THE Australian Rugby Union has requested for a please clarify after the ownership of the Melbourne Rebels was transferred by the membership’s personal house owners to the Victorian Rugby Union without their information.
Papers lodged with the Australian Security and Investments Commission on Friday confirmed Andrew Cox’s Imperium Group had returned the Super Rugby licence for the Rebels to the VRU after months of negotiation.
Cox and fellow Imperium companion Peter Sidwell resigned from the Rebels’ board, together with Michelle Williams, they usually have been changed by VRU appointees Tim North, Owain Stone, Lyndsey Catermole and Rob Dalziel.
The transfer might make life awfully troublesome for the ARU in the event that they lose the arbitration case towards Rugby WA and may’t minimize the Western Force. Any potential plan B to purchase the Rebels licence again from Cox now seems off the desk.
But the ownership change — which has the backing of the Victorian authorities — was questioned by the ARU, who should log off on any such transfer.
The ARU stated in a press release they weren’t knowledgeable of the ownership change.
“The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has tonight received confirmation from a third party that ownership of the Melbourne Rebels had transferred from Imperium Group to the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU),” the assertion stated.
“The Melbourne Rebels have an obligation under their Participation Deed to inform ARU of any change of ownership. To date, ARU has received no such communication from the Melbourne Rebels despite recent attempts to confirm their position. ARU is urgently seeking to confirm the terms on which this transfer occurred.”
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How the change of ownership modifications the Super Rugby downsizing saga stays to be seen however Cox’s departure would considerably scale back the prospect of the Rebels being reduce.
The ARU and Rugby WA engaged in arbitration listening to this week over the governing physique’s authorized proper to chop the Western Force from the competitors subsequent yr. A choice is predicted subsequent week.
If Rugby WA win, the Rebels would little question come again into the reckoning as a risk to be shut down.
But given Cox and Imperium have now transferred their shareholding to the VRU, the ARU can not enter any negotiation to purchase again the Rebels licence with the personal house owners.
Whether the Imperium-VRU transfer requires ARU approval to be binding is one other query, nevertheless, It is believed Victorian rugby recommendation is that the ARU can’t withhold their approval unreasonably.