There is no fire – and New Zealand Rugby has no Nero. In fact, despite the protestations of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, which represents a tiny faction of New Zealand’s rugby community, through Thursday’s vote, the flames of a so-called “civil war” within rugby union (again promoted by the media) have been largely extinguished.

At last week's meeting, the majority of provincial unions that comprise New Zealand Rugby voted to reformat the national Board so it retains links with the people who play it across the country, with a new Board to “be appointed as soon as practicable”. This is a decision which ought to be applauded by all who support New Zealand’s national game.

New Zealand Rugby’s Board acknowledged the decision of the Special General Meeting and immediately undertook to implement it as quickly as possible. In doing so, the outgoing Board says that it continues “to be focused on all aspects of the game, from community rugby through to our Teams in Black, competitions and sponsors.”

However, while the outgoing Board have made an admirable statement, in doing so, they may well have have placed an impossible task on the incoming Board. The reconciliation of commercial and community goals is one which few sports have been able to successfully undertake. Ultimately, one acquiesces to the other. Money predominantly trumps participation. The two objectives do not happily co-exist in the natural world of sport.

The failure of the Roman empire was primarily the result of economic issues. New Zealand Rugby is in a parlous financial situation, where the thrill of private equity investment has supported semi-professional frameworks in the community game. Perhaps the wealth of rugby in New Zealand lies within New Zealand rugby’s communities rather than on a financial balance sheet?

New Zealand Rugby’s new Board must be prepared to accept that the game’s strength does not rely on money, but much more on the goodwill of the community. In other words, less “trickle-down” theory (where the bulk of funds support a minority), and more “grassroots investment” (which supports the majority).

The last emperor of Rome, Augustus, wryly observed that, “every victory enlarges the magnitude of our possible defeat”. The success of rugby's Provincial Unions in securing their proposal at Thursday’s Special General Meeting now fully exposes the fate of rugby in New Zealand, to the incoming Board.