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Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

Super Rugby side in financial jeopardy ahead of new season

It’s been another tricky 24-hours for Super Rugby club, Melbourne Rebels. Their season is due to kick off in just under two weeks, but their off-the-field troubles are currently putting their on-field opportunities in jeopardy. On Tuesday 13th February, all staff members had their contracts terminated, including CEO Baden Stephenson and nine other administration staff.

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Various coaches and vital staff have been re-employed on a short-term 4-month contract, however, to ensure that the side can still complete the Super 14 season – avoiding any further fines for pulling out of the competition. Players have avoided the cut completely thanks to their centralised contracts with Rugby Australia.

A report from the Sydney Morning Herald claimed that the Melbourne-based club currently sit in a well of over $20 million worth of debt. The article details:

“Auditors from PwC appointed to investigate the club’s finances revealed the Rebels owe $11.6 million to the Tax Office, $5.7 million to board members, and $2.8 million to suppliers – which include sponsors that paid their fees upfront.

“Adding to the list of debts is $1.1 million in unpaid stadium fees, $720,000 owed to the State Revenue Office and $250,000 in superannuation owed to employees.”

Advertising their pre-season match against Fijian Drua this afternoon, one fan joked: “lol, have you got the money for this?”

With just $17,300 in the bank – this is a trying time for the club that were founded just fourteen years ago.

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