Live scores
Live Commentary
Stormers : 25
Reds : 19
| Fulltime

Senate hearing wants ASIC to look into Rebels deal



215 Have your say

    Rugby Australia’s secret dealings with the Melbourne Rebels could be laid bare after a senate inquiry called on Australia’s corporate watchdog to investigate the rugby governing body.

    The senate hearing wants the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to investigate deals done between RA (formerly the ARU) and the Melbourne Rebels that ultimately led to the dire financial position of Australian rugby and the axing of the Western Force.

    In addition, it wants ASIC to investigate RA’s annual reports.

    The senate inquiry also said that the decision to axe the Force was a “foregone conclusion” that was probably made on April 9, 2017 – four months before the franchise was officially culled.

    The inquiry, which was launched in the wake of the Force’s axing, was concerned about the manner in which the ARU sold the Melbourne Rebels licence to Andrew Cox’s Imperium Group in 2015.

    It heard evidence that the licence was transferred to the Imperium Group debt free, meaning the ARU forgave $13 million in loans to the Rebels, as well as paying off other debts.

    It also heard evidence that the ARU agreed to pay the Melbourne Rebels an additional $5.5 million between 2016 and 2020.

    The inquiry described it as a “poor process” and a deal that “provided virtually no benefit to the ARU and disadvantaged the other members of the ARU who could not benefit from the additional funding that was provided to the Melbourne Rebels.”

    “The committee was very concerned by the seemingly generous terms the ARU negotiated to transfer the licence,” the report said.

    “The committee cannot understand the basis on which substantial additional funding was provided and why no conditions were placed on the use of the funds.”

    Because the Rebels were privately owned by Cox, the ARU would have faced serious legal ramifications if they had tried to axe the franchise.

    And when Cox transferred the licence to the Victorian Rugby Union for $1 in early August, it made it impossible for RA to axe the franchise.

    But because Rugby Australia owned the Force after forming an ‘Alliance’ agreement with them in June 2016, the Perth-based side could be axed without legal ramifications.

    RA claims it was in negotiations with the Rebels about buying back the licence up until August 2017.

    But evidence tabled to the senate hearing suggested the ARU actually helped Cox transfer the licence to the VRU in order to ensure the Rebels survived.

    The senate report said the ARU appeared to have considered the possibility of removing a team from the Super Rugby competition as early as August 2016.

    “… and it seems likely that the option to remove an Australian Super Rugby team was being actively considered by ARU management at the same time that the Alliance Agreement was being negotiated with the Western Force,” the report said.

    RA claimed it would have gone bankrupt by 2019 if it didn’t axe one Australian franchise.

    WA Liberal senator Linda Reynolds, who launched the senate inquiry, was damning of the ARU.

    “These captains of industry who are the custodians of this great sport have driven it to the brink of financial insolvency,” senator Reynolds told parliament.


    *That ASIC reviews the evidence received by the committee regarding transactions involving the Melbourne Rebels.

    *That ASIC reviews the financial circumstances reported in RA’s annual reports against the evidence presented to the committee.

    *That the Australian Sports Commission consider an additional principle to be introduced in the Commission’s Sports Governance Principles in relation to National Sporting Organisations’ commitment and duty to player welfare

    *That RA immediately transfer all intellectual property and trademarks associated with the Western Force to RugbyWA.

    © AAP 2018

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (215)

    • November 16th 2017 @ 8:52am
      Metalisticpain said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report


    • November 16th 2017 @ 9:36am
      Lano said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      Clyne and Pulver, perjurous, manipulative, deceitful.

      They made the decision to axe the Force long before they played out their farcical pantomime.

      And, “axing the Force made zero difference to the economic sustainability of Rugby”

      Bravo boys, long live the East Coast Rugby Union.

      This one fan you have lost.

      • Roar Guru

        November 17th 2017 @ 2:48pm
        Train Without A Station said | November 17th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

        That’s a completely incorrect comment.

        Axing the Force will save 8 figures.

        That will make zero difference?

        • Roar Rookie

          November 17th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          piru said | November 17th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          That’s what the senate inquiry found – it’s part of their release

    • November 16th 2017 @ 9:53am
      concerned supporter said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      Roar Editors, this important article has been placed in an inconspicuous place on the Roar Rugby Segment.

      Hi Bakkies,
      Like to get yore opinion on these matters, also other Roarers.

      Not saying that they will, or not saying they should, but Cameron Clyne & Bill Pulver should be concerned,
      after all a Royal Commission in 2002 found that 2 Directors of failed insurance giant, HIH Insurance Ltd.
      were found guilty of authorising a false Prospectus to raise funds for the take over of FAI.
      Both HIH Directors, R. Williams & D. Fedora were jailed over this deception, which came to light after an investigation by the Royal Commission.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 10:35am
        DJW said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

        The Roar has shown no appetite to show the true colours of the ARU and has not reported anything on the senate enquiry. Very disappointing.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 10:45am
          Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          They have probably been gagged since Spiro took Rob Clarke to town. Pity.

          • November 16th 2017 @ 1:00pm
            Dave_S said | November 16th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

            my memory may not be reliable, but wasn’t that the article that Sporo apologised for and admitted was based on unfounded allegations?

            • November 16th 2017 @ 1:05pm
              Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              Like all things that Pulver and Clarke get up to they denied any wrongdoing and forced out an apology.

              • November 16th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                Dave_S said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                Spiro said he had evidence for the allegations, but he didn’t have the evidence, or have I got that wrong? Hence the apology. Journalists don’t apologise for substantiated allegations. That’s the problem with unsubstantiated allegations.

            • November 16th 2017 @ 1:57pm
              Train Without A Station said | November 16th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report


              That’s how credible Bakkies view is.

              Refers to the Spiro taking Clarke to town when Clarke had Spiro back down and remove his article.

              • November 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm
                Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

                The article is still there if you know how to find it. It was beautiful to read. One of Spiro’s finest.

                As for the comment about credibility. Oh that is rich.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 12:41pm
        Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

        Ultimately I prefer prison time for a number of people. As a minimum de Clyne, Clarke and Pulver they should be struck off as directors permanently so they can’t be allowed to destroy more businesses.

    • November 16th 2017 @ 9:59am
      deanB said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Bankers and impropriety. Who would’ve thunk it?

      • Roar Guru

        November 16th 2017 @ 5:39pm
        Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

        Well, as is preached in NZ rugby circles, it isn’t Illegal unless ASIC penalizes you for it.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 17th 2017 @ 12:24pm
          piru said | November 17th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

          Slightly different but… well played Timbo

    • November 16th 2017 @ 10:00am
      Jules said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      Time for mass resignations at Rugby Australia. It’s shameful and us Force fans all knew this was the case but to have down in black and white just justifies our anger. Time to start moving on from the misery this has caused and look to the future. Before the usual people start defending this board and making lame excuses for them just remember you have a team next year and we don’t through an absolutely unfair shameful process and we just have to live with that.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 10:49am
        Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

        Jules people will move on when they have something to move on to. Club Rugby and the NRC isn’t enough. The Force drove the rapid growth of the game so the kids have something to aspire to. Rugby WA has to rebuild under a new CEO and skeleton staff due to the RA sacking off the good people who are responsible for the game’s growth in the state.

        The IPRC is still a work in progress however it will be a WA XV fielded in the comp as the RA still have the IP which also includes the WA under age sides who use the Force logo, Future Force Academy and the Perth Spirit.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 12:23pm
          Jules said | November 16th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          I know just trying to talk myself into moving on really! It’s just going to be heartbreaking when the super rugby season actually starts!! Hopefully Something will happen with IPRC and some good news will start coming in about the same time next year!!

          • Roar Rookie

            November 16th 2017 @ 12:26pm
            piru said | November 16th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            We may get the IP back – wouldn’t it be good to be able to go to a Force game next year?

            • November 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm
              Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              preferably for a dollar.

    • November 16th 2017 @ 10:21am
      Danger said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      Why can i not find this article on the main rugby page. The Roars coverage of this major event in Australian rugby is disgusting. Almost like they’re trying to cover it up….

      • Roar Guru

        November 16th 2017 @ 11:51am
        PeterK said | November 16th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        Roar wouldn’t publish articles from roar members covering the senate hearings, the coverage has been abysmal.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 2:00pm
          Train Without A Station said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          And how many of those articles contained unproven, slanderous claims though.

          Surely the roar are not silly enough to leave themselves open to legal action.

          • Roar Guru

            November 16th 2017 @ 2:21pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            Since when have the Roar cared about unproven claims.

            So why didn’t the staff writers, much like this one, post the sanitized news?

            • November 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm
              Train Without A Station said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

              Probably since they began as they would be legally liable…

              • Roar Guru

                November 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

                Have you read any of the articles on the Right hand side?

                A lot of opinion pieces.

              • November 16th 2017 @ 7:17pm
                Train Without A Station said | November 16th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

                How many of them slander people?

          • November 16th 2017 @ 2:26pm
            Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

            Slander, meander throw it all about in TWAS’ world.

          • Roar Guru

            November 16th 2017 @ 2:31pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            I have just posted my article here but it is awaiting moderation. I am hoping it sees daylight.

            • Roar Guru

              November 16th 2017 @ 2:49pm
              Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

              Whoop, Moderators look like they killed it. Maybe I am next.

              First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Socialist.

              Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

              Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Jew.

              Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

              ~ Martin Niemöller

          • Roar Guru

            November 16th 2017 @ 3:14pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 16th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            Easy, only write about the facts to hand.
            It is OK to report that Wellborne slandered Clyne, but not OK to say what Welborne said is Fact.
            It is a product of good journalism.

          • November 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm
            GIGS20 said | November 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

            And how many of those articles contained unproven, slanderous claims though.

            Surely the roar are not silly enough to leave themselves open to legal action.

            Since you’ve called everything that Bakkies and I have posted regarding this slander, even though it has now been proven by the senate inquiry it’s a little difficult to know to what you are referring.

            • November 16th 2017 @ 3:46pm
              Bakkies said | November 16th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

              Exactly it is based off records that are publicly. Andrew Cox wrote a submission stating that none of his companies have been technically insolvent yet there is clear evidence on NZ company records filed in January 2015. The records don’t cost anything. It clearly states that his company was trading at a loss there.

            • November 16th 2017 @ 7:20pm
              Train Without A Station said | November 16th 2017 @ 7:20pm | ! Report


              I’ve called what Bakkies has said slander.

              Can you point me to the submission to the senate query which identifies ARU board members bring unit holders in any Imperium Unit Trust?

              • Roar Guru

                November 17th 2017 @ 12:16pm
                John R said | November 17th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                He’s not google mate. Look it up yourself. The truth is out there. I want to believe.