Souths' Gosford move 'not on the cards' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths' Gosford move 'not on the cards'

By Steve Jancetic 27/05/2008 07:02:18 PM Comments (0)

The possibility of South Sydney re-locating to the Central Coast appears remote after Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said any move away from Redfern was in the hands of the NRL club's members.

Back at the helm following Peter Holmes a Court's decision to stand down as executive chairman, Richardson was forced into damage control on Tuesday after club patriarch George Piggins put forward a rescue package for the club which included a move to Gosford.

But Richardson hosed down any talk of the club pulling out of Redfern.

"Neither George, nor Peter Holmes a Court, nor Russell Crowe has the right to move the Rabbitohs," Richardson told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"The only people under the article of the association of the club who have that right are the members - they still have that right.

"If the members get together and call an AGM to vote on the fact to move the club to the Central Coast - which I've got to say is highly unlikely - then we worry about the Central Coast.

"I respect George and always have done ... the reality is it's not going to happen."

There was little doubt about how the members felt on Tuesday with the club's fan forum, which is only available to members, calling for Piggins to stay away from the club.

The Rabbitohs, like most Sydney NRL clubs, are in dire straits financially.

It prompted Holmes a Court, in what was one of his last acts as executive chairman, to say he could not guarantee the club's future.

Piggins' proposal involved him putting forward $3 million to buy the club off Holmes a Court and Crowe, on the proviso the club then moved to the Central Coast and the $3 million was returned to him out of the $8 million grant offered by the NRL for re-location.

Members described the idea as "disgusting", the general feel of the topic summed up in one response which read:

"Any relocation to Gosford would mean losing our identity. There is no way we would remain the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Maybe at first, but sooner or later we would be the Central Coast Rabbitohs or the Central Coast something. Souths would be no more. You go to Gosford, you lose me and thousands of other supporters."

Piggins denied he was keen to get involved in the club again.

"I'd help try to get it to Gosford but I'm out of it now," Piggins told reporters.

"I have no intention of going back."

There was little comment from players on Tuesday with injured halfback Craig Wing forced to sum up the mood of the squad.

New football consultant John Lang was not on hand at Tuesday's training session, and there is still some doubt over his exact role with the club.

Wing, heralded as the club's saviour after returning to the club this season only to be injured in the opening minutes of the club's first match, admitted the club was at a low.

But he denied it had anything to do with off-field distractions.

"Obviously the performance on the field and where we're coming and all the losses is affecting us ... but in regards to what's happening with the management of the club and the structure hasn't really affected us at all because we've got no control over it," Wing said.

"As hard as it is for all the fans it's just as hard for us because it's actually embarrassing for us where we are on the ladder and we're doing everything we can to change that.

"By no means are we going to let what's happening at the club or the structure of the club be an excuse of where we are on the field - it's a weak, easy way out."

Despite taking part in training on Tuesday Wing is still a few weeks away from a return to action.

His absence was again evident as the coach Jason Taylor named yet another new halves pairing for Sunday's match against St George Illawarra with George Ndaira the new No.7 alongside Dean Widders.

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