It seems the catalogue of news on financial woes in rugby is getting another novel added to it. This time it is Super Rugby side Western Force who are in deep water.
It seems the Western Force’s poor performances over the past few seasons and the financial problems they have run into with that are now so so severe that the ARU is stepping in to take over the management of the Western Australian franchise.
The Daily Telegraph reported a few days ago that Rugby Western Australia, who run the franchise, reported a loss of AU$600,000 in 2014 and expected to run an even bigger deficit in 2015. The ARU paid them $800,000 for their intellectual property rights, but it was obviously not enough to take care of the financial trouble and the ARU are reported to be looking on how to gain full oversight and full control of the financial side of the Western Force.
It is understood the ARU will not involve itself in the rugby programme, and stay away from involvement in the managing of the team, but that all financial and recruitment matters will have to be run through them.
There is, however, a dark shadow hanging over Perth now, as some have called for the Force to be moved and turned into a Western Sydney team. The ARU, however, has been adamant Super Rugby should remain a national game and should continue to be spread across the country.
With potential earnings far higher in Western Sydney, the temptation to resolve the matter thus must be big though.
Paul Peerdeman, Pundit Arena
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