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Fresh from earning £933,000 last year, SRU boss Dodson only agrees pandemic pay deferral and not a cut

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Controversial CEO Mark Dodson will likely cause yet more anger among Scottish rugby’s rank and file after only agreeing to a pay deferral – rather than an actual pay cut – as the sport in Scotland tries to get to grips with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.  

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There was a sizable backlash in the Scottish rugby community after The Offside Line revealed in January the staggering salaries paid to Scottish Rugby Union executives. 

Anger gripped Scotland in January after the revelation of what the SRU’s top executive was paid

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The website reported that the highest-paid executive – which is usually the chief executive, in this instance Dodson – received £933,000 for the year up to May 31, 2019, which was double his previous year’s earnings of £455,000. The fees and salaries for all the company directors also jumped from £1.13m to £2.246m.

The revelation caused a huge storm, with journalists and fans alike expressing outrage on social media at these findings and dissecting the situation Scottish rugby found itself in. 

Those critics are unlikely to be placated by the latest development which took place at a Scottish Rugby board conference call last Friday – a decision for Dodson to take a 30 per cent salary deferral from April 1 to September 1, and a 25 per cent salary/fees deferral for the same period for the executive and non-executive directors.

Additionally, the country’s three main head coaches Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Richard Cockerill (Edinburgh) and Dave Rennie (Glasgow Warriors) also agreed to a 25 per cent salary deferral alongside Jim Mallinder, the director of performance rugby, for the same period.

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In a statement released on Tuesday, the SRU stated: “The welfare of all our staff, clubs and players were top of the agenda and a full discussion held on the steps put in place to ensure they are all supported at this difficult time.

“It was noted that significant and detailed work is also on-going, at a pace, to review the considerable financial impacts on Scottish Rugby and the game in Scotland at all levels in respect of Covid-19… these initial steps and other steps will be reviewed ongoing in light of the challenge the sport faces.”

Colin Grassie, chairman of the Scottish Rugby board, added: “We are working extremely hard to navigate the sport of rugby in Scotland through these extremely challenging times. We would like to thank all our staff, sponsors, stakeholders for their support and collaboration.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us, but we will get there together and we will leave no stone left unturned to ensure the long term sustainability of Scottish Rugby and the sport in Scotland.”

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WATCH: Finn Russell chats to Jim Hamilton in the latest episode of The Lockdown, the new RugbyPass series

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Shaylen 3 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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