As some of you may or may not know, private ownership of sporting teams is one of my pet subjects. I have discussed, in the past, the risks involved with handing over the deeds to a club to one or more rich businessmen or women. Mercifully, apart from an apparent tiff on the northern beaches, rugby league has so far avoided any serious ramifications from private ownership.
No so for the A-League who this week have suffered at the hand of one of their owners. As it can be with private ownership, one of the A-League clubs is now threatened with being excluded from the competition next season.
I am, mind you, not intending to gloat. The point I have made in the past is that the only certain quality any owner needs, is money. Therefore an owner pulling out of a team can happen to any privately owned team in any sport.
Of course there are plenty of clubs where private ownership works. In fact, in the NRL, most clubs are either privately owned or controlled in an ownership style structure by a leagues club.
Last week though Knights administrators changed their tune on plans to offer up part or all of the club to private owners. The Knights were keen on using private funds and knowhow to cope with their mounting debt, reportedly over $2.5 million. Newcastle has since cooled on the idea and for what appears on the face of it for no apparent reason.
The Knights Chairman Robert Tew is now discussing the privatisation option as a Like