rugby under their belt and are match ready to go and play international rugby, understanding that the Kiwis and Aussies have had close to 10 to 12 weeks of rugby before the Rugby Championship does come around.”