Souths board approves Holmes a Court bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths board approves Holmes a Court bid

By Steve Jancetic 09/02/2006 09:21:48 PM Comments (0)

Peter Holmes a Court's bid to privatise the South Sydney Rabbitohs moved a step closer after the proposal was given the green light by the NRL club's board.

The board's approval now means Souths members will have the chance to vote on the proposal, which would see Holmes a Court and Hollywood star Russell Crowe pay $3 million for 75 per cent of the football club.

The board voted 6-3 in favour of the deal on Thursday night, with the members to have the final say on March 19 when an extraordinary general meeting will be held.

Of the three directors that voted against the proposition, Jim Lahood and Peter Lahood still expressed a desire that the proposal be referred to members for a final decision, while Sol Bellear voted against the proposal without qualification.

Souths chairman Nick Pappas praised the decision and was happy that members would finally get to vote on the proposal.

"We're looking forward to the March 19 meeting, we're looking forward to an open process," Pappas said.

"I'm excited about a proposal that is at last going to give some sustainability to this football club from a financial point of view."

For his $3 million, Holmes a Court will have the right to appoint four of the seven board members while the members would retain control over issues such as the club's colours, name and logo and where the Rabbitohs play their home matches.

The members and Souths Leagues Club would also have first option to buy back the club after a minimum three years, with Holmes a Court and Crowe to sell their shares back to the club for $1 if the venture fails.

NRL chief executive David Gallop earlier gave his backing to the privatisation bid.

"I would encourage them to look seriously at it," Gallop told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"To get a few million dollars into a football club is not something you can sneeze at.

"People don't come along with a few million dollars every day and want to invest it in a football club.

"The pressure is on in Sydney, there are nine clubs, other codes are keen to get a piece of the pie."

Holmes a Court was finally able to present his case to the board after delaying last week's planned presentation amid speculation club patriarch George Piggins was seeking to call an extraordinary general meeting of members to have the club's board removed.

Piggins has remained a staunch advocate of the football club remaining in the hands of the members and the community.

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