Lansdown argument all about monopoly

The Rugby Paper|May 31, 2020

Lansdown argument all about monopoly
According to the American business magazine Forbes, there are around a thousand people in the world blessed with a healthier bank account than the Bristol owner Steve Lansdown. As one of them happens to be Sir James Dyson, who helps finance neighbouring Bath, a short stretch of the A4 in Somerset has become the rugby equivalent of Billionaire’s Row.

Sadly, the other 999 are not falling over each other in the rush to throw money in the direction of a Premiership team.

Jeff Bezos is somehow resisting the temptation to buy a controlling stake in Worcester – inexplicable, but true – and with Warren Buffett continuing to find reasons not to fall in love with the ample charms of Leicester, the two high-on-the-hog West Country clubs intend to extract full value from their current advantage.

Their refusal to contemplate a coronavirus-driven reduction to the current salary cap did not result in a pandemic of shock and the radar of surprise remained steadfastly blip-free when Lansdown, who will soon have Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler on his payroll as well as Charles Piutau, stood against the scrapping of the “marquee” player dispensation.

Lansdown, whose sporting portfolio also includes the Championship football club Bristol City, is well versed in the art of nuanced argument: he is on record as supporting the principle of a salary cap and in a radio interview a few days ago, he suggested that soccer owners might embrace the idea to “protect ourselves from ourselves”.

True to form, he sought to frame his rugby argument in terms of the greater good.


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May 31, 2020