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Thread: Who are you calling unsustainable Mr Clyne?

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    Who are you calling unsustainable Mr Clyne?

    An Analysis of ARU Accounts by Alison.


    Who are you calling unsustainable Mr Clyne?


    Within hours of the announcement by SANZAAR on 9 April 2017 that the Super Rugby competition would have one less Australian team from 2018, the Chairman and CEO of the ARU (Cameron Clyne and Bill Pulver) fronted the media in the ARU’s home town of Sydney to reveal which team would be taking the bullet.
    Or so we were expecting.

    Instead, after reading out a pre-prepared statement in which he blamed the Super Rugby franchises for placing an increasingly heavy burden on the ARU and for putting it under “extreme financial pressure” almost from the moment the ARU awarded Melbourne the 5th Super Rugby licence, Cameron Clyne said that a final decision had not yet been made, but the choice had been whittled down to two. Not surprisingly to those of us who follow the politics of rugby in Australia, the two were the Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels.

    The decision as to which of the two would be taking one for Team Rugby for “the betterment” of the game in Australia would, he said, be likely to be made within 48-72 hours, once each had had a chance to plead their case for mercy.
    The following evening, Mr Clyne was interviewed on the Fox Sports rugby chat show, Kick and Chase, during which the now infamous figure of $28million was thrown at us. That, he said, was the figure that the ARU had been forced to spend over the last four years to ‘prop up’ the Super Rugby teams. Money which he said the ARU had not been expecting to shell out and which they now believed would have been better spent on “grassroots growth” instead.

    The ARU’s own website – rugby.com.au – subsequently carried an article on Clyne’s appearance on Kick and Chase which was headlined: “Financial stability key to Super Rugby survival: Clyne”.
    Beneath that headline, the article opened with the following: “ARU Chairman Cameron Clyne has hammered home the importance of financial sustainability as the critical criteria [sic] that will decide which Australian Super Rugby team will face the axe.”

    The next sentence in the article said that Clyne’s appearance on Kick and Chase had, “left no doubt as to what the ARU board values most in deciding which of the Force and the Rebels will survive”.

    It then went on to quote Clyne as saying, “Finance is unfortunately going to have to be a significant criteria [sic]. We have put in $28million that we did not plan to put in over the last four years to keep these teams afloat. We are constantly getting feedback – which I absolutely support – that we are not putting enough money into grassroots.”

    Later on in the article another reference is made to money, with Clyne quoted as having said, “As fans drift away and sponsors drift away, we have to make sure the four teams we keep are financially sustainable.”

    So, that’s two public appearances by Clyne in the space of 24 hours where he complains that Super Rugby has become a noose around the ARU’s neck.

    The message I took away from both those appearances was that the ARU had decided – or perhaps been successfully persuaded by those with an agenda and strong purple circle connections? – that bankrolling Super Rugby to the extent that it has since 2011 had been an unwise investment and that rugby in Australia would not be in the state it’s in had they shown much more largesse to “the grassroots” – whatever that actually means – instead of Super Rugby.

    Ok, so we get the picture – it’s all about ‘da money’, or, rather, stemming the flow of it to Super Rugby so it can be redirected to something more palatable to those who purport to be the “keepers of the code” and guardians of the game of rugby in Australia. (That’s AUStralia, not SYDstralia.)

    So let’s take a closer look at that ‘unsustainable’ Super Rugby money pit and see if we can follow the money trail from the ARU to each of the 5 franchises over the period since 2011 (which Mr Clyne has told us was when the rot set in) to see if there are any obvious ‘culprits’. I mean, surely that’s what the ARU did when assessing which of the 5 franchises should be cast adrift on grounds of financial unsustainability, right?

    Well, apparently not. Or, at least, if they did do just such an assessment, I simply cannot for the life of me understand how they could have failed to see exactly where the problem has been all along and why there is any debate at all as to how the axe should fall (if it should fall at all).

    At a cost of $38 a shot, I have downloaded from the ASIC online ‘shop’ the full financial statements filed by the ARU in each year from 2010 to 2016, and have spent every spare moment I have had in the past week poring over them, first in an effort to identify who the infamous $28million was spent on (spoiler alert – I truly can’t work it out but do now know who made a significant dent in it), and, second, to try and understand how the ARU could possibly have allowed things to get so bad that 30 or so innocent players, plus several innocent support staff and loyal administrators, could be facing redundancy through absolutely NO fault of their own in just a few months’ time.

    I’ll talk about the cold hard figures in just a minute but first let me make some comments about the Directors’ Reports in each of the financial statements for the past four years (2013 to 2016), over which time – according to Clyne – the ARU has been forced to spend $28million (that it was not expecting to spend) on keeping the Super Rugby teams “afloat”. I mean, if the ARU was concerned as far back as year-end 2011 that 5 Super Rugby teams was financially unsustainable for Australia, it would have flagged that in its annual reports, right? Well, not as far as I could see.

    In 2013, the “Review of operations” section of the Directors’ report simply states what the operating and net surplus figures for the year were – $28m and $23m respectively – and advised that the ARU had, “acquired control of Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Ltd (MRRU) via authority over the appointment of board members” effective from 1 July 2013. The Review of Operations contained no other comment in relation to expenditure on Super Rugby.


    In 2014, the “Review of operations” advised that the ARU had continued to retain control of MRRU. It also reported that a new national foundation for Australian rugby (the Australian Rugby Foundation) had been established during the year, with one of its objectives being to “drive greater [private] investment in rugby from the grass roots to the elite”.

    The Review also indicated that in the 12 months from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 the ARU had turned a $23million surplus (arising mainly from income generated from the three British and Irish Lions tests in mid-2013) into a $6.3million deficit. But as in 2013, there was no specific commentary in relation to expenditure on Super Rugby.

    The “Review of operations and results of those operations” section of the 2015 Directors’ Report was rather more informative than in the two preceding years. We were told that the ARU’s authority over the MRRU was “relinquished effective 30 June 2015 when the entity was sold to a private investor.” We were also told that the ARU’s deficit had increased to an overall figure of a whopping $9.8million. Though the Directors’ Report does not say so expressly, it implies that part of the reason for the deficit was loss of revenue caused by the reduced test match schedule in what was a Rugby World Cup year. The Directors’ Report offers no other clue as to the cause of the rising deficit figure and certainly makes no reference to Super Rugby as having played a part in the deficit. Moreover, nothing is mentioned in the section headed “Significant changes in the state of affairs”, which merely states that the ARU relinquished control of the Melbourne Rebels following its sale to a private investor during the year.

    The accompanying media statement, on the other hand, does shed a little more light on the reason for the parlous state of the ARU’s finances at the end of 2015, largely sheeting it home to Super Rugby. More specifically, it said that the $9.8million deficit was “primarily due to financial assistance provided to the Melbourne Rebels.” Ten words buried about two thirds of the way down the media release with no mention of the size or nature of that “financial assistance”.

    More on this later as it is critical to identifying where much of that ‘$28million’ went to and why I believe the Western Force is being framed by the ARU for a ‘crime’ it did not do.

    And so we come to the most recent annual report (2016) which was released at the ARU’s 2017 Annual General Meeting held – deliciously enough – on the very same day (10 April 2017) and in the very same city (Sydney) that Clyne and Pulver held their press conference to announce which Australian Super Rugby team was up for the chop, and the same day that Clyne had made his appearance on Kick and Chase.

    Now this is where things become really rather interesting.

    As we know, in his two public appearances on 10 April, Clyne painted a doomsday scenario for rugby in Australia which the ARU firmly believed could only be fixed by the removal of one of the five recalcitrant, dollar-hungry Super Rugby franchises (well, one out of three recalcitrant, dollar-hungry Super Rugby franchises actually as the Waratahs and Reds are untouchable, but I digress). Super Rugby in its current format was financially unsustainable, he said. It has drained the ARU of an unplanned $28million in the last four years alone, he said. One of them must go, he said.


    So imagine my puzzlement when I read the following in the “Review of operations and results of those operations” section of the Directors’ Report in the 2016 financial statements lodged with ASIC on 2 May 2017:
    “In 2016 the ARU operated in its first year of the new five year broadcast period through to 2020. The new broadcast agreements delivered a significant increase in revenue in 2016 which allowed for greater investment into Super Rugby, Community Rugby and other [sic] in the development of the game.” Say what? Greater investment in Super Rugby?

    Now I may be missing a trick here but in the English language I know, when one makes an investment in something, one generally does so willingly and because one thinks it is worth it. Choosing to make an investment in Super Rugby is an altogether different concept – at least in my mind – to ‘putting in money that we did not plan to put in to keep these [Super Rugby] teams afloat’ – to use the terminology Mr Clyne used on Kick and Chase.

    And just in case anyone thinks I’m taking things out of context, let me also draw your attention to the ARU’s media statement (dated 10 April 2017) that accompanied the release of the 2016 annual report in which it states, “With the improved broadcast arrangement [which delivered a 148% revenue increase over the previous one] the ARU invested [my emphasis] in strategic priorities including Community Rugby (expenditure grew by $4.1m), Wallabies (expenditure grew by $2.8m) and Sevens (expenditure grew by $1.2m). Super Rugby expenditure increased by $13.8m…”. Does that sound to you like a begrudging $13.8m ‘prop up’ for Super Rugby? It sure doesn’t to me.

    In the interests of fairness, I should point out that the statement did say that the $13.8m included $4.8m that the ARU had incurred in un-budgeted expenditure relating to the Western Force alliance agreement effective from August 2016. More on the $4.8m to the Western Force alliance agreement later but it is important to note at this juncture that the media statement for the 2016 annual report specifically described it as an, “investment [my emphasis] in the Western Force alliance agreement – a necessary investment to secure the short term viability of the team and ensure ARU’s commitments to SANZAAR and broadcasters continued to be fulfilled”.

    Another interesting quote attributed to Clyne in that 10 April 2017 media statement was the following, “While we face challenges, 2016 showed us that there are also significant opportunities for us to grow and strengthen our game in this country. The growth in Sevens and women’s rugby, and the transitions from Game On into junior club rugby registrations, show us that Australians have an appetite for rugby. We just need to connect with them in a way that suits them.” Well hey Mr Clyne, I can assure you that bludgeoning either the Force or the Rebels to death sure ain’t going to connect with a single rugby follower in either of those States, so did you really mean “Australians”, or just those who live in certain postcodes and wear certain-coloured ties?

    Before moving on to talk about the raw numbers themselves, there is just one more thing that I want to share with you about the way the ARU worded its 2015 and 2016 annual report media statements.

    Now I could be accused of jumping at shadows given the amount of time I have spent poring over everything this past week but, to me, the 2016 media statement made a much bigger meal of the $4.8m investment in the Western Force alliance agreement and the impact of that investment on the ARU’s bottom line for 2016 than it made of the significantly higher amount of “financial assistance” it gave to the Melbourne Rebels in 2015. For example, the enormous size of the assistance package to the Melbourne Rebels wasn’t even mentioned in the 2015 statement and the passing reference that was made to it was buried way down towards the end of the statement. Compare that to the 2016 statement which not only stated up front the exact amount invested in the Western Force, but referred to it again later in the document, noting that it had not been budgeted for.

    Anyway, I digress. The point to be made here is that it is very interesting that the ARU’s Chairman and CEO should shift the narrative so dramatically and so suddenly from a picture of apparent contentment with the current Super Rugby landscape as painted in the 2016 financial statements, to one of impending financial disaster (announced on the very same day that the 2016 figures were released!!) if changes are not made by the end of the year to redirect a relatively small amount of Super Rugby expenditure to this thing called “the grassroots”.

    Could they have been browbeaten by some heavyweights out there in “grassroots” land who are not content with the current size of their slice of pie? Surely not! Were they so intimidated by that letter from the 40 or so Sydney-centric “rugby luminaries” in late 2016 that they felt cornered into shifting their strategic direction so sharply? I guess us mushrooms living outside the purple circle may never get to know the answer to that, but it sure is puzzling.

    And what about the Australian Rugby Fund set up by the ARU in 2014? Isn’t that supposed to be driving greater investment in rugby from the “grassroots” upwards? If so, why is Super Rugby having to take a bullet when we have that Fund?

    So now onto the beans! Exactly how much money has the ARU spent on the five Super Rugby franchises since 2011? Is it fair that the Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels are the ones facing the firing squad? Will it make any actual difference to the ARU’s bottom line or the strength the game if one team goes? And will it help the ARU to achieve its glorious vision of “inspiring all Australians to enjoy our great global game” by 2020 as its current Strategic Plan envisages? Let’s see shall we…

    I’ve attached four tables of interesting information that I (very much a non-accountant) have gleaned from the ARU’s published financial statements for each of the past seven years. The tables cover Super Rugby funding, loans from the ARU to Super Rugby organisations, allocations to the five largest member unions for rugby at other levels, and other interesting figures, such as broadcast income, elite level matchday income, and the remuneration paid to the ARU Board and CEO. That last category is hair-raising for the years that John O’Neill was the CEO – just look at 2012, it’ll make your eyes water! And, was the reason Pulver got a $230,000 incentive payment in 2015 (in addition to his $766k salary) a reward for that bumper broadcast war chest that they chose to dip into in 2016 to “invest” in Super Rugby? But again I digress.

    Table 1 shows the amount of grant and team-related payments the ARU made to the Super Rugby organisations. (For comparison I’ve included the last year of the Super 14 era (2010). From that, we can see that in the years 2010 to 2015 the amount given by the ARU to the Super Rugby organisations has certainly varied but not alarmingly so and not without reason. At either end of that six-year span, the total expenditure was very similar ($30.5m in 2010 and $29.3m in 2015.)

    In 2011 and 2012, expenditure decreased to $23million and $24million respectively. Throughout this period the Melbourne Rebels were under private ownership.

    In 2013 – when the ARU acquired control of the Melbourne Rebels mid-way through the year – expenditure went up to just under $30m. While not specifically stated, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the increase was due, at least in part, to the ARU’s acquisition of the Melbourne Rebels.

    In 2014, the ARU spent a total of just under $28m on Super Rugby grants and team-related payments. For the first time, the accounts included a breakdown of how the grant element of the expenditure had been allocated across the five Super Rugby organisations. That breakdown shows little variation between the size of the grants awarded to the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies and Western Force (there was only a $300k difference between the biggest grant ($4.3m to the Waratahs) and the smallest grant ($4m to the Western Force).

    However, what is striking about 2014 is how much more was given to the Melbourne Rebels in comparison to each of the others – the Rebels received some $7.3m compared to the $4m or so given to each of the others. Again, it is perhaps not unreasonable to conclude that the reason for the higher level of financial assistance for the Melbourne Rebels was due to the fact that throughout 2014 it continued to be under the direct control of the ARU who would have had to bear all of the operational costs incurred by the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union company.

    A similar pattern occurred in 2015, with all teams apart from the Melbourne Rebels getting just over the $4m mark in grant funding. The Melbourne Rebels received slightly more at $4.8m. The reason for the smaller differential between the Rebels and the rest (and for the smaller amount given to the Rebels in 2015 compared to previous years) is likely to be due to the transfer of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Ltd company back into private ownership with effect from 30 June 2015. And while I’m on the subject of that transfer, Note 23 to the ARU’s financial statements for 2015 describes it as “pursuant to a sale and purchase agreement….[for which] no consideration was paid to [the ARU] as part of [the] agreement.” More on this transfer agreement later as it is key to understanding where a large chunk of the elusive $28m went to.

    And that brings us to 2016. As we already know, the ARU entered into an alliance agreement with the Western Force in August of 2016, under which the ARU bought the Force Super Rugby licence and its intellectual property for $3.7m. It also took on the Western Force players and staff as employees of the ARU. In addition to the $3.7m consideration paid for the Force licence and IP, the 2016 accounts show us that the ARU provided a further $3.6m in grant funding to the Western Force Super Rugby organisation, making a total amount in “grant” funding of $7.3m to the Force in 2016.

    Personally I would argue that it is disingenuous to describe the $3.7 paid for the Force IP and licence as a grant, but maybe that’s what the rules of accounting require, I don’t know. Either way, the $7.3m to the Force compared to grants of just under $6m to each of the Waratahs, Reds and Brumbies, and $8.3m to the once-again-privately-owned Melbourne Rebels.

    The notes to the financial statements break down the $8.3m given to the Rebels into two amounts - $5.7m in Super Rugby grant funding and $2.6m in what is described as “special funding as part of the external sale agreement” to the new private investor in mid-2015.

    “Special Funding”? How nice! And do you notice that even if you accept (which I don’t) that the $3.7m spent on purchasing the Western Force IP and licence was “grant” funding, the privately owned Melbourne Rebels STILL managed to receive a fair bit more than the Force, and a significant bit more than the other three Super Rugby organisations.

    So, what conclusions should we draw from Table 1? Well, to me, it means that if grant funding obligations for Super Rugby are in any way responsible for the “extreme financial pressure” the ARU is apparently suffering, then there is clearly only one Super Rugby franchise responsible for that and it sure ain’t the Western Force! It is quite obviously the Melbourne Rebels.

    In the three years for which a franchise-by-franchise breakdown is available for the ARU’s Super Rugby grant funding, the grants given to the Melbourne Rebels outstrip those given to the Western Force by some $4.9m if you include the proceeds of the sale of the Western Force IP and licence. As the IP and licence can only be returned to the Force if the Force buy them back, I think it is fairer to regard the $3.7m paid to the Force in 2016 as a loan rather than a grant. On that basis, the difference between the grant funding to the Force and the grant funding to the Rebels stretches out to $8.6m over the 2014-2016 period.

    But grant and team funding gives us only part of the picture insofar as the ARU’s financial largesse towards Super Rugby over the past few years is concerned. The rest comes in the form of loan facilities provided to the Super Rugby organisations from time to time. As I’ve already said, I am not an accountant, but my rudimentary understanding of financial statements is that loans would normally be included as a balance sheet asset rather than an expense in the income and expenditure statements. But when those loans go bad and end up being written off and cleared from the balance sheet, the amount of the ‘loss’ gets attributed as an expense and appears in the income and expenditure statement. And that seems to be exactly what happened in 2015.

    As can be seen from the figures in Table 2, loan facilities have been extended by the ARU to the Melbourne Rebels in every single year of their existence to date apart from 2016. This compares to no loan facilities whatsoever for the Western Force in the same period. In fact, the Western Force has not received a single cent in loans from the ARU during the entire time that the Melbourne Rebels have been in existence.

    I haven’t looked at the ARU accounts for the period 2006 to 2009 so I can’t say for sure that the Force has never been loaned any money by the ARU but my understanding is that that is indeed the case.

    So even though the Melbourne Rebels have been in private ownership for four of their six years of existence, the ARU has still had to loan them money over and above their standard Super Rugby grant and team payments, which – as far as we can tell from the information available – have themselves exceeded the grant and team funding amounts the Force have received.

    While the provision of annual loans to the Rebels over and above the standard Super Rugby funding that all Super Rugby teams get is in itself further evidence as to the likely source of the ARU’s “extreme financial pressure” (and of the Force’s innocence), it is the sheer size of those loans that really make the jaw drop. And even that’s not the end of it.

    Buckle up guys because this is the killer blow…..the Melbourne Rebels had all of their outstanding loans written off by the ARU before the company was “sold” to its new private investor for zero payment in mid-2015. How much was written off? Well how about a cool $13m? Well, $13,018,000 to be precise.

    The Notes to the ARU’s 2015 financial statements break down that $13million loan write-off into two amounts; $4,268,000 pertaining to 2015 and $8,750,000 relating to “prior reporting periods”. After having had the loans written off, the statement of financial position of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Ltd company as at 30 June 2015 showed that it had zero assets, zero liabilities and zero equity after capital of $25m was used to cancel out a retained deficit of the same amount.

    The net effect of the 2015 loan write-off bombshell is that in the three-year period from 2014 to 2016 alone, the Melbourne Rebels were assisted by the ARU to the tune of some $33,321,000.

    That compares to assistance of $15,395,000 given to the Western Force in the same period (Note: the figure of $15,395,000 includes the cost to purchase the Western Force licence and IP ($3.7m) as late in the Force’s existence as August 2016.)

    From what I have been able to work out (remembering that I am not an accountant), it seems to me that if you add up all the grant expenditure and loan write-offs incurred by the ARU in supporting Super Rugby in the last 3 years alone, the total figure comes to $91million. Of that, 36% went to the Melbourne Rebels alone.

    Are you starting to see now where the majority of Clyne’s $28m in “prop up” money was spent? And why I am convinced that the ARU “has the wrong guy” if it decides to send the Western Force to the gallows?

    It seems as plain as the nose on my face that if any Super Rugby franchise has to “take one for the team” (and I personally don’t think it needs to come to that at all if the ARU could only stand up to the Sydney-centric vested interests and see past the clipped rugby fields of Sydney’s purple circle) it is the Melbourne Rebels.

    To have put the Western Force in the frame at all for a crime it has played absolutely no part whatsoever in committing is bad enough. But to make it pay the ultimate price for others’ failures – failures which in my opinion can all be laid at the door of the ARU and no-one else – would be the ultimate act of bastardry.

    Such an ill-conceived and ill-considered outcome will kill rugby in Western Australia for a generation, will make an absolute mockery of the ARU’s vision to “inspire all Australians [my emphasis] to enjoy our great global game”, and will bring down two of Australian Rugby’s four so-called ‘strategic pillars’ of “making rugby a game for all” and “igniting Australia’s passion for the game.”

    Similarly, if the Western Force’s share of the pie is simply going to be redirected to “the grassroots”, how on earth is that going to make any real difference to the precarious and worsening financial position the ARU says it’s going to be in for the foreseeable future? They’d need to use the money to employ an army of Harry Potters to magic up out of thin air a couple of dozen top-quality, experienced guys who can immediately win us a couple of Super Rugby Championships, a couple of Rugby Championships, a couple of Bledisloes and a RWC win between now and the end of the decade to have even a remote chance of that meagre amount of funding turning the good ship Australian Rugby’s fortunes around.
    And what about the game itself in all of this? Even the most purple in the purple circle must – if only they could be honest for a minute – have difficulty denying the great strides that RugbyWA has taken since 2006 to grow the game in WA and the remarkable success that WA’s rugby development pathways are now starting to have in producing scintillating rugby talent of the likes of Richard Hardwick, Kyle Godwin and Ryan Louwrens – to name but 3 of the several WA players who are about to break through to the highest level any Australian rugby player can ever hope to reach. And all of that has been achieved with the least amount of financial support from the ARU of all of the 5 Super Rugby organisations. (As an aside, check out the figures in Table 3 to see how little WA gets in funding outside Super Rugby too – less than South Australia and the Northern Territory!).

    WA has punched well above its weight in rugby and has done so quietly, efficiently and very, very effectively. WA has taken the long view and rugby in Australia as a whole WILL benefit from that if only those ‘wise men from the east’ could be bothered to look this far west.

    So when all is said and done, I am unable to see any upside whatsoever for rugby in Australia if the ARU puts the Western Force to the sword. I can only see downsides. Especially at a time when the Own The Force initiative is about to guarantee the very financial sustainability that Clyne and Co have set such store by in their most recent public statements.

    The loss of the Western Force will, quite simply, kill rugby as a viable sport in Western Australia for a generation.

    Maybe that has been the ARU’s intention all along.




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    Senior Player andrewM's Avatar
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    wow..haven't read it (or absorbed it!) all yet but good work at first glance. Will we see it on The Roar or Green an Gold?

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    Senior Player andrewM's Avatar
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    I think you should apply for a job as a special reporter on 4 corners!

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewM View Post
    wow..haven't read it (or absorbed it!) all yet but good work at first glance. Will we see it on The Roar or Green an Gold?
    I wanted to 'road test' it on here first before going into the lion's den over east!

    Despite checking things loads of times, I've just noticed a couple of bloopers in one or two of the notes to the tables. Sorry Gerry! Will fix them up in the morning!

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    I may be wrong...but I highly doubt it, because I'm an Alison
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    Outstanding bit of work. Thank you.

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    Senior Player andrewM's Avatar
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    In table 1 on the bottom line it says "Total Grants by State" but should it say "Total Grants by Team"?

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    Total Grants per state, 1 for WA, 0 for all other teams, last seen in number 23 jersey?

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    Wow great work Alison! Interesting read. The ARU looking less incompetent by the day if that's possible!!

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    Very intrepid Alison.
    Annual reports which are misleading.... saying one thing and doing another.
    The financial sustainability argument beiñg used to axe the Force is blown to bits by the action to retain the financial basket case that is the Rebels.
    At least the Force he a plan to move forward to financial sustainability. You rightly point out that the finances won't get any better until the Rebels problem is fixed.
    Virtually no money into community rugby in WA but RWA has built a pipeline of future Force players.
    One point in relation to "post alliance grants" for 2017. Once revenue from memberships and corporate hospitality etc... are taken into account the net cost to the ARU is much lower. That is the $4m you have identified less gate receipts etc..

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    Champion Ecky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules View Post
    Wow great work Alison! Interesting read. The ARU looking less incompetent by the day if that's possible!!
    You mean more incompetent, right? Or less competent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
    You mean more incompetent, right? Or less competent?
    Sorry yes just crap all together I should have said!! 😊

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    This just all makes my blood boil! Clyne accused the Force of being an unsustainable 'business' as an excuse for shutting them down, so if any business(Rebels) is showing such incredible costs & losses how the hell can they justify even buying back the Rebels? I was feeling some sympathy for the Rebels previous, but I've yet to see 1 justification that they shouldn't be closed down Today!

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    You know what would be most galling if the ARU were to buy back the Rebels? The fact that they would have to give several million $ in "consideration" to its current owner when he got it for ZERO "consideration" in the first place, and after the ARU had 'paid off' all the company's $13million in loans. Not to mention that $2.6million "special funding" for 2016 as part of the "sale agreement" to Cox in 2015.

    All that money will have largely gone down the drain as I don't see that it has yielded much of a return in terms of the actual game of rugby.

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