Outgoing Waratahs CEO slams ARU’s treatment of clubs

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Outgoing NSW Waratahs CEO Greg Harris believes the ARU have shown grassroots clubs little respect in regards to funding.

Speaking the Fairfax Media following his last day at Moore Park, the former RUPA boss said he thought club rugby was one of the ARU’s major assets and that club’s should benefit from the recent broadcast deal.

“If you’re in a situation whereby you’re under siege by the NRL, by the AFL and by soccer, what do you do with your major assets? You protect the assets that actually produce for you,” Harris said.

“I don’t see that in the national strategy. The clubs backed Bill [Pulver] when he needed his NRC, cannibalised their own program, did everything for the ARU. When the ARU’s got some funds, what’s it done? Actually ignored them.

“It’s not even the money, it’s the respect.”

Harris also argued that the Western Force should be relocated to Western Sydney, allowing the ARU to allocate its resources more effectively.

“Not even the NRL has a national footprint. They tried Adelaide, they tried Perth, but couldn’t make it work, so what makes you think the ARU has the capacity to do it? It doesn’t,” Harris said.