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Brumbies shut down talk of following Rebels into voluntary administration

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Editor
6th February, 2024
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ACT Brumbies chairman Matt Nobbs has shut down suggestions the Super Rugby franchise is following the path of the Melbourne Rebels by heading into voluntary administration and dismissed any suggestion of a potential merger.

On Monday night, The Australian reported the Brumbies were heading down the path of the Rebels, who are said to have debts of up to $20 million, according to the newspaper. The Roar understands that figure is closer to $15m.

But Nobbs slammed suggestions the Brumbies were about to head under.

“We would not even go into voluntary administration because we don’t have any (substantial) debt,” Nobbs told The Roar.

“The only debt we have is to Rugby Australia, which originally was a grant, but then was converted by Rugby Australia into an interest bearing loan.

“It was $1.7m, it’s now 1.1m. Everything is up to date, and we’ve never fallen behind.

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“We report monthly on our financials. It was a condition of the loan.”

Lachlan Lonergan of the Brumbies celebrates scoring a try

Brumbies chairman Matt Nobbs says the Super Rugby franchise won’t be leaving Canberra. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

While all signs point to 2024 being the last season for the Rebels despite putting together one of their strongest rosters, one option for the state to keep a Super Rugby presence would be to merge with another franchise.

But Nobbs said he had been assured that option was off the table, as well as any idea of relocating the franchise.

“I’ve got assurances from RA that there will be no merger, that the Brumbies will not be relocated and Rugby Australia do not want to run the Brumbies,” Nobbs said.

Privatising the Brumbies is still an option for Australia’s most successful Super Rugby franchise, who this season have 18 players in the men’s side that have come through the system’s pathways and academy structures.

On Tuesday afternoon, the franchise will hold an investor meeting to explore new revenue opportunities.

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Nobbs admitted the uncertainty in the game at present wasn’t helping any of the stakeholders, but the long-time Brumbies chairman said he was confident the franchise would deliver on the field in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

“It’s not the right message that we should be sending about the game, particularly when you’re three weeks out from a Super Rugby season,” Nobbs said.

“I just want to put it to bed that we are not going into voluntary administration.

“We’re preparing for a Super Rugby season, we’re preparing for a Super W season, and we have a red hot chance of winning the Super Rugby competition and performing above expectations in the Super W competition.”

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