Clubs still carry hefty influence
THERE is a scene in 'The Godfather, Part II' where Frank Pentangeli is about to spill his guts about the Corleone crime family to a grand jury. As he is preparing to testify, Michael Corleone (pictured) arrives at the hearing accompanied by Pentangeli's brother Vicenzo, who he has brought over from Sicily.
Upon seeing his brother, Frank does a sudden about-turn and claims the Corleones are innocent.
That scene came to mind this week following the IRFU's about-turn on the ticketing fiasco that has dominated the build-up to Saturday's clash with South Africa.
In the whole club versus union controversy, the fact that the IRFU is made up of committee men who were appointed by their clubs and retain strong ties to their clubs was overlooked and it is not hard to imagine the pressure that was exerted as this saga unfolded.
The game may have moved away from the clubs in the professional era but links to the 'old country' still carry a hefty influence.