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  1. #1
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Brisbane / HK

    Default Rugby WA collapses into administration after Western Force axed

    Rugby WA collapses into administration after Western Force axed

    WA rugby union has taken another big demoralising hit, with the state’s governing body threatened with extinction as Rugby Australia continues to chase costs over the failed legal battle to save Western Force from the Super Rugby axe.

    RugbyWA’s dramatic move into voluntary administration, threatening the existence of the game in WA, was announced this morning after RA refused to accept their final offer towards legal fees they claim have reached $1.7 million.

    An insider said the RWA board had been left with no other option.

    “Super Rugby franchises and grassroots rugby should be outraged," he said.

    “The outcome for Rugby Australia, and therefore rugby in Australia, is almost zero cash recovery and more money is likely to be spent by Rugby Australia to pursue this claim for costs in the courts."

    Former Wallabies captain could have found himself in a sticky situation over the Western Force - but lunch organisers found a novel way to lighten the tone.
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    Former Wallabies captain could have found himself in a sticky situation over the Western Force - but lunch organisers found a novel way to lighten the tone.
    It is understood an initial claim by RA was close to $1million but their last demand was for a reduced amount and that RWA help recover $300,000 from the government’s Road Safety sponsorship deal with the Force.

    An offer from RWA board members and a group of prominent rugby supporters, including mining magnate Andrew Forrest, was rejected and it is understood the peak body intends to pursue RWA for costs.

    The cash-strapped RA is unlikely to recoup any large sums as cutting the Force left RWA with significant liabilities.

    They have a $1.14 million debt with the State Government, incurred in 2009 as part of the nib Stadium upgrade, and a long term lease with VenuesWest for Rugby House worth $360,000 a year.

    It is understood RA, who owned the Force before they axed them, may face a further battle over payments to nib Stadium.

    There is a year to run on a deal worth about $250,000 for eight Force games that were due to be played at the stadium next season.

    The West Australian revealed last month that WA rugby could be driven to extinction.

    RA chief executive Bill Pulver told RugbyWA chairman Tony Howarth in a letter: “I want to make it clear at the outset that ARU (now RA) intends to purse RugbyWA for its costs entitlements in both the arbitration and NSW Supreme Court. ARU is entitled to, and will do what is necessary to recover these costs.”

    The RWA board said in a statement today there was a very real threat to rugby's existence.

    "Due to financial pressures flowing from the removal of the Western Force from the Super Rugby Competition, the Board of RugbyWA was unanimous in its belief that voluntary administration was the only prudent course of action," it said.

    "The move to voluntary administration was prompted by Rugby Australia’s decision to pursue RugbyWA for legal costs following its successful action to remove the Western Force from the Super Rugby Competition from the end of the 2017 season and to terminate professional rugby in Perth.

    "RugbyWA does not have the financial capacity to meet this demand."

    The statement said the ability to repay the government loan had evaporated and RugbyWA had been left with other costs including their legal bill to Lavan.

    The board was committed to building the game from grassroots level to provide a pathway to professional rugby.

    "Looking beyond, our goal remains to see a return of professional rugby to WA as quickly as possible," it said.

    "We look forward to seeing the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship commence in 2019.

    "With the removal of the Western Force, we have all endured an extremely difficult and emotional time for our sport.

    "The feeling of loss and betrayal by Rugby Australia in removing the Western Force still lingers and the pursuit of costs by Rugby Australia compounds the challenges we have to rebuild Rugby in WA."

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  2. #2
    Captain Toads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    God's Country


    Getting real grubby now.
    Don't take life too seriously, nobody makes it out alive.

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