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Thread: Strapped Rebels in danger of folding

  1. #46
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    From this article it seems that past payments RA received for events in Melbourne have gone directly to prop up the Rebels, rather than paying down some of RA's debt. I don't know, but I haven't heard of similar payments from the WA government being used directly to help out our team when we were in the shite.
    However this goes the Rebels "supporters" who normally stay away in droves will have at least 1 season to show all the parties why there should be any more Vic tax dollars thrown at their team. It's pretty simple - start turning up!



    Liquidators work through Rebels report as state government avoids bail-out commitment

    Rugby Australia boss Phil Waugh met Victorian government officials on Wednesday..............

    ............there are still no guarantees over whether the government will provide a bailout for the club, which officially entered voluntary administration on Monday with a multimillion-dollar debt.................

    ......................................The state government has previously bailed out the Rebels. In 2017, the then-Andrews government entered into a $20 million deal with Rugby Australia to secure the Bledisloe Cup and British and Irish Lions Test matches in Melbourne over an eight-to-10-year period.

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  2. #47
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Agreed re 2025, though surely it would be far more expensive to restart rather than re-energize?
    It might not cost 9 Million....

    I don't think they're going to bulldoze the Rebs, I think they'll take over as much as they can, Probably even trying to keep naming, IP and sponsorship, but start a new organisation so they don't have to service the debt.

    You see it happen a lot in shonky business a company goes bust, racking up huge debt, then another one launches doing exactly the same job with the same clientele etc but no debt. All you need is for the directors who have declared bankruptcy to not be on the board for a certain amount of time.

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  3. #48
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    From this article it seems that past payments RA received for events in Melbourne have gone directly to prop up the Rebels, rather than paying down some of RA's debt. I don't know, but I haven't heard of similar payments from the WA government being used directly to help out our team when we were in the shite.
    However this goes the Rebels "supporters" who normally stay away in droves will have at least 1 season to show all the parties why there should be any more Vic tax dollars thrown at their team. It's pretty simple - start turning up!



    Liquidators work through Rebels report as state government avoids bail-out commitment

    Rugby Australia boss Phil Waugh met Victorian government officials on Wednesday..............

    ............there are still no guarantees over whether the government will provide a bailout for the club, which officially entered voluntary administration on Monday with a multimillion-dollar debt.................

    ......................................The state government has previously bailed out the Rebels. In 2017, the then-Andrews government entered into a $20 million deal with Rugby Australia to secure the Bledisloe Cup and British and Irish Lions Test matches in Melbourne over an eight-to-10-year period.
    Facebook are reporting gold reserve season tickets for the Rebs at $169 I think the same seats at Force are north of $400

    Explains the debt when you think that they haven't been able to sell many tickets at those sorts of prices.

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  4. #49
    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    An interesting take from Ben Smith on RugbyPass

    Letting the Rebels die would see the Force finally flourish

    There was once a time in Super Rugby where the expansion franchise Western Force were a promising outfit for Australian rugby.

    Aided by salary cap exemptions which saw the club land high-profile talent in Nathan Sharpe, Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau in the early years, they bagged next generation stars too in David Pocock and James O’Connor.

    Their maiden season in 2006 was tough, wins were hard to come by but they routinely pulled in crowds of over 20,000 at Subiaco Oval. Those numbers with today’s attendance standards would be loved by any club.

    From 2007 to 2009 the Force were a decent outfit finishing mid-table with an overall record of 19-2-18 without making the playoffs.

    However, back in those days the regular season actually mattered unlike today’s mickey mouse comp, with four highly contested playoff spots ensuring only the elite teams made it out of 14. The Western Force proved to be a good side with promise, even a winning side.

    Once the Melbourne Rebels joined the competition in 2011, the Force suffered.

    The flow of talent from east to west dried up as potential signings took the easier option of staying on the east coast and the anonymity of Melbourne. The Force began to slide down the ladder and losing seasons became standard procedure.

    The Rebels never had the local support of the Force and have been a money pit ever since. And they’ve been a bunch of losers to boot. They have never put together anything remotely notable. When push came to shove in 2017, Rugby Australia wanted to save them.

    On the flip side, Rugby Australia has nearly done everything to try and kill the Force yet they survived. As far as stress tests go, this is as good as pass mark there is. They keep coming back despite every effort to leave them in the dust.

    After the success of the Perth sevens last weekend which saw a sold out crowd on the final day there are suggestions that the event should ‘rotate around the Australian cities’.

    We’ve seen what the Super round has been like in Melbourne for two years and it’s been a poorly attended failure. Any other team deserves to host Super round but Melbourne.

    What Perth has shown last weekend is that rugby in multiple formats is viable there, the sevens has been an initial success, and they deserve to keep it and see where it grows.

    And while Sydney and Brisbane may offer traditional rugby audiences, Melbourne of all places, needs to stay away from it. Rugby administrators need to say thanks, but no thanks to Victorian government play money.

    Please stop throwing good money at the Rebels
    Australia has too many Super Rugby franchises, from a high-performance perspective. I doubt many people would lament the passing of the Melbourne Rebels. Certainly not anyone who regards professional sport as the survival of the fittest.

    Melbourne is a great city, but it’s crowded by other sports and after more than a decade rugby has just not got a decent footing. It’s the epicentre of the AFL universe and has a highly successful rugby league side who actually win titles.

    Smart money would say it’s time to cut losses and double down on something likely to flourish. A one-off Test in Melbourne for the Wallabies is all that’s viable currently.

    Western Australia by contrast does not have a professional rugby league team to compete with, only two AFL teams which is far less than Melbourne, and has a decent rugby footprint at grass roots, at least much more than Victoria.

    The timezone is touted as a detractor but it is the perfect location for Sunday afternoon rugby, potentially giving the Australian east coast and New Zealand a consistent Sunday night game. Super Rugby is largely absent on Sundays giving the NRL and AFL free rein.


    If the Western Force had the Melbourne Rebels’ roster this year you’d expect some hype and possibly a near-full HBF Park if they started well. Instead the side will go largely unnoticed in the Victorian capital regardless of what they achieve.

    There have been notable success stories from the Rebels from local Victorian players who have made the Wallabies coming through the homegrown pathway. Whilst touching to see, the cost of those few wins has been enormous. If there weren’t any at this point, you’d be stunned.

    It’s time to accept that Super Rugby and Melbourne hasn’t worked out, clearly. It’s a battle not worth the money when there are far better, and much-needed, other strategic moves to make to strengthen rugby in Australia.

    Letting the Rebels die would see the Force finally flourish. The Force would still need to recruit heavily from the three other rugby states, but culling Melbourne would help. With four teams the talent will consolidate and the Wallabies may well benefit from that concentrated player base.

    Australian rugby figures often run circles around their New Zealand counterparts when it comes to business, but this one has proven to be a lame duck venture time and time again.

    The opportunity remains to grab market share out west and build on the rugby base there before rugby league, despite the damage done by rugby in the past.

    That is surely a wiser venture than the sunk-cost fallacy that is the Rebels.

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  5. #50
    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    An interesting take from Ben Smith on RugbyPass
    Not much to disagree with tbh.

    The idea of having that extra cattle available if the Rebels were sunk sounds good to me.

    I think one of the dangers with Melbourne is that you have young blokes potentially being drawn to it because of the more social aspects of it, not because of the rugby. There is always going to be a danger of the Rebels being full of types like the 'Hot Tub' crew if the coaching culture and recruitment is weak.

    WA doesn't really have much of that going on, you come here to play rugby, enjoy the beaches etc. There isn't as much distraction which should make it much easier to keep young blokes behaving.

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  6. #51
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    The article, while on the face of it being backhand complimentary to the Force ("If the Western Force had the Melbourne Rebels’ roster this year" I'm happy with the roster we have thanks...) it's written under the premise that Australia doesn't produce enough pro quality talent.
    That is a false premise, we do, just it keeps bleeding overseas.
    Cutting any of the five teams will not improve the retention of the best players, if anything it will exacerbate the issue.
    RA's full focus at SR level should be around player retention and combating the issues that sees 18-20 year olds heading to Europe and Japan to pro contracts without even spending time at an Australian franchise.
    RA desperately needs to build the value of our product to bring greater investment into our code and should have a long term goal of seven teams, not four (or three...).

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  7. #52
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    Just did a quick check. It's not the same Ben Smith that now writes for The Worst.

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  8. #53
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLR View Post
    Not much to disagree with tbh.
    I've got a couple of issues with the article

    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    Aided by salary cap exemptions which saw the club land high-profile talent in Nathan Sharpe, Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau in the early years, they bagged next generation stars too in David Pocock and James O’Connor.
    There were NO SALARY CAP EXEMPTIONS WHATSOEVER in the early years of the Force, they were left to build a franchise from scratch on the "wrong" side of the country with no extra support from the governing body. In fact, when the Force used a tactic that had been established as an under the table method of giving players a bit extra scratch without affecting the salary cap (Reds and Tahs both did it) to secure Gits and Mitchell they got hauled over the coals, the loophole was retrispectively closed and the Force were fined (even though the Reds and Tahs weren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    Once the Melbourne Rebels joined the competition in 2011, the Force suffered.
    Actually I don't think that is entirely correct....the ENTIRE AUSSIE CONFERENCE suffered during those years. there is no evidence showing that the Force did any worse by comparison with the rest of the Australian teams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    The flow of talent from east to west dried up as potential signings took the easier option of staying on the east coast and the anonymity of Melbourne. The Force began to slide down the ladder and losing seasons became standard procedure.
    Not to mention the fact that Rugby Australia allowed the Rebels and the Force to sign up to 10 players outside the salary cap. The Force at least tried to keep a bit of a lid on the spending while doing that, but the Rebels chased anybody and everybody, paying them whatever it took...when the budget melted down, they simply got bailed out by RA and started again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    Please stop throwing good money at the Rebels
    Australia has too many Super Rugby franchises
    Disagree, if we had too many franchises we wouldn't have such high numbers of players playing at the highest levels overseas. The numbers are fine it's the management of those numbers that sucks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    The Force would still need to recruit heavily from the three other rugby states
    Maybe in the short term, yes but the way to build sustained success is to build from within.

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  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I've got a couple of issues with the article



    There were NO SALARY CAP EXEMPTIONS WHATSOEVER in the early years of the Force, they were left to build a franchise from scratch on the "wrong" side of the country with no extra support from the governing body. In fact, when the Force used a tactic that had been established as an under the table method of giving players a bit extra scratch without affecting the salary cap (Reds and Tahs both did it) to secure Gits and Mitchell they got hauled over the coals, the loophole was retrispectively closed and the Force were fined (even though the Reds and Tahs weren't.



    Actually I don't think that is entirely correct....the ENTIRE AUSSIE CONFERENCE suffered during those years. there is no evidence showing that the Force did any worse by comparison with the rest of the Australian teams.



    Not to mention the fact that Rugby Australia allowed the Rebels and the Force to sign up to 10 players outside the salary cap. The Force at least tried to keep a bit of a lid on the spending while doing that, but the Rebels chased anybody and everybody, paying them whatever it took...when the budget melted down, they simply got bailed out by RA and started again.



    Disagree, if we had too many franchises we wouldn't have such high numbers of players playing at the highest levels overseas. The numbers are fine it's the management of those numbers that sucks!



    Maybe in the short term, yes but the way to build sustained success is to build from within.
    Excellent points. Former CEO Peter O'Meara knew what the Tahs and Reds were up to and did exactly the same (Unfortunately it involved old mate Firepower). So why were we penalised. Oh that's right we aren't the Reds or Tahs

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  10. #55
    Player Kernow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    "G'day Bill, Baden here. Do you still have your great big spreadsheet?"

    "Yair, it's out in the shed somewhere, I think. Why?"

    "We need it again. Any chance you could send a copy to Phil Waugh and explain how to spin it, please mate"

    "OK, piece of cake"
    From memory that sheet showed the Rebels would land up in this situation

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  11. #56
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
    From memory that sheet showed the Rebels would land up in this situation
    You're thinking of Alison's spreadsheet.Billy's spreadsheet said 'kill the force's in cell A1 and was copied and pasted for 1024 columns and 3650 rows so that it fit the description.

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  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    1024 columns and 3650 rows
    It certainly was a massive spreadsheet...

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    The Herald Sun has story behind a paywall saying that the debt is actually $20m not $10m and it costs Vic Taxpayers $50k each time they play a match at AAMI stadium.

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  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    You're thinking of Alison's spreadsheet.Billy's spreadsheet said 'kill the force's in cell A1 and was copied and pasted for 1024 columns and 3650 rows so that it fit the description.
    True, I'd forgotten that - Alison's had data in it.

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    You hate to see that happening to any club. A little frustrating given our history.

    I can't help but feel like a lot of bridges will be burned here. Hard to see the Rebels coming back from this one. Perhaps if those Rebels players filtered into the other Aus teams, we'd be better equipped to stick it to the NZ teams.

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