The Virtuous Cycle of Rugby 5

To have the opportunity to serve as a director of the USA Rugby board would be a perfect storm in my life as a professional. The opportunity to work in a position that is served by both heart and mind is rare. It would never be taken for granted.
I was able to “take” a lot from the game when I played, a life that defined me. I would appreciate the opportunity to give back in the same capacity. This is the ultimate “virtuous cycle of rugby”.

Video (7.7.17): Tony Ridnell on Integrity, USA Rugby Board, CEO Neutering, & Congress making a Bold Move! 9

This is not a coup, nor a revolution.  This is an opportunity for USA Rugby to ‘put the right players on the field’, in the Boardroom.  I will work with Will Chang, Chad Keck, RIM, etc..  and provide the necessary leadership, culture, and accountability to ensure financial success and on field success More…

A Strong Request to the USA Rugby Congress: Tony Ridnell, Chairman 3

This is not a “Tony vs. Will” conversation, it is a “Tony AND Will” conversation.

My intent as Chairman is to work with Will and Chad, and get the proper messaging out to the community regarding all of the Board activities both with USAR and RIM (to the greatest extent possible given there are ‘private investors’). As Chair, I will assess RIM and its entire being, as well as evaluate the performance and results of each employee at RIM, take action, and report accordingly. All this to the extent that USAR is the majority shareholder in RIM and whatever authority the CEO and/or Chair might have to influence the RIM separate entity. I will not do this alone. I will do this in the context of group think, and openness that I have run my business with for close to 25 years.

I am not looking to destroy the Board, or Kill RIM as many people have suggested. What I have done for two years now is ask questions on the financial viability of both RIM, The Rugby Channel and also the Union as a whole under this unique RIM structure. There have been few satisfactory answers, and the performance of Will, Chad, and David Sternberg on Friday at RBEA only served to provide more fear for what the bad news might really be. The lack of transparency was egregious. The financial performance of RIM is clear sub-par, and when questioned about it, the replies were literally non-existent.

I have been labelled as divisive. This word does not belong in the same sentence with my name.

I will work tirelessly to create a world class culture in the USAR organization that will benefit every person in our sport in America.

The performance of RIM is suspect. I have asked questions about this topic, and thought that the RBEA to be the perfect place to ask such questions of the RIM CEO and Chair. The replies were exceptionally disappointing, lacked authenticity, and clearly transparency was not the order of the day.

Chad Keck is a brilliant hedge fund/M&A mind (I have seen his garage to prove it!), and Will Chang has proven success making things happen in the sports business. I believe the ‘miss’ in the organization is the leader to bring these powerful pieces together, and at the same time get the messaging out to the community so there is confidence, rather than the dissention and dysfunction that is rampant at this time.

I ask the USA Rugby Congress to make a bold move at the end of July. The current structure of the By Laws would enable me to gain a Board seat in July. Will could consider stepping aside from his Chairmanship and focus on the deal making he is used to. If that is not feasible, a change in the By Laws can make it a possibility. Let’s be a team, and not let it get to that point.

We can do this. We all have our place in the puzzle. Mine is in the Chairman seat.

Tony Ridnell

I am making a strong request of the USA Rugby Congress in advance of their July Meeting in Washington, D.C.  My place is in the seat of Chairman, USA Rugby.  It is in no disrespect to anyone else in the organization.  We all have our place.  Please take 20 minutes to view my thoughts.



My subject matter notes for this video (unedited):


2027, HOSTING and compete for a semifinal spot, working back from that… and looking forward over that 10 year time frame we can develop (in conjunction with Strat2020) plans and action cycles to promptly move our union in an aligned direction. This will be a difficult task, and I look forward to working with the CEO and other’s in the leadership to take our union forward. We should have 250,000 players CIPP’d, and have a budget in the Union of $50MM by 2027.

We will…

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