Exeter Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe’s recent comments labelling England as “greedy” have not gone down well at all.
After the Chiefs secured a historic European and domestic double over the weekend when they overcame Wasps in torrid conditions in the Gallagher Premiership final, Rowe chastised the Rugby Football Union for the lack of compensation clubs receive upon losing players during the international window. He said: “We employ the players, they are our players. Being forced to release them for so many international games is not good. We don’t get compensated enough.
“The reality is that we bred these guys for ourselves, we didn’t breed them for England.
“England can get too greedy. They are very quick to run the other way when we want money. At the moment we are desperate for money in the Premiership to stay alive.”
In the wake of these comments, Rowe has faced an attack from all angles online from those that have taken umbrage with his comments.
The main point that many have raised is that international rugby is the pinnacle of any player’s career, more so than other sports. Though Rowe has not suggested otherwise, the emphasis is that the priority for any player should always be to play international rugby.
Rowe’s comments have not simply fallen on deaf ears; there are those that appreciate his point and understand where he is coming from, but have said that this is a longstanding problem that the likes of Leicester Tigers and Saracens have faced. Moreover, other chairmen have raised this same issue in the past.
The current deal in place with the RFU for releasing players has also been mentioned by fans in a further line of attack.
Additionally, the timing of this complaint is another area of contention given the financial pressure the RFU finds itself under during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The irony of this entire situation is that Exeter Chiefs are not particularly well represented in the England squad given their recent success.
Only three players, Henry Slade, Harry Williams and Jonny Hill have made Eddie Jones’ 36-man squad, with Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jack Nowell injured.
When compared to player losses Leicester, Wasps and Saracens faced when they were in their pomp, Exeter could actually count themselves lucky that their squad has not been completely decimated.
Chill out….amazing how his aim is to not have players recognised at international level yet Pat Lam is actively encouraging it @BristolBears surely that is every players dream to represent their country?! Maybe try being more humble like your DOR
— Finn is King (@alanwalters6) October 25, 2020
Jeeez after two big wins and complaining already! Look at how many games Saracens England players played in over the years…at most it 50% of the prem matches. Never heard them or any other club moaning about England. Success comes with challenges Tony!
— markyayman (@MarkWayman1973) October 26, 2020
What a hypocritical idiot!
Doing everything he could to ensure Sarries were relegated, although they had to have a big squad to support all the international windows, then as soon as it comes his way he wants more money.
— Grubber Rucky (@GrubberRucky) October 26, 2020
I don’t like this one bit. The players put in the endless hours on the pitch and in the gym to be the best they can be, which means playing at the top for country and Lions. They might be contracted by the club but they are not owned. This attitude will bring central contracts.
— ZippyChuck (@ZippyChuck) October 26, 2020
I see his point and he’s not wrong, but the reality is, for the generic rugby fan, international rugby and a successful England team is the sport. England winning the 6N is more important to most than any club success. So compromise needed on all sides.
— Gareth Hopley (@GarethTheHop) October 26, 2020
Sorry, that’s a massively selfish statement. The players are the guys that have worked hard, made the sacrifices- they deserve and have earned the chance to play international rugby. All he’s done(not belittling this) is out the money in. All the hard work was done by others.
— Graham Binns (@Binnsey22) October 26, 2020
I’m not a fan of his at all but you can see his point. The club pays for the coaches and set up to develop them, give them the game time to develop and then they get injured on international duty and the club foots the bill to treat them
— Zane (@ZaneZane1987) October 26, 2020
It’s a funny old world, I didn’t hear Mr Rowe support other successful club owners when they have mentioned this in the past!
— Lordb (@Lordb77366481) October 26, 2020
Welcome to the world of Big Clubs Tony, something Tigers have struggled to manage over the last 10 years! selfish words, without the national game the sport would hardly be in the public domain.
— Jim Concar (@Concaj1) October 26, 2020
Clubs negotiated the terms of player release/payments. Have there been breaches of this contract?? Not happy? Renegotiate. Stop whining about it. Oh and while you’re at it drop all references to indigenous Indians and the bollox that is the tomahawk chop.@ExChiefs4Change
— Biriani (@biriani) October 26, 2020
Ahh this the same Tony Rowe being lauded as “good for English rugby”? Funny how he was very quiet when the other owners expressed concerns years back? Is he suggesting the recent £200m package wasn’t good enough now? https://t.co/bKvubnTAf1
— Chris Wish (@wishee2071) October 26, 2020
Ripe coming coming from him. Saracens have been stocking England with five, six, seven largely home grown players per game for 7-8 years now. Exeter hardly any in comparison. Thats why they had to recruit bigger squad. Rowe had no sympathy for them and I have no sympathy for Rowe
— sussexfox (@sussexfox1) October 26, 2020
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