Souths must privatise or die: Richardson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths must privatise or die: Richardson

By Adrian Proszenko 14/03/2006 06:58:56 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson says the NRL club risks going under if it doesn't embrace the privatisation plan of Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe.

In a passionate plea to Rabbitohs members, Richardson said the club was clinging to existence by its "fingernails" and could barely pay its players.

"I'm a basic sort of guy and I'm not a mechanic, but I know this - that if I have to keep repairing my engine every month, it's going to wear out," Richardson said.

"This club's engine has been repaired and repaired and repaired. It's time to put a new one in the motor.

"We've got to go forward.

"We all know we can survive by our fingernails going forward, but when I came to this club I didn't know how much I needed to grow my fingernails to hang on.

"I spend 95 per cent of my time just trying to make the budget work, just trying to keep things together to pay the wages on Friday.

"We can go on and continue to just pay the wages on Friday, certainly with the assistance of the Juniors in the next 12 months, but after that I'm not sure we can pay our wages."

Richardson also revealed several players had clauses in their contracts which allowed them to leave the club should it be forced to relocate to the Central Coast.

Souths members will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Sunday to decide whether to accept Holmes a Court and Crowe's $3 million bid for 75 per cent of the NRL club.

Richardson was one of a dozen keynote speakers at a pro-privatisation function at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney including former players Sean Garlick, Mario Fenech and Ian Roberts, former Labor colleagues Laurie Brereton and Deidre Grusovin, businessman Nikolas Hatzistergos and media personality Andrew Denton.

Denton allayed fears Crowe and Holmes a Court would take over the day-to-day running of the club.

"Do you think James Packer at Easts sits in there day by day deciding the player roster and what happens at the next post-match function?" Denton said.

"Do you thin Max Delmege does that at Manly?

"Do you think Anthony LaPaglia does that at Sydney Football Club.

"Of course not.

"All clubs are going to go this way (privatisation)... we can be one of the first onto that bus, not the last."

Holmes a Court brushed off talk of a rival bid from businessman Jerry Schwartz, who has a history of assisting charities in the Redfern area.

"These guys have not done an ounce of due diligence," Holmes a Court said.

"Our members deserve more... the Schwartz family believe in helping charitable causes.

"This club doesn't want to be a charitable cause. This club doesn't want people to feel sorry for it. That's not how our players want to be perceived."

Denton added: "The latest thing we read in the paper today from Jerry Schwartz is the sort of the knee-jerk amateurism we would be well rid of."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news