Friday, June 14, 2024
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Melbourne Rebels dumped from Super Rugby

The Melbourne Rebels have been dumped from the Super Rugby Pacific competition due to financial difficulties, after spending 14 seasons in the competition.

Staff and players were called to Rebels headquarters on Thursday as they were preparing to fly to Fiji for their last regular-season match against the Drua on Saturday.

The news comes as the seventh-place Rebels are preparing for their first playoff campaign.

The Rebels have been in voluntary administration since the start of the year, with debts owed to creditors exceeding 23 million Australian dollars ( $15.2 million), half of that amount owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

Rugby Australia cut staff and took over player and coaching payments for the 2024 season, with the Rebels handing over their competition license.

A private consortium put forward a plan to fund the club until 2030, which was supported by the administrator, but Rugby Australia voted against the deal.

RA chief executive Phil Waugh and chairman Daniel Herbert flew to Melbourne to deliver the news to the financially-stricken club’s players.

In a statement, Rugby Australia said the consortium’s projections for revenue growth and cost savings were “overly optimistic” and requiring additional funding from head office.

“Given the lack of detail made available to RA, the lack of transparency and the significant doubts over the consortium’s proposed financial model, RA has determined that there is an unacceptable level of risk associated with entering into a participation agreement with this consortium for the 2025 Super Rugby Pacific season,” Rugby Australia said.

“RA does not take this decision lightly, however, it must act in the best interests of the game and its stakeholders, and to provide certainty for the Rebels’ players and staff, and all Super Rugby clubs in planning for the 2025 Super Rugby Pacific season.”

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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