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Thread: RugbyWA asking for debt bail out (?)

  1. #1
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    RugbyWA asking for debt bail out (?)

    Not sure if this deserves it's own thread, if not a mod can merge it with the thread Fulvio started yesterday:

    Future of grassroots rugby in doubt as RugbyWA asks for $1m debt bail-out

    he future of grassroots rugby in Western Australia is in doubt with financial records showing RugbyWA is trying to negotiate a $1 million debt bail-out from the state government.

    The association develops and fosters rugby in WA, from a junior to professional level, with more than 35,000 people playing the sport across 36 clubs and 377 teams.

    RugbyWA's 2018 annual report, released Tuesday, showed participation rates for rugby union had reduced by 20 per cent in senior and 8 per cent in junior leagues.

    "While disappointing in terms of what that means across our clubs and teams, there is no easy answer to the why or how this is changed," chief executive Bob Hunter said.

    "The general factors in this include the WA economy and fewer participants who may have originally hailed from more rugby-aligned regions in Australia and New Zealand.

    "Add in the flow-on impact from the cessation of the Western Force in the Super Rugby competition and it points to challenging times."

    Financial statements within the report also showed directors were worried about a $1.06 million loan with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

    The state government agreed to put repayment of the debt on hold for two years in 2017.

    "The association has currently started formal discussion with the [department], seeking for this loan to be written-off due to the significant impact it could have on the association's operations," the RugbyWA report read.

    "Should the association not achieve the key matter associated with the unacquitted grant and the government debt and the associated payment schedule, there is significant uncertainty whether the association will continue as a going concern and therefore, whether it will realise its assets and extinguish its liabilities in the normal course of business."

    The debt stems from a $2.4 million interest-free loan given to the club in 2009, partly to upgrade nib Stadium, before the Western Force was axed from the Super Rugby competition in 2017.

    Sports Minister Mick Murray was attending a funeral on Wednesday, and was not available for comment.

    The state government provides around $160,000 a year towards RugbyWA's operating costs.

    Mr Murray's office told Radio 6PR's Mornings with Gareth Parker the state government had been negotiating the $1 million loan with Rugby WA since the demise of the Western Force.

    The minister is due to meet with Rugby Australia officials next week to discuss the state of the sport in WA, with the financial position of RugbyWA expected to be top of the agenda.

    RugbyWA briefly went into voluntary administration in 2017 over financial woes associated with the Western Force being dropped from the Super Rugby competition.

    It was handed back its licence after Rugby Australia agreed to waive a $1 million legal bill following RugbyWA's unsuccessful court bid to save the Western Force.

    In 2018, mining magnate Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest introduced a new international competition, Global Rapid Rugby, to keep the Western Force and professional rugby in WA.

    He also introduced a new Perth premier-grade league, the FMG league, to encourage a pathway for WA youth to professional rugby.

    Mr Hunter said the introduction of the new leagues had gone "a long way" to providing higher levels of professional rugby enjoyment in the state.

    WAtoday has contacted Mr Hunter and Rugby Australia for comment.

    https://www.watoday.com.au/national/...12-p51wuq.html

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  2. #2
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    What licence got 'handed back'? (5th last para)

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    I reckon RugbyWA should join the Folau queue and sue the arse off the RA for the damage they did to the State, in addition to not giving back the licence.

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    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Yes, I've always thought so.

    The solution to a 20% drop in senior player numbers across all grades in two seasons was always going to be by increasing the number of premier grade clubs by 40%.

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    Champion andrewM's Avatar
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    Easy - simply ask the RA to pay RugbyWA using the same formula that they use for Community Rugby in Victoria and back date it - the favouritism towards Victoria hasn't just been since the Rebels came along.

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    how much does the WA State Government give to the WAFL? (When I lived in WA - pre May 1990. The Western Australian Aussie Rules football Commission was called the WAFL. If it has had a name change or 3 I apologise).

    how much does WA State Government give to WA Soccer?

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    how much does the WA State Government give to the WAFL? (When I lived in WA - pre May 1990. The Western Australian Aussie Rules football Commission was called the WAFL. If it has had a name change or 3 I apologise).

    how much does WA State Government give to WA Soccer?
    They briefly changed to Westar around 2000 because someone forget to renew the "WAFL" trademark or website registration. Back to WAFL now.

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    I thought the Westar Rules change was a marketing driven decision.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    How'd the AGM go last night? Are we doomed?

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Not yet! Government is looking into our debt problem, which dates back to the NIB refurb. In the meantime we carry on!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quite a few of us around here put some effort into the push to leave Subi (that old petition I found a week or so back and posted in the Smile thread.) I dont recall why Rugby WA ended up in debt, apart from it being a Govt loan. Was it for corporate facilities? Are the WAFC or the AFL in any debt for the Craypot? Or is it still a dollar-a-year for them? I remember them spitting the chewie big time when they didnt get management rights.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Yes, the upgrade to the hospitality facilities was what we had to pay for and that’s what the debt relates to. Some of it has been paid back but when we hit financial difficulties in 2015/16 we defaulted. Then we sold the Force licence and IP to the ARU who took over the running of the franchise and pocketed the income stream it generated. When the Force was finally abandoned altogether by the ARU we lost all chance of ever regaining the revenue stream to be able to pay off the loan. So, RWA (which now only runs the amateur game in WA, not the pro game) continues to carry the liability on its balance sheet even though the asset is owned by Venues West and only the pro sports teams get any benefit out of it.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Just a thought; assuming that Venues West now gets the moolah when/if those facilities are used by the NRL, A League, Minderoo etc, provided they didnt contribute, shouldn't that portion of revenue be used towards paying down that debt? That may be naive on my part but it sure would seem a fair outcomr.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Just a thought; assuming that Venues West now gets the moolah when/if those facilities are used by the NRL, A League, Minderoo etc, provided they didnt contribute, shouldn't that portion of revenue be used towards paying down that debt? That may be naive on my part but it sure would seem a fair outcomr.
    Not naive at all. It’s a good point and I think is an aspect that has been raised with the government as part of the review process.

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