The shocking truth about the Fiji Rugby Union’s baseless claim to have signed an $8m a year for five years sponsorship agreement can now be revealed: it includes only $3.6m in cash per year as a humbled FRU chairman Filimone Waqabaca was forced to admit to local media (see right column)
In other words the FRU is receiving almost $4.5m each year in corporate padding to make the offer look attractive, which is likely to include millions from Vodafone in worthless free airtime and text messaging.
The $3.6m in cash each year for all the FRU’s properties means it is less than double what Digicel were paying last year for only the national 7s team and the Digicel Cup.
The make up of the Vodafone-led consortium is exactly as Fiji Leaks predicted in our article on January 12 when we reported that regime-toadying Vodafone had cobbled together a disparate group of companies to help fluff up their financial proposition: CJ Patel, ATH/Telecom Fiji and Fijian Holdings having nothing in common in business terms, other than a desire to stay close to the capricious and vengeful rule of prime minister Frank Bainimarama, and a number of expat Sri Lankans who provided the backchannel through which the deal was put together.
Even more terrifying for genuine rugby fans is the prospect raised by Francis ‘Killer’ Kean, chairman of the Suva Rugby Union over the weekend about where what little new cash this deal does generate might actually be heading.
In an article in the Fiji Sun, Kean warned that once the new sponsorship deal has been approved he wanted his cut: ‘On behalf of the Eastern and Northern Unions, we are seeking nothing less than $280,000 per major union.’ http://www.fijisun.com.fj/2014/02/01/%e2%80%98choose-right-sponsor%e2%80%99/
The FRU consists of 10 major unions, those that play in the soon to be renamed Digicel Cup, so Kean’s cash grab would see $2.8m flow to the provincial unions which in most instances are famously financially unreliable, unaudited and ill-disciplined.
The January 2010 international Suva Rugby Festival – run by Kean’s own union – was even more financially catastrophic than usual provincial union initiatives – with losses in the hundreds of thousands, a completely lost audit trail and the SRU having to rely on the FRU to bail them out.
Story by: Victor Lal
The biggest ever rugby sponsorship for Fiji rugby has been announced today after the Fiji Rugby Union confirmed that it has signed a 5 year deal with a consortium led by Vodafone Fiji Limited. Fiji Rugby Union Chairman Filimoni Waqabaca said the total value of the historic 5 year contract is $40 million. Waqabaca said it is an $8 million a year deal.
When questioned by Fijivillage, Waqabaca confirmed that the cash and kind sponsorship components are still being negotiated. However, he confirmed that the cash component for a year currently stands at $3.6 million. The cash component includes bonuses for players and cash for player contracts.
The consortium led by Vodafone includes Fiji Airways, CJ Patel Company Limited, Home Finance Company Limited and Fijian Holdings Limited. Waqabaca said all the naming rights for the different brands will be revealed later. However, it has been confirmed that the naming rights for the National 7s team will be Vodafone.
Waqabaca said the Fiji 7s team will be known as the Vodafone Fiji 7s team on the IRB 7s circuit. This means the National 7s side will run out with the new look jerseys which features the Vodafone logo.
The National 15s side will be known as the Vodafone Flying Fijians. Home Finance Company will sponsor the National Provincial Championships while the other sponsors for the brands will be revealed within the next few hours.
This will be from the Kaji rugby to the Flying Fijians and all local rugby tournaments run by the FRU. An important clause has been included in the new rugby sponsorship contract where the value of the sponsorship will be reviewed after three years.
Waqabaca said this is based on the fact that the value of Fiji rugby will grow after the 15s Rugby World Cup and the Rio Olympics.
FRU board director responsible for sponsorships Baljeet Singh said it has been agreed that the value of sponsorship will go upwards during the review of the contract after 3 years.
Acting Fiji Rugby Union CEO Doctor Berlin Kafoa also revealed that there is no clause giving the sponsors the first right of refusal after the five year contract comes to an end.
Kafoa said this will ensure that the FRU board does not have any restrictions when negotiating sponsorships after the five year term.
Story by: Vijay Narayan
A day after announcing their biggest sponsorship deal the Fiji Rugby Union has made new appointments for national team selectors, Pacific Rugby Cup and Under 20 coaches with their management.
The national selectors are Eminoni Batimala, Savenaca Aria, Joji Rinakama and Bill Gadolo. They will serve as national selectors for a term of one year. Tailevu provincial coach Lance Whippy will head the PRC team with Eroni Vereivalu his assistant coach while Joe Browne will manage the team. Suva provincial coach Salimoni Ravouvou has been appointed to coach the Fiji U20s and will be assisted by Iliesa Tanivula.
Current Vodafone Fiji 7s manager, Paula Biu will manage the Fiji U20s. All appointments are consistent with the Board’s policy of appointing those who have worked at provincial and national levels. An overseas coach has yet to be identified to lead the Flying Fijians – like in 7s, the FRU had successfully applied for a coach through the Fiji Sports Commission under the sports budget allocation from the Government. Source: Fiji Broadcasting Commission