Force's future in the balance

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 08:32
Large nib stadium 630

NEWS: Management of the Western Force said while a decision to cut one of the five Australian Super Rugby franchise teams at the end of the 2017 season had been delayed, the Western Force was yet to secure its future.

However, Western Force Chief Executive Mark Sinderberry said the team's innovative 'Own the Force' campaign – a show of support by the community in the Force's future - was being noticed and the response in Eastern States press on Tuesday had been positive.

"As of today [Tuesday] nearly 4 300 people have registered their interest to own a piece of the Western Force," Sinderberry said.  

"We are getting close to our initial target of 5 000 registrations of interest - the team and players are thrilled with this show of support by the community. 

"The campaign has been hugely successful in getting SANZAAR and the ARU to listen to our fans support of the Western Force. However, SANZAAR is still to determine the future competition structure so we cannot be complacent and need to continue to push forward and consolidate our position both financially and on the field."

Sinderberry said the team still needed Western Australians to register their interest at www.owntheforce.com.au.

He said further details of the ownership prospectus and constitution would be released within the next week.

Management of the Western Force announced last month an innovative new ownership model to secure the future of the Western Force Super Rugby team.

The new ownership model will be based on the sale of ownership certificates at a value of $1000 each, payable over a period of twelve months. Unlike stocks or shares, the certificates would not be transferrable except to family members. Owners would be entitled to a range of benefits including: Voting rights to an advisory committee and the new Western Force board of management, approval of the reappointment of key positions within the Western Force organisation, input into match day and team activities and specific owner's functions and a range of discounts on both Western Force membership purchases and Rugby WA player registration fees.

The model is based on community ownership principals, which have been put in place to great success at FC Barcelona soccer club (the second most valuable sports team in the world) and the Green Bay Packers, the American football team who have won more Super Bowls than any other team in NFL history.  

People power was a key factor in Rugby WA and the Western Force being awarded their Super Rugby franchise in 2004. Additionally, the team has enjoyed significant support from the WA Government including investment in the upgrades at the team's home ground at nib Stadium, and the building of a world-class training centre in Floreat that is utilised by many other sporting codes.

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