Force to be reckoned with as Forrest issues warning

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    Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest has issued a blunt warning to the ARU – if you want to cut the Force, you are going to have to defeat me first.

    The findings from last week’s arbitration hearing between RugbyWA and the ARU is set to be handed down within days.

    If the Force win, they will survive the axe until at least 2020.

    But if they lose, the ARU is set to cull them from the Super Rugby competition.

    Under that scenario, the Force are almost certain to appeal to the Supreme Court if they win a right of appeal.

    Forrest has pledged to do whatever it takes to save the Force and he issued the ARU with a thinly-veiled threat.

    “I want to be very clear to the ARU. You try to cut the Western Force, you have to go through me first, and then all of our players, and then our supporters, and then all of the parents of young players and, indeed, all proud Western Australians,” Forrest said

    “This is bigger than just a rugby game. I stand behind all of these amazing people who believe in a fair go and the right for Australians to support rugby union as a national sport, not just one reduced to the eastern seaboard.”

    Forrest is offering people interest-free loans to put money into the ‘Own the Force’ campaign.

    Instead of people paying the money back to Forrest, they pack it back to RugbyWA – effectively giving the Force $2000 for every share sold.

    The Force will use the money to buy back their licence from the ARU.

    If the Force win the arbitration, the ARU faces a tough task to cut the Rebels.

    The Victorian rugby union confirmed last weekend it had taken control of the Melbourne Rebels.

    Andrew Cox’s Imperium Sports Group sold the 11,625,000 shares for just $1.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • August 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm
      Jay-c said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

      This Forrest chap seems a top bloke. Fighting the good fight for the people-
      Wish there was some way to let him and the force folk know they’ve got allies on the east who really appreciated what the force brought this year. Long live the force

      • Roar Rookie

        August 7th 2017 @ 1:19pm
        piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

        You could buy some shares mate!

        He is a good man, and a good West Aussie – pity all our billionaires aren’t so philanthropic

        • August 7th 2017 @ 2:08pm
          Fionn said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

          The longer this goes on the more and more likely I see it is that they try and come after the Brumbies.

          Anyway, good news for the Force, Twiggy seems like a good bloke. It’d be nice if a few more rich Aussies would invest in Aussie rugby.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 2:15pm
            Bakkies said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Good luck with that having to deal with Terrence Higgins and the ACT Government

            • August 7th 2017 @ 8:01pm
              Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

              Are the ARU prepared to alienate WA, Vic and ACT in one year? The only thing they manage to cut is their reputations.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 8:48pm
          republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

          ……..a’la the USA piru?

      • August 7th 2017 @ 1:35pm
        matt jones said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        yeah, great bloke. i will buy what i want

        • August 7th 2017 @ 1:55pm
          republican said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

          ……thats the culture that defines the wild west, always has been………

          • Roar Rookie

            August 7th 2017 @ 2:21pm
            piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            huh?

            Our culture is to buy the things we want?

            So.. capitalism?

            Has the Eastern States become a socialist republic and no one thought to tell anyone.

            Funny that you’ll argue from a financial standpoint when it suits your argument but then come the raw prawn when we do the same.

            • August 7th 2017 @ 6:38pm
              republican said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

              ……..capitalism is certainly far more entrenched in the west piru. You only need to know a tad about the political climate that has dominated that state for as long as I can recall anyway. I know about this first hand as I have family who have left WA because of this entrenched way of doing business and their contempt for ‘the East’.
              Thats why the west would be doing us all a favour, together with Qld, if they would put their $ where there mouth is, & secede……..

              • August 10th 2017 @ 2:39am
                Ben said | August 10th 2017 @ 2:39am | ! Report

                Hahaha. Wow. Jilted much?

            • August 7th 2017 @ 6:40pm
              republican said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

              ……..far moreso than the west piru, to be sure and thats why the west should do us all a favour, together with Qld, & secede.
              Not sure what ‘standpoint’ you are referring to either. Can you be more specific?

              • Roar Rookie

                August 8th 2017 @ 11:01am
                piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                Not sure what ‘standpoint’ you are referring to either. Can you be more specific?

                My point is this:

                first “We must cut a team to save money, The Force costs too much”

                then “Typical West Australians throwing money at their problems”

                When the problem is “We need more money” investing more money would seem to be a legitimate answer.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm
          Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

          Forrest is not buying the Force, what he is doing is providing financing for the legal battle with the ARU, he is providing financing for ordinary Force supporters that does not have the money now to get shares in the Force without increasing his shares and he is helping to fund the Future Force. He is not someone that buys what he wants, he is using money to grow the Force’s support base. He has been selected as West Australian of the year, top bloke!

          • August 7th 2017 @ 6:00pm
            Drongo said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

            Gee, that’s nice isn’t it. A message that if they lose they will not accept the arbitrator’ decision and will use a billionaire to bleed the ARU dry.
            Yeah, just what we need.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 7th 2017 @ 6:19pm
              piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

              Yeah you’re right, we should just roll over and die and give up on rugby

              We didn’t ask for this battle mate

            • August 7th 2017 @ 8:07pm
              Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

              It is the ARU that stabbed the Force in their back and try to circumvent their commercial obligation. The ARU is the aggressor that bodge the culling process and made it a however can survive the longest win competition. Your anger should be directed at th ARU as they are pig headed in their pursuit to axe the Force. It is not a merit based decision, what else do you propose the Force do?

          • August 8th 2017 @ 8:51pm
            republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

            …….and this will ultimately prove more detrimental to the code here – perhaps?
            Certainly it would seem that both the Force and Rebels dogged survival will be the Brumbies undoing, so how will this likely outcome, improve Rugby in this country, pray tell?

        • August 8th 2017 @ 9:17am
          UTB said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Like 99% of rugby fans I’ve always wanted the Force to keep going and I’ve really enjoyed watching them play this year. They’re the pick of the Aussie teams. If they survive it’ll be a good thing.

          But frankly I find watching a billionaire on an ego trip in the name of Rugby more than a bit distasteful. He could have put money in 5 years ago without the pomp and heroics. Then we wouldn’t be watching our cashless sport spending what little money they have on legal costs. Nobody is saying that the ARU aren’t clowns – but having their limit funds frittered away is not helping the game.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
            piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            Don’t confuse Andrew Forrest with the likes of Rinehart et al

            He’s a very different kind of billionaire

            • August 8th 2017 @ 8:54pm
              republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

              ………perhaps but I doubt it.
              He is mercenary and ruthless and has already suggested that the Brumbies be the fall guys in all of this.
              He is far more about the ‘cult of the personality’ as a parochial Wassie than the overall state of the code here piru………

              • Roar Rookie

                August 9th 2017 @ 11:12am
                piru said | August 9th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                It was John Welbourne who suggested that, and I think it was intended more as an illustration of the absurdity of the situation than a legitimate suggestion the Brumbies be cut.

    • Roar Guru

      August 7th 2017 @ 1:28pm
      stillmissit said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      The Force does not deserve to be cut. If it was done on performance then the Tahs might have been under the axe.

      This guy Pulver is a gutless impression of a man. He seems to be hoping someone else would make the decision for him. Sooner this whole management team and the board are gone the better off we might be,

      This is not a time for mambe-pambe managers, it is time for a strong management group who have a clue where the game should be headed.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 8:33pm
        cuw said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        nope – rebels have the worst performance.

        • Roar Pro

          August 8th 2017 @ 3:19pm
          Crazy Horse said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

          The Force and Rebels both had massive injury problems this season. The Tahs didn’t have that excuse.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 1:37pm
      matt jones said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

      They deserve to be cut and some billionaire threatening to throw his money around wont change it. Congrats to them on finally breeding a handful of your own players and not being the worst Australian Super rugby franchise in your tenth year. One 4/10 year and some one off juniors dont make for a good case. Now the rich man has spoken we should all bow down

      • Roar Rookie

        August 7th 2017 @ 1:43pm
        piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

        Hey that’s that same inaccurate post you put up last week!

        Do you have any original thoughts or are just going to continue copying and pasting invented facts?

      • August 7th 2017 @ 2:47pm
        Jacko said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

        Matt go to WA and learn what a rugby community looks like…If the Force is cut then the ARU is cutting off its nose just to spite its face…This is the ONLY growth area in aus rugby at the moment and if they lose it now it will be gone forever..

        • August 7th 2017 @ 2:54pm
          Bakkies said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

          Piru it’s been a while since Alan Jones stuck his boots in to the ARU, the next instalment can’t be too far off.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 3:52pm
        Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

        Matt you are ignorant on what the Force means for a state with the 3rd most rugby players in the country and where rugby is growing not only for players but also spectators? What benefit is there to cut the Force when the Force are producing a pipeline of players, are financially secure and are our second best side? The performance that matters is not that in 2009 but in 2018-2020 – this looks promising with a young team that is gelling under the guidance of a good coach. Will be stupid to axe the Force now that all the hard work was done!

    • August 7th 2017 @ 1:52pm
      Rex said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

      If you wont stupid enough to give up your license you wouldn’t be in this mess. I wouldn’t want either ARU or Rugby WA anywhere near my business.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 7th 2017 @ 1:58pm
        piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        Well it seems that was the condition placed on the ARU helping out financially – doesn’t seem it was put on anyone else when they were bailed out though.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 3:54pm
        Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

        The Force was not stupid, they saw what the ARU wants to do and ensure that there is a legal obligation on the ARU to support the Force until the end of 2020. This gave the Force enough time to launch the Own the Force campaign to repay the funding that the ARU provided to the Force for this deal. The original agreement was for just over $4 million, but I saw this weekend that the most recent market price for an operating license is now $1.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 1:54pm
      republican said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

      ……….all this points to the Brumbies being the focus for the chop again………..

    • August 7th 2017 @ 1:59pm
      Nicolai said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

      Well I am sure that there will be other REBELS members/fans/supporters that will be prepared to buy 1 or a few of those 11,625,000 shares from the VRU!!!!!

      • Roar Rookie

        August 7th 2017 @ 2:03pm
        piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

        I guess we’ll see – they’ve been remarkably quiet this year though

      • August 7th 2017 @ 2:06pm
        bigbaz said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        Whats a share worth? .000000001c. Might take 5c worth

        • Roar Rookie

          August 7th 2017 @ 2:27pm
          piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          Well, if the Rebs shares are the same as the Force and worth $1000, that would put the Rebels’ estimated worth at $11,625,000,000.

          I’m not sure if they are worth $11 billion to be honest.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 2:59pm
            bigbaz said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            mate, REbs shares, all 11,625,000 just sold for a $1. I think you blokes are well in front.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 7th 2017 @ 3:03pm
              piru said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

              my calculator won’t even work that out

              • Roar Pro

                August 7th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                Crazy Horse said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                One Rebels Share for $0.900000009 Piru.

                Seriously though, there has to be more to it than the VRU has announced. They’re not as incompetent as the EARU and surely must have some plan to raise the necessary funds.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm
                Hannes said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

                Agree with Crazy Horse that there is far more to the deal than has been announced. This deal alone put the Rebels in a worst financial position than the private ownership model.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm
        Bamboo said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        That has me thinking. Irrespective of what is going of behind the scenes with both the Rebels and Force I suppose its very important that both of them send out the message that they aren’t going anywhere.

        Memberships for next year will have or will be opening soon, and for the team that survives, this current debacle will have massive ramifications of their memberships sales over the coming months.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 4:37pm
          Bakkies said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          At least the Force have money in the bank before they can sell their memberships

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