Force pin Super Rugby survival hopes on fans
NEWS: The Western Force will be hoping that their fans will help them secure their future in Super Rugby and alleviate their financial troubles.
Following a strategy used by NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, and international football giant FC Barcelona, the Force is offering 5000 $1000 ownership certificates, that will be valid for a year, a move that could raise $5 million for the franchise.
The current structure of Super Rugby has been widely criticised and the Force has been seen as a possible casualty if there are to be changes in the structure moving forward after the 2017 tournament.
It has also been reported that the Western Australian team has been struggling financially recently, which has put their future into further doubt.
There have been several initiatives to keep the team out of danger and the selling of ownership certificates is seen as a way forward.
It would mean fan owners will have voting rights and power of approval over the reappointment of crucial positions within the franchise and a say in matchday activities.
They would also receive discounts on their own memberships and registration fees in local rugby.
"The introduction of the Western Force into the Super Rugby competition took the profile and interest in the code in Western Australia to a whole other level.
"We hope that Western Australians will join us once again as we fight to save the Western Force," Rugby WA President Hans Sauder told rugby.com.au.
Force head coach David Wessels added: "We hope our fans get behind this initiative because Western Australia losing the opportunity to participate in the toughest and highest profile international provincial sporting competition in the world is a disservice to anyone who loves sport in Western Australia, not just rugby.”
SANZAAR executives are set for a meeting in mid-November about the future of Super Rugby and possible conference changes in the longer term.