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Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club today announced that it has been acquired by Holding M.S. Australia Pty Limited, an organisation made up of internationally experienced and successful businessmen. The acquisition is effective immediately.
Also with immediate effect is the replacement of the News Ltd Board and Executive, which includes the replacement of Chairman Stephen Rue with Bart Campbell and CEO Ron Gauci with Mark Evans.
“It is a rare privilege to have the chance to be involved with such a club and I would like to thank News for deeming us good custodians of the Melbourne Storm” said the incoming Non-Executive Chairman Bart Campbell who will become the primary shareholder.
“The playing record of the team since foundation has been nothing short of exceptional. I was lucky enough to meet with some members of the coaching and playing group when they were in the UK for the World Club Challenge. The quality of these people is a big driver to become involved along with the challenge of taking the club forward in the great sporting city that is Melbourne.”
“News Limited, along with the whole staff, have done an excellent job over the last fifteen years of building the club within a non- traditional rugby league market. The task for the new ownership group is to add to these successes and to take the club forward in such a way to make the whole city of Melbourne proud of their NRL team” said Mr Campbell.
Mr Campbell went on to say, “We have assembled a team of shareholders from Melbourne and originally New Zealand to build on the foundations that exist today. We are all from this part of the world but international in outlook. We hope that we can bring some new ideas to the Club as a result of the experience in the shareholder group. Further, we are delighted Mark Evans has become CEO of the Melbourne Storm. He is regarded as one of the best CEO’s in any form of Rugby in the UK and he has considerable Rugby League experience.”
Mr Campbell added, “We will be sending out invites shortly for the press to meet all of the shareholders and ask first hand any questions they may have.”
Outgoing Chairman Mr. Stephen Rue said, “Melbourne Storm is an exceptional team – as was seen in its stunning premiership win last year – with truly great players, fans, coaches and administrators. We are handing it over to the new owners in good health,’.
“We would like to thank today’s players, coaches and administrators for their huge contribution to the success of the club. We also salute the leadership of Melbourne Storm CEO Ron Gauci. Ron is an outstanding CEO who has been critical to the Storm’s many recent successes.
Melbourne Storm has been such a critical part of the growth of rugby league nationally. News Limited is proud to have played such a fundamentally important role in taking the great game of rugby league to a national audience,” said Mr Rue.
“News Limited remains strongly committed to the rugby league – through FOX Sports and its rights agreement with the NRL, our unrivalled coverage of the game across our publications and our investment in products and broadcast facilities which showcase the game to a huge audience’
“We would also like to thank the Victorian Government which has been such a strong supporter of the club and sports generally in Victoria”.
Outgoing CEO of the Melbourne Storm Mr Ron Gauci said, “This is an important moment in the history of this great club. My appointment in July 2010 was all about making this day possible,”. “Whilst it is with sadness that I leave the club as its CEO, I am very proud of what has been achieved over the recent years and will continue to be a member and keen supporter and I look forward to the continued success of the club”.