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Thread: Rebels and Force give ARU both barrels

  1. #16
    Player Macattack's Avatar
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    This has turned into one hell of a cluster for the ARU. They will be desperate to get to the end of it and stem the bleeding(arterial pumping at the moment). I reckon it is very important tactically that RugbyWA stays aggressive on this so the drop the Force option remains a very high pain scenario for them, we need the easier path to be backflip on the four team move (preferably) or, at worst, buy out the Rebels contract. Please mantain the assertive approach RugbyWA and if we have an option to ramp up the pressure with another legal tool please do so! The writ was a great move and would have shaken them up big time - personally, I would like to see RugbyWA hit them with another one if you can.

    Maintain the rage!

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  2. #17
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    Just sent this to ABC Four Corners

    I would think that the current saga engulfing Super Rugby in Australia can be the basis of a great story.
    The ARU have come out publicly stating misinformation and hiding facts and figures, when announcing that they have agreed to scrap 1 of the 5 Super Rugby Teams in Australia.
    Also the Charter of the ARU has not been followed.
    The ARU get a lot of public funding which is not been allowed the correct public scrutiny.
    They are now embroiled in legal action with the possibility of more to come from 2 separate parties.
    It would be great to see someone get to the bottom of what has transpired in the most damaging saga for Australian Rugby. This can only help the game as the direction this saga is heading could be causing irreparable damage for the future.

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  3. #18
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    Surely I'm picking up on this wrong. Could someone please confirm or otherwise that the ARU books are not open for public scrutiny because I just don't see how that could be the case.

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    Wests Scarborough 1st Grade juggernaut has played finals rugby each and every year since its inception and continues this remarkable feat yet again this season and unbelievably it's still rolling on.

  4. #19
    Veteran Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Question for Fulvio: What type of legal entity is the ARU? Does it have to file accounts publicly? If not, does anyone have the right to see them on request? I assume the ATO does but does anyone else? ASIC?

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  5. #20
    Veteran Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Shasta, with no greater knowledge than the information I have read in the public domain, and principally on this site, my response to the three issues raised by you is as follows:

    I. If the ARU pays for a franchise, and owns it, it can legally do as it pleases with it, including shutting it down. Corporations regularly buy out their competitors for that purpose.

    I have never known, however, whether the ARU purchased the Force and agreed to pay out its debts as consideration, thus owning it, or if the agreement was something else, such as an option to purchase, a funding agreement, a loan agreement secured over the Force's assets, or something else.
    The Force has been as successful as the ARU in keeping this information from their public.

    2. Caveat emptor, buyer beware. If the ARU made false representations as to the status of what it was selling, or knew at the time of the sale that the competition rules were likely to be changed and did not so inform the buyer, or gave assurances or made representations that this would not occur, then it could be the subject of legal actions for injunctions or damages.

    Although what damages could be established, on the basis only of what I have read of the state of affairs, when the buyer has bought a known loss making business fully aware of the significant losses it has made from day one, buying it only for its value as a trophy, and knowing that its future potential to turn a profit is negligible, is beyond me.

    3.If the franchise is yours to dispose of, in whatever manner you chose, or if there is no contractual impediment in refusing to supply the franchise with its product, namely (in this case) the ability to supply a team to a competition, then there does not appear to be any legal issue to dispute over.


    There are of course huge moral and ethical issues, social obligations to the public and members of the various Unions, potential issues of bad faith and unfairness in the manner in which so called negotiations are couched, and perhaps constitutional (ARU constitution, that is)
    matters which may impinge upon or affect contractual dealings between member unions.

    With the limited knowledge I have, RugbyWA would appear to be on their strongest ground in respect of the claimed agreement with the ARU to sustain the Force until the year 2020.

    But then, I know nothing, as I have stated several times before, and have only stuck my bib in due to Shasta's direct question of me.

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  6. #21
    Veteran Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westies man View Post
    Surely I'm picking up on this wrong. Could someone please confirm or otherwise that the ARU books are not open for public scrutiny because I just don't see how that could be the case.
    Sorry Westie - didn't see your post before I posted mine!

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  7. #22
    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    In addition to the Force's claim for damages, the WA Government also has a case after investing money in NIB, contracts, and community investment based on the Force being an ongoing entity? Hope WA Govt can lean heavily in legal terms.

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  8. #23
    Veteran Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Alison, I can't comment on ARU'S legal status. I presume it is incorporated under legislation pertaining to charitable, cultural and sporting associations.

    Such associations are obligated to reveal their financial dealings and state of affairs to their members, and I believe under recent legislative changes, to a Government Agency. It is not my line of work however.

    I know that years ago (before Super Rugby) when I was sometimes a club delegate to WARU (now RugbyWA) council meetings, annual ARU financial reports were tabled at Council and copies provided to each delegate. I don't see that much should have changed in the intervening years.

    I think it is more the case that people haven't forensically examined them, or ignored them as it doesn't directly affect them, or don't have the ability to understand and interpret them.

    Certainly RugbyWA would be entitled to, or have the relevant reports, although to what extent they reveal the necessary details is another matter. Their are legal means for persons entitled to the information (the member Unions) to obtain it, if it is not forthcoming.

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  9. #24
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Thank you Fulvio.

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  10. #25
    Veteran Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Thanks Fulvio.

    Hansie & General - may be worth requesting an examination by a forensic accountant? We need to know where all the money since RWC2003 has gone!

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  11. #26
    Veteran Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    The other thing that angers me greatly is the fact that since we went to 5 teams, an Aus team has won the SR title twice and we got to a RWC final where we almost got past the best in the world. Is it really all about the Bledisloe????!!!

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  12. #27
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Is it really all about the Bledisloe????!!!
    Absolutely no evidence to back this up. But I think, after talking tough with an extremely poor choice of incendiary words (no more money to piss against the wall), Pulver & Co went to water when they actually had to confront the Shite Shield luminaries. Promised them grass roots funding to quiet them down, then came up with this clusterf@ck as a strategy.

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    Last edited by shasta; 15-04-17 at 11:26.
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  13. #28
    Veteran Contributor Exile's Avatar
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    I have been reading the ARU financial statement for 2015.

    First up - I have to admit - I have studied Accountancy. In the late 1980's.

    * The Sale of MRRU (aka Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union). I can find no mention of monies received for the sale of MRRU.
    *"MRRU ceased to be a controlled entity effective 30 June 2015 following the sale to a private investor."
    * Government Funding of the ARU totaled $2.4M
    * World Rugby funding $18.9M increase of $18.2M- this relates to participation in Rugby World Cup.
    * Super Rugby Grants increased by 1.4M due to increased financial support to MRRU
    *Super Rugby Expenditure for the year totaled 28.4M 25.2M in direct Cash Funding to Teams and 3.2M in payments for Team Travel expenditure as part of SANZAAR obligations
    . ---* 5.0M (of the 25.2M) in financial assistance to Melbourne Rebels. This was originally provided as a long term loan, But subsequently forgiven under the arrangements for the sale of the entity at 30 June 2015.


    **The ARU acquired the intellectual property of RugbyWA during the course of the year for 0.8M. (it also notes that the Melbourne Rebels Intelectual property was acquired in 2011 for $1.3M Both are listed as Intangible Assets.

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  14. #29
    Veteran Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    How do they define "intellectual property" in this context?

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  15. #30
    Veteran Contributor Exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fulvio sammut View Post
    How do they define "intellectual property" in this context?
    The line is as follows;

    "The ARU acquired the Intellectual Property (i.e. trademarks) of Rugby WA during the course of the year for $0.8M."

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