Former Saracens director of rugby Mark Evans has lashed out at the model of domestic club rugby in the UK, believing too much rugby is being played and squads are too big.
Speaking following the announcement that investor group Remgro have decided to sell their 50% stake in Saracens, Evans was clear as to how club rugby can plan for the future in a more sustainable way.
Of the opinion wage bills are too high, Evans believes the real problem lies in the amount of rugby teams are having to play, and the size of squad that prompts them to have.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Evans, however:
If you look at the revenues the clubs have got compared to where they were 10 or 15 years ago, they’ve made huge strides.
TV rights have gone up, attendances have gone up, sponsorships have gone up. More in some clubs than others but you just go and look at the accounts and the trend is up but the costs have gone up quicker. At the moment, unlike a lot of other sports around the world, rugby union in England has got its costs out of sync with its revenue.
With a desire to scrap the Anglo-Welsh cup, Evans is focused on concentrating matches in an ever-increasing amount:
I think we need to have a limit on squad size. We play too many games with too many players. Our problem is because our costs are out of proportion, the short term solution is to play more games because we’ll get more revenue. Then we have more injuries so have to have more players and the cost goes up again.