Sponsors’ influence: Second chances

For many years there has been a concern that industry, through the research grants offered to universities, unduly influences those institutions.

It seems that commercial influence may have tightened its grip on sport too. Ulster Rugby insists the decision to sack Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding was not driven by money but it is hard to imagine that Ulster Rugby, or any organisation like it, might feel absolutely free to bite a hand that feeds it.

The decision seemed an open question until the Bank of Ireland, expressed justified unhappiness with being linked with degrading, offensive behaviour.

That an organisation that recently needed a slice of a €70bn rescue fund because of its own recklessness should take the high moral ground raises interesting questions.

It also makes another question unavoidable — if the banks were allowed, without any real sanction, to remake themselves and regain such influence, why can’t Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding get a second chance too at an appropriate time?

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