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Piggins sinks even lower as the Crowe flies

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    Former South Sydney Rugby League club chairman George Piggins. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

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    I have had more than enough of George Piggins and his tiresome rants about South Sydney. Like the proverbial dog and bone, George keeps yapping away, flatly refusing to let go, let alone bury it.

    This week’s revelation that Russell Crowe plans to sell his stake in the club set old George off again, creating more than a little panic among the South Sydney faithful.

    Old “rent-a-quote” George again seized the chance to sink the boot into Crowe and the Rabbitoh regime with a preposterous suggestion the club might have to relocate to the Central Coast, or even Perth, to remain viable.

    Errant nonsense, from where I sit. Souths are going nowhere.

    Through hard work and sound business practices, the once-skint Souths have re-emerged as one of the more affluent clubs in the competition with a rock solid sponsor base, a burgeoning membership, a powerful playing roster and a modern home ground.

    If Souths are vulnerable then heaven help the other clubs around the nation.

    They say that Piggins acts and speaks from the heart and that he harbours an unshakeable ardour for the famous old club he played for, coached at and ruled as president.

    Fair enough, but this is the ‘new and vastly improved’ South Sydney model which finished third in 2012 and pays its bills comfortably, even without assistance from the parent Leagues Club.

    Success has returned to the inner city club thanks largely to the personal input and drive from Crowe and his mates. George saved the club once but then found he could not do it a second time.

    I have never met or spoken to actor Crowe but I admire and appreciate the job that he and partner, Peter Holmes a Court, have done to turn the club around. It seems obvious they were the men Souths needed in a crisis.

    And, over a six year period, they came through with flying (red and green) colours.

    Sadly, Souths did not manage a premiership win in that time but the foundations have certainly been set for a golden run and I believe that winning the 2013 title is a distinct possibility.

    When reporters contacted George Piggins for a reaction to the Russell Crowe news, I say he should have acknowledged the club’s exciting revival and congratulated Hollywood’s second most famous rabbit (since B Bunny).

    Instead, Piggins kept the blinkers on and stumbled down the same old path which used to be lined with insistence but is now paved by ignorance.

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    The Crowd Says (71)

    • November 20th 2012 @ 6:23am
      AGO74 said | November 20th 2012 @ 6:23am | ! Report

      Hard to argue with you Tim. The guy is embarrassing himself.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 20th 2012 @ 6:48am
      Chris Hardiman said | November 20th 2012 @ 6:48am | ! Report

      George Piggins is a hero. A real hero and not a hollywood hero. If you don’t like reading what George has to say in newspapers Tim then don’t read them. They’re full of porky pies anyway.
      Rugby League sold its’ soul a long time ago. That is what Matt Nables movie is about people. A buyer could take Souths away from Redfern. Rich people do whatever they want. Hell they’re only playing 8 home games at Homebush next year.

      • November 20th 2012 @ 9:12am
        Christo the Daddyo said | November 20th 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        The newspapers are quoting Piggins directly Chris – you’re accusing them of actually making up these quotes?

        What I’m really sick of is the fact that Piggins never has any sensible suggestions of his own – he’s always sniping from the sidelines.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 20th 2012 @ 10:21am
          Chris Hardiman said | November 20th 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          How would you know if George has any sensible ideas. All you know is what is quoted in the johnny raper. The newspapers are knocking on his door not the other way around.
          A newspaper company were behind booting South Sydney out of the competition. God dam some people have short memories.

          • November 20th 2012 @ 6:13pm
            Dayer said | November 20th 2012 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

            get over it, Chris,, you’re in denial … Tim is absolutely 100% correct.

    • November 20th 2012 @ 6:53am
      Gaz said | November 20th 2012 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      Giant chip on his shoulder he will take to his grave.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • November 20th 2012 @ 8:13am
      LK said | November 20th 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      Agree 100% with the article. Reading yesterday’s quotes – he talked down the sale of the club, and wasn’t keen to attend games, even with Crowe out of the club – Piggins doesn’t seem like a passionate fan of the club. George does enjoy seeing his name in the papers, though.

      Perhaps, one of Crowe’s biggest legacies to the club is making Piggins irrelevant.

    • November 20th 2012 @ 8:14am
      Bondy. said | November 20th 2012 @ 8:14am | ! Report


      I’m an A League supporter first,I dont know what the media are going on about with the currnet N.R.L. situation,in watching Richardson yesterday I have to agree Souths are the benchmark club in Sydney with the N.R.L. just look at there table position this year to the previous four years.

      You’ve signed a tv deal thats just as good as the AFL’s and thats more of a commercial sport apparently and apparently more kids take up league in Mlb compared to AFL in Sydney,one could suggest your on an upward spiral,we’d give our right eye for that situation.

      I dont think R League is dead or dying or going anywhere.

    • November 20th 2012 @ 9:03am
      jamesb said | November 20th 2012 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Completely agree Tim

      I cheered Piggins on when he saved Souths back in 2001 via the court decision. But you gotta say, Piggins was also responsible for the club going out the back door in the first place.

      I thought with Souths returning in 2002, this would be a different club. Learn from its past mistakes. Instead it was the same same old crap, until 2006 when Crowe and Holmes a Court took over.

      Since than, Redfern Oval is nicely done up, a good deal at ANZ stadium, also 22,000 members, and finally a strong football team on the field, which are a good shot of winning the comp in 2013.

      Whats also overlooked is that for many years, the cap was bigger than the tv grant. Theres a good chance that next year and beyond the tv grant would be on par with the cap, if not more. I believe the tv grant would somehow offset Crowe’s missing financial contribution anyway.

      Crowe has done a great job. As for Piggins, I get the feeling if he was still in charge in 2012, I don’t think Souths would be at Redfern anymore. More like Central Coast or Perth.

      I respect what Piggins has done for the game and his club, but his comments relating to Crowe are embarrassing.

      • November 20th 2012 @ 10:22am
        clipper said | November 20th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        The council refurbished the Redfern Oval to the tune of $19 million – don’t know if Souths contributed any money towards it.
        They used to own the leagues club in Redfern and some other property – don’t think they have many assets left.
        It’s true the club has been revitalised, but is it better off financially. Has the increased membership come at the expense of it’s inner city roots.

        • November 20th 2012 @ 12:47pm
          Crosscoder said | November 20th 2012 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          The club is better off financially.The leagues club was losing money hand over fist.
          The land there is a community asset for the community and used by the community ,not for rugby league only.The club trains there and has one game there pre season.Just like Moore Park.

          The football club had no money,few members,now it has incurred 3 consecutive years of profits ,this year a 6 figure one.Next year 7 figures expected.They have money in the bank,they did not before.

          The inner city roots has not been neglected,by the club.The membership is at record levels.the members are coming from somewhere,the west,Waterloo to La Perouse and the st george and sutherland shire.How more diversified(in tems of support) does a club have to be?

          But wait we have the Swans now domiciled in Sydney ,taken away from their city roots.The world goes on.

      • November 20th 2012 @ 12:39pm
        Scuba said | November 20th 2012 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        Time to dispel an urban legend – Souths did not win the court case – they won in the Full Federal Court but that decision was overturned by the High Court.

        Thank the NRL for not enforcing the judgment and kicking Souths out, not George Piggins.

        • Roar Pro

          November 20th 2012 @ 10:17pm
          A View From the Top said | November 20th 2012 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

          Amazing how very few people realise Souths lost on appeal…

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