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Power and performance: Fiji rugby’s transition from amateurism to professionalism


Rika, N and Finau, G and Samuwai, J and Kuma, C, Power and performance: Fiji rugby's transition from amateurism to professionalism, Accounting History, 21, (1) pp. 75-97. ISSN 1032-3732 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2016

DOI: doi:10.1177/1032373215623017


This article shows how accounting and rugby have been used as tools of control. It compares the role of accounting in amateur and professional sport, initially analysing the Fiji Rugby Union’s (FRU) internal documents from the period when Fiji was a British colony and rugby was an amateur sport. During this period, the FRU practised rudimentary accounting since it relied primarily on internally-generated funds and therefore had virtually no public accountability. The FRU board emphasized rugby’s core values and downplayed the importance of money. However, in the professional period, donors require more sophisticated financial reporting and auditing to monitor usage of their grants and evaluate the impact of their investments. The FRU has encountered conflict with its donors due to repeated financial losses and alleged mismanagement. This article reveals that those losses originated in the amateur period through diseconomies of scale, inequitable arrangements for international matches and unsustainable funding models. Rather than helping the FRU to address these underlying problems, powerful stakeholders continue using financial resources and governance structures to control and exploit Fiji rugby.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accountability, amateurism, colonialism, control, Fiji, governance, performance, power, professionalism, rugby union
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting, auditing and accountability not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Finau, G (Dr Glenn Finau)
ID Code:139840
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Accounting
Deposited On:2020-07-07
Last Modified:2020-08-07

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