Respect starts at the top!

Respect starts at the top!

Since rugbyunited started nearly four years ago, we've seen a rise in the amount of comments about keeping and enforcing rugby values. 

From respect to professional refs, to respecting volunteers, to the corporates looking for a boozy day out at HQ, to pro players diving - these are all topics rugbyunited have covered and discussed in the last few months alone. 

The salary cap issues that have arisen in the last few days have been met with utter dismay. In my view, this isn't a witch hunt about innocent or guilty clubs and their respective owners wealth, or even how they bend the rules. 

It's about adhering to our rugby values - and that has to start top down. 

Rugby values are Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. Governing bodies like premiership rugby (and others) need to install this, and as the way the world is these days, have robust enough legal documents to underpin it. And the legal clout to enforce. 

I know sport is competitive, I know the pressure of success on the field is great, and the pressure of success off the field is great too, but our governing bodies across the world have to uphold and promote these values - they have to be utmost leaders and set the example. 

As a businessman, I will always try and gain competing advantage within the boundaries of my industry guidelines and conduct, so I don't knock the clubs for trying. What we all want, not just in our professional leagues, in our semi pro, amateur leagues, individual country RFUs and the World Rugby governing body is robust accountability, transparency and integrity and that will underpin rugby values being set from the top. 

 

The custodians of our game need to regulate what is now a professional industry - and match the money that the game is going to attract. If the rugby community are going to self regulate, let's not see scandals that have embraced industry, like financial services or a host of other examples. And let's not even look at the round ball game and the scandals that are facing both FIFA! 

 

No more secret deals - that creates public witch hunts. 

 

We pride our values on the pitch, off the pitch as supporters - please, governing bodies, set the tone. Enforce rugby values. Create respect. You are as accountable for this as I am.