The Eastern Cape has been shafted again, with SANZAR deciding that Melbourne will be awarded the 15th Super rugby franchise from 2011 on. It’s hardly surprising, however disappointing it may be for the Kings team, who according to all reports did a bloody good job and put forward a technically superior proposal to the Melbourne gang.
At the end of the day, it just makes no sense to have a South African team play in the Australian conference and this was ultimately the deciding factor, on two major counts. Firstly, it would cost an additional $700k (Aussie) to include the Kings, what with all the extra travel for all teams involved. Secondly, Aussie broadcasters want more local derbies and will pay considerably less for a package that includes only the current four teams. That means less revenue for SANZAR, over and above the extra costs. Less revenue plus more costs equals bad business sense.
So brace yourselves, guys, because the Kings aren’t going to go away and the next thing we’ll hear, no doubt, is that the bottom-placed South African team next year will automatically be relegated in favour of the Kings. Bring it on, says your truly!Tweet