Crowe and Holmes a Court are saviours of South Sydney

Christian Darque Roar Rookie

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    I rub my eyes a lot these days. Well, not really ‘these days’, but far more since 2006 when Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court paid for 75 percent of management rights at South Sydney.

    The reason? Pure disbelief at how some alleged Souths fans grasp every opportunity to criticise, knock and be a general cheerleader for the next depression whenever it comes to the topic of the ‘PHaCrowe’ regime.

    Some of the criticism, and quite often in the so-called mainstream media, appears to be written with a very sympathetic slant towards the previous management of South Sydney. Possibly because some journalists are masters of old time mateship and very little else.

    However I don’t have any mates who I might offend, possibly because I have already offended them, so I will deal with a commodity seldom mentioned in the mainstream media. It’s called fact.

    Around about 1999 South Sydney were in a financial situation so perilous that if it had been you or me we would have been camped out the front door of the Salvos with a handwritten sign saying ‘Help’.

    By the admission of the management at the time we were looking at extinction, or at best, relocation to the Central Coast.

    Yes, very impressive. Not to mention that had we not been in such a state, there would have been no expulsion from the premier competition.

    From ‘99 through to around 2005 we were a basket case. We had to pay overs for even average players. We announced signings of players I struggled to recognise as ‘marquee signings’.

    Nobody wanted to come to play for Souths, unless it was for a hefty retirement payout.

    Yet we still hear criticism of Russell and Peter and are asked what they have done for Souths?

    Well, survival was a pretty good first-up trick. Yes Russell, we did still respect you in the morning.

    Moving on, 2007 saw Souths suddenly manage to attract Roy Asotasi and Nigel Vagana. Personally I am not convinced their signings were coincidence, I feel they may have had just a little to do with our new management.

    Lo and behold, in 2007 we make the finals for the first time since 1989.

    Okay, unless I am madder than the maddest hatter who ever got mad over a hat, this was some pretty immediate and enjoyable improvement.

    Sure, we have had a couple of frustrating seasons, riddled with injury to star players, but still only missing the finals by one game.

    However, let’s not bog down on one area, let’s look at the overall picture.

    Our membership numbers are exceptional, either leading or coming second. Quite an incredible effort for a team not making the finals recently, and a true testament to how much this club is loved and supported.

    We are arguably the most heavily sponsored team in the NRL.

    We can now make bids for marquee players and be a serious chance of signing them, unheard of not so long ago.

    Roster-wise, league experts call us a “top four roster”.

    In 2010 we signed Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor, who were largely considered the two best young forwards in the world at the time.

    Retention is no longer a problem, with players such as Sutton, Clark, Luke, and Merritt all signing extensions.

    Oh, and did I mention the name Greg Inglis?

    We secured arguably the most exciting young coach on the market in Michael Maguire and he is already starting to stamp his ‘Storm-like’ attitude onto this talented young team.

    The future looks nothing but bright. Very bright.

    However, I am still left rubbing my eyes in disbelief at the negativity thrown at Souths by some people.

    I guess when some people look out their window at night, they see a pitch black sky. The rest of us see what’s really there, a shining moon and a truckload of stars.

    Go the Bunnies!

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 7:19pm
      JasonA said | April 23rd 2012 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

      I don’t know how anyone could knock the current Souths management. Sure they didn’t turn them into a premiership contender overnight but every year they have a competitive squad and look now like they are starting build a squad around some key young players. As a Souths fan I’m very excited and thank Holmes a Court and Crowe everyday that I have a footy team to watch on the weekend.

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      • April 26th 2012 @ 3:31pm
        Godfrey said | April 26th 2012 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

        Darque says that from “1999 to 2005 Souths were a (financial) basket case”. That’s incorrect. The club’s officials Nick Pappas and Shane Richardson said that our signing with ANZ Stadium and the sponsorship from Souths Juniors had “secured Souths financial future.” They said this 3 times and were quoted in newspapers. Also in 2005 Souths were only in the red for $343,000. As of 31/10/11, the club’s annual report shows that the club’s liabilities have now reached a staggering $10,643,118. In fact, liabilities have gone up $1.4 million each year of Crowe’s ownership. Where did Darque get his feel good bedtime story from? Hollywood? He should have started his story with “once upon a time”. And his name should be Hans Christian Darque!

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 7:55pm
      MFB1991 said | April 23rd 2012 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

      I’m not a Souths supporter but I have the greatest admiration for what Crowe and Holmes a Court have done at the Rabbitohs. All their key indicators appear to be pretty good and Crowe in particular has been rock solid when you compare him with Palmer and Tinkler in the ALeague. The club in total has regained respect and if the team get on a roll around semi final time the support they will get will be huge.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 24th 2012 @ 8:48am
        Christian Darque said | April 24th 2012 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        Thanks MFB1991,

        It’s great to read such supportive and positive comments from people, particularly from people who don’t follow Souths. It’s very encouraging to see fans of other clubs are not viewing us as the basket case we were not so long ago.


        • April 24th 2012 @ 3:22pm
          Godfrey said | April 24th 2012 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

          Are you the same Darque who is in business with the Rabbitohs. Your website (Darque photography) says that: “I am currently working on a project for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in collaboration with their part-owner Russell Crowe.” Your website also says: “Imagine my surprise when I received a call from Russell Crowe saying he had seen my work, loved it and wanted me to become involved in a creative project he had in mind. Now, as I am sworn to secrecy regarding the details of the project, I can say no more.” You sound like you are in love with Russell, as well as being in business with him. No wonder you are snuggling up to him with bedtime stories.

          • April 25th 2012 @ 5:55am
            darque said | April 25th 2012 @ 5:55am | ! Report

            No, I am not in business with Souths in any way whatsoever, nor have I ever received one cent from Souths for any photographic work, so your petty sniping is inaccurate, incorrect and just plain wrong.

            Yes, I am working on a creative photographic project with Russell Crowe.

            However I am not sure how that changes all the improvements at Souths since he and Peter took over.

            • April 25th 2012 @ 6:32am
              Godfrey said | April 25th 2012 @ 6:32am | ! Report

              So, you are only name droppingt? You obviously have an interest in praising Russell Are you trying to get closer to him? Trying to get more work from Souths? The story you related wasn’t balanced. For instance, Piggins left the football club in March 2003 and Nick Pappas became chairman. Nick Pappas has won 3 from 9 wooden spoons and he is still chairman now. Pappas has never won more games in a season than he has lost. You also forgot to mention that Souths is the only NRL club not to have made the finals in the last 4 years. You didn’t mention that Crowe and Holmes a Court failed to honour their undertakings and promises for the leagues club. And what about our $11 million in liabilities? Since 2006, the football club’s liabilities have grown each year by $1.4 million. The latest annual report mentions that the loans had to be renegotiated. I acknowledge the fact that you are very devoted to a movie star you obviously idolise, but please relate a balanced and truthful account.

              • April 25th 2012 @ 7:29am
                darque said | April 25th 2012 @ 7:29am | ! Report

                That’s nice Rooster Boy, but my article was about a football team I love, not about backroom financials. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but this is actually a “sports” website, as far as I know thee is no sport known as “Financial Accounting”.

                Also not sure how I could get “more work” from Souths when I have never had any work from Souths. However accuracy has never been your strong suite now has it?

                Go away.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 8:13pm
      evan said | April 23rd 2012 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

      Russell and Peter are outstanding in saving South Sydney. One day when their tenure ends, what will the Rabbits do ? Will they stand on their own or become a joint venture, etc. To me there isnt a plan B. Can someone offer a plan B even if its not called upon for afew more years?

      • April 26th 2012 @ 3:36pm
        Godfrey said | April 26th 2012 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

        Darque – you are obviously confused. You are the one who mentioned financials in your bedtime story. You wrote that the club was in a “perilous financial situation”. All I did was add balance to your bedtime story by quoting directly from the club’s annual reports to show that your comments were rubbish. I hope Russell gives you a pat on the head, mate. That he still respects you in the morning.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 8:13pm
      evan said | April 23rd 2012 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

      Russell and Peter are outstanding in saving South Sydney. One day when their tenure ends, what will the Rabbits do ? Will they stand on their own or become a joint venture, etc. To me there isnt a plan B. Can someone offer a plan B even if its not called upon for afew more years?

      • June 24th 2012 @ 9:10pm
        Realist said | June 24th 2012 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

        Darque- you obviously work for Crowe and HAC. Conflict of interest you idiot.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 8:21pm
      simon said | April 23rd 2012 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

      I have never been a bunny fan until ol rusty crowbar came along and injected his determination and guts into the club, and I totally take my hat off to him for bringing his family values and banning pokie machines standing up to the powers that want us to gamble our money away and running a very colourful multicultural team that i now consider to be my second favourite team. Kia kaha Bunnies

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 8:33pm
      Frank Lee Kennedy said | April 23rd 2012 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

      Yes, the most supported team in the NRL. One wonders, what are the reasons for not winning the premiership for more than 40 years?

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