Rabbitohs welcome business challenge

EIGHT members of the South Sydney community, experienced business people and strong Rabbitohs supporters will today outline plans to refinance and renovate the South Sydney Leagues Club that has traded unprofitably for over 10 years, and has not made grants to the Football Club or community groups in over 15 years.The group includes former Rabbitohs captain Jason Death, former directors of the Leagues Club Denis Morrissey and Jim Hatfield (also a current director of the Football Club), Macquarie Bank financial analyst and son of former Leagues Club chairman Matt Riordan, chartered accountant Frank Vrachas, customs broker and company director Bill Alexiou-Hucker and lawyer and accountant Martin Dubler.The Redfern 2008 Unity group?s proposal has been prepared with leading consultants including Graeme Watson of International Sports Facility Management and Rolfe Latimer of Altis Architecture, who specialise in club renovations, including Canterbury, Newcastle, Cronulla and South Sydney Graphic Arts Club.Executive Chairman of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Peter Holmes ? Court, fully supports the group?s proposal and is prepared to assist and, if necessary, finance the redevelopment.The proposal ensures the Leagues Club Members retain full ownership of the building and will derive a strong rental income from the previously unlet 7,000 square metres of prime commercial space.?The Leagues Club has lost an average of $95,000 per month in the first three months of 2006. Since May of last year, the Leagues Club has funded losses by selling down its poker machines from 157 to less than 60 as of last week. Total revenue for the period from 1990 to 2006 is $110 million, from which no profits were distributed to the community,? said Matt Riordan.Former Leagues Club director and General Manager of Commercial (Broker & Agency) at Allianz Australia, Denis Morrissey said "whilst I am extremely respectful of our heritage and the contributions of all of the great men who have represented this mighty club, I genuinely believe we have a wonderful opportunity to ensure the future of the South Sydney Leagues Club and at the same time deliver on our charter to provide financial support to the Football Club. For the first time in a long while we have a chance to have the Football Club and Leagues Club working in partnership. I am tremendously excited about the prospect of again joining the Board of the South Sydney Leagues Club".Former Leagues Club director Jim Hatfield said ?In my previous years on the Leagues Club Board many proposals came forward or were announced to the media ? the likes of the Melbourne Consortium, John Alexander and Jerry Schwartz and most recently the alleged billionaire Dogan Gunes ? yet little progress has been made and the losses have increased.?The Football Club and the Leagues Club have not worked together for 15 years ? now as the future of Souths looks brighter than any time since 1989 it is critical to get the Leagues Club and the Football Club working together again for the benefit of both parties.?We are prepared to do this because our experience suggests that the current board are not reviewing bona fide proposals appropriately, as I saw when Peter Holmes ? Court?s November 2005 proposal which in my view was dismissed because of a disagreement with Peter?s stance on Redfern Oval.?Mr Holmes ? Court said ?This is not about personalities. The Leagues Club is a community asset, and it must be brought back to a state of health where it can help community groups and the Football Club. As I have said to the members of this group, if they wish me to join their ticket I am prepared to do so.??George Piggins himself said it best in his letter to members in 2001: ?My major concerns are firstly that the district football club receives guaranteed funding from [its] licensed clubs, which was the reason these clubs were formed for, and the reason they still exist. Secondly, I believe there should be a strong attempt to put a business plan into place to retain our club at Redfern.?? South Sydney Leagues Club Board CandidatesRedfern 2008 Unity TicketBill Alexiou-Hucker Bill is a Licensed Customs Broker and a Company Director of three companies. He also works as a consultant to companies looking at ways to build their business. Bill has held marketing roles with varying Chambers of Commerce and the Logistics Association of Australia. Bill is confident that he can bring marketing and entrepreneurial skills to help the Leagues Club once again become an asset for the community, its Members and South Sydney Football Club. His company, GPSM, has been a financial sponsor of Souths for the past three years.Jason DeathJason played over 200 first grade games in the National Rugby League competition and 45 first grade games for South Sydney from 2002 through to the end of the 2004 season. A highlight of his playing days for the Rabbitohs was captaining the team for its first win after being reinstated back into the NRL. Jason was also voted Club Captain 2002 and 2003. Jason is now the Managing Director of his own successful print brokerage company. He feels that his experience as a first grade player will help the Board. Jim HatfieldJim is an automotive engineer who since the age of 19 has run his own successful businesses that have risen to be the leaders in their field. He has served NSW on the national committee of the Robert Bosch Automotive Service dealers. Jim is a current board member of the Football Club and has previously served on the Leagues Club board. He believes he understands the issues that need to be addressed to allow the Leagues Club to be financially successful to fulfil its charter.Denis MorrisseyDenis is currently the General Manager of the Commercial Broking Operations for Global Insurer Allianz. Generating income of over $500 million for the Australian arm of the business and managing over 250 staff has provided Denis with an excellent background in financial, operational and people management skills, which will be an asset to the new Leagues Club Board.Matt RiordanAfter working as a lawyer for five years, Matt returned to university full-time and obtained an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Matt currently works in Risk Management with Macquarie Bank, reviewing the Bank?s investments and deals it does in Australia and overseas. Matt?s risk management experience puts him in good stead to help the new Board with its decisions on the financial viability of any project the Board takes on. Frank VrachasFrank is the senior partner of a firm of Chartered Accountants and also sits on the Board of six companies. He is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australian Society of CPA?s and Fellow of the Taxation Institute, amongst others. Frank believes that the major asset of the Leagues Club is the property, which has been underutilised for many years and that proper utilisation means a sound financial future for the Club.Martin DublerMartin is a lawyer and qualified to be a chartered accountant. He has worked extensively with a number of large financial organisations, including KPMG, Price Waterhouse (as it then was) and Deutsche Bank. Martin currently has his own consulting business, Roscat Enterprises, which he has run for the last four years. Roscat has been a financial sponsor of Souths since their return to the NRL. Re-development Planning Consultants:Graeme WatsonGraeme is a former Australian Test Cricketer and VFL player for Melbourne. His company, International Sports Facility Management, has project managed many facilities for sporting bodies across Australia. Graeme?s work includes the Sydney Swans Football Club and Training Facilities, Fremantle Dockers training centre, Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence, Bangladesh Cricket Board?s new 60,000 seat stadium and Cricket Academy. Altis ArchitectureRolfe Latimer of Altis Architecture has prepared the floor plate designs, drawing from their previous experience in club and hotel renovations. Altis specialise in Leagues Club redevelopments and some of their recent projects include Canterbury, Newcastle, North Sydney, Easts, Cronulla, Canberra Raiders and South Sydney Graphic Arts Club.

Sharks confident without Phil Bailey

THE Sharks face another test of their premiership credentials this weekend when they travel to Newcastle to take on the Knights in a match scheduled for 5.30pm on Saturday night.

Greg Inglis under tough medical scrutiny

QUEENSLAND State of Origin selectors will request a detailed medical update on dynamic Storm teenager Greg Inglis before settling on their 17-man squad for the Melbourne series decider.The Maroons are desperate for the 19-year-old, who scored two tries in his Origin debut, to be available, especially after losing second game rookie fullback Karmichael Hunt (broken foot) and centre Steve Bell (fractured cheekbone).Inglis was ruled out of Origin 2 with stress fractures in his back.Storm coach Craig Bellamy has already written off Inglis's Origin comeback saying it would be 'two or three weeks' before he is back training. But Queensland selectors will get their doctor, Roy Saunders, to contact the Storm's medical staff for a full update on the chances of Inglis playing in 14 days time.The Queensland Rugby League clashed with the Storm before the second game after naming Inglis in its 17-man squad and ruling him out a few hours later.Melbourne refused to allow Inglis to travel to Brisbane to be assessed.Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris was non committal whether Inglis would be named on Monday to keep the door open in case his back injury improved dramatically."He's not playing this weekend which makes it tough," said Morris."We'll have our medical people check it all out with Melbourne's medical people closer to the weekend."We don't want to go getting everyone's hopes up too soon."Once we pick the side, and he's not in it, he's missed the boat."Obviously he is a rare talent and I suppose you make exceptions but if he's not picked..."

NZ Residents beat Qld Country

THE New Zealand Residents rugby league team produced strength on defence and flair on attack to take Queensland Country right out of the game at Rotorua's International Stadium last night.The opening round of the inaugural transtasman tournament saw the Kiwis accelerate out of the starting blocks, posting a point a minute for the first 20 minutes, before speeding to a 52-4 win over the visitors.On a chilly winter night the Cane Toads were reptilian in nature and failed to get the blood pumping until the closing moves when prop Janes Baira crashed over with three minutes to go. The Maroons threatened the Kiwi line at different stages during the game but were unable to deliver the ball safely over.Conversely, the Kiwis put on a solid team effort with the forwards carrying the ball upfield and the backs crossing the line.And while Residents captain Steve Buckingham was pleased with the win, he said there was still plenty to work on before Saturday's game against the Jim Beam Cup side from Sydney."We need to tighten up on our defence around the rucks but overall I think we all put our hands up for this game and it was a good team effort."Buckingham was expecting more of a challenge from the Queenslanders and said the win was an excellent way to blood new players and build a positive platform. "There was plenty of pride and passion out there and this is a real boost," he said.Playing at standoff, Buckingham was in fine form, booting eight goals, with just two kicks missing their target.The New Zealand centre duo of David Fisi' iahi and Miguel Start had an outstanding game with both bagging a hat trick.A Junior Kiwi last year, 18-year-old Miguel Start made a big impression in his first senior representative game.His three tries came in the second stanza, with two of them in quick succession after the half time whistle blew."It was just the environment with the team eh ... I was just getting amped up and went out there to score."But following the sublime start to his senior career the teenager is keeping his feet on the ground."I have to be consistent and prepare well this week and stick to the basics."Other Kiwi try scorers were Sala Fa'alogo, Paletasala Ale and Tui Samoa.Used to temperatures between 25C and 30C year round Queensland captain Philip Wuersching said while it wasn't an excuse, the cold Rotorua weather was taking some getting used to."We're starting to acclimatise but geez it's cold."Wuersching said the New Zealanders were too big and strong, and were a well drilled side.He was confident his side would bounce back for their next game as they had only trained three times together prior to last night's game. "We could have stood up to them a bit better but hopefully we will get another crack at them in the final."In the other match NSW Country beat The Jim Beam cup, formerly the Metropolitan Cup- Sydney, by 28-10. The second round of the competition kicks off on Saturday at 6pm with Queensland playing NSW Country followed by NZ Residents against Jim Beam Cup at 7.30pm.SCORERS: NZ Residents 52, tries David Fisi'iahi x 3, Miguel Start x 3, Tui Samoa, Sala Fa'alogo, Paletasala Ale, goals Steve Buckingham x 8; Queensland Country 4, try, Janes Baira.

Betham drafted into NZ qquad

WAKEFIELD captain Monty Betham is poised to make a return to the test arena after being called into New Zealand's rugby league squad to face Great Britain.The 28-year-old former Warriors hooker and former test captain hasn't played for his country for three years, but has joined the 19-man squad as a replacement for injured Warrington back-rower Logan Swann.From the original 22, uncapped NRL players Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta), Iosia Soliola (Sydney Roosters), and Greg Eastwood (Brisbane Broncos) did not travel. Moimoi and Soliola were not released by their clubs, and Eastwood was initially cleared by the Broncos but suffered a hamstring tear last Friday night. Although Swann, with 29 test appearances, was the most experienced of the forwards and Fa'afili is the only Kiwi to score three tries against Great Britain during 99 years of test rivalry, they were no certainties to make the starting line-up. David Kidwell, Ali Lauitiiti, David Solomona, and Vinnie Anderson might all have rated ahead of Swann for back-row positions. Fa'afili was competing for wing selection with Lesley Vainikolo and Francis Meli. Veteran utility back Robbie Paul holds the key to the final team selection. Paul and Clinton Toopi are options for the fullback position, while Paul and Canterbury Bulldogs reserve grader Ben Roberts are vying to partner Stacey Jones in the halves. Brian McClennan has also placed Hull KR's former Castleford prop or second rower Michael Smith, who won his only cap against France in 2004, on standby.Possible line-up: Clinton Toopi, Francis Meli, Willie Talau, Shontayne Hape, Lesley Vainikolo, Ben Roberts, Stacey Jones (c), Iafeta Paleaaesina, Motu Tony, Jason Cayless, David Kidwell, Ali Lauitiiti, Vinnie Anderson. Interchange: Robbie Paul, David Solomona, Alex Chan, Monty Betham. 18th man: Harrison Hansen.

Melbourne Supporters Info - Dragons v Cowboys

DRAGONS Supporters, Last Friday night saw a remarkable victory for the mighty Red and Whites, with the Dragons stealing victory from the Bronco's with a converted try in the final minutes of the match. With a less than impressive performance that saw the Dragons complete roughly1/3 of their sets, they were lucky to hang in there until the death when a soaring Brett Morris took a Matthew Head bomb to score out wide. After some confusion over who would take the kick Aaron Gorrell stepped up and nailed the conversion to put the Dragons 2 points up. After Mark Riddells effort a few years back the Bronco's will be happy they don't have to face us up there again until next year...... This week we take on the Cowboys at WIN stadium on Saturday night. The Cowboys form of late hasn't been up to the standard they have set in the past few years, and I would expect them to come out firing hoping to turn their slump around. Hopefully the Dragons will continue their winning ways and notch up another win before we enjoy the bye next round. We will once again be at the Grosvenor Hotel this week, always a great venue for the Saturday night clashes. Why not enjoy dinner in the restaurant before the match, and/or stick around for a few celebratory drinks afterwards? WHAT: Dragons v CowboysWHEN: Saturday 24th June, 7:30pmWHERE: Grosvenor Hotel, 10 Brighton Road, East St Kilda PS: No street sweeper parking is available at the venue.......

Minichiello won't be rushed back

SYDNEY Roosters coach Ricky Stuart says he won't rush injured fullback Anthony Minichiello back into the NRL in a bid to help save the club's struggling season.

Archer sacked from First Grade

REFEREE Tony Archer and touch judge Steve Carrall have been sacked after failing to pick up a blatant forward pass in the Ergon Energy Broncos' 18-16 loss to St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium last Friday night.

Dragons fundraiser for Women in League

THE Dragons Crystal Bears Women in League are calling all Origin supporters to the Steelers Club in Wollongong on Wednesday, July 5 to cheer on our Dragons players in Melbourne as they face the Maroons in the Origin decider.You can watch the game on the big screen in an exciting and entertaining atmosphere that will include footy food, beer, wine, soft drink, games and entertainment. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation.?Everybody loves State of Origin and our Women In League functions are always fun events to attend,? said Women In League Chairperson Elizabeth Kingston.?This is a great way for men, women and children to enjoy the footy with a group of friends and it is a worthy cause to donate some money towards?.The Dragons Crystal Bears Women in League Program now in its third year was the first established by any NRL Club and is dedicated to raising the profile of female involvement in rugby league and raising money for charity.A commendation at the 2006 NSW Sports Awards has spurred the committee of volunteers on to increase membership and awareness and double the $30,000 that has been raised over the past two years for the Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation and other charities.Tickets are $50 per adult and $25 per U/18. Bookings can be made by phoning (02) 4225 8299.Details:Wednesday, July 57.00pm for 7.30pmSteelers Club Wollongong ? Eastern Terrace RoomFor further information please visit www.womeninleague.com.au or email [email protected]

Player movements: Bulldogs, Cowboys

BULLDOGS prop Nate Myles is set to become one of the hottest properties on the open market, with seven NRL clubs chasing the Queensland enforcer's signature.

Free Entry to Telstra for NZ Passport holders

CALLING all New Zealand passport holders living in Sydney or those travelling there this weekend - you can watch the Vodafone Warriors take on South Sydney for free this Sunday (June 25). Telstra Stadium has a special offer of free entry to New Zealand passport holders to the match against the Rabbitohs. All you have to do is turn up at a Telstra Stadium box office on match day with your New Zealand passport to redeem your ticket for a seat in the Vodafone Warriors' supporter area (aisles 111-114). Gates open at 1pm with the main game kicking off at 3pm. This offer can be redeemed only at a Telstra Stadium ticket box office on game day and is strictly set at one free ticket per New Zealand passport.

Odsal Stadium gets a name change

BRADFORD Bulls and world leading home shopping company, Otto, have announced that they have entered into a partnership that sees the Odsal Stadium renamed as The Grattan Stadium, Odsal.

Joey set to create history

ANDREW Johns needs just 18 points to break the NRL?s all time highest point scoring record, when the Knights host the Sharks this Saturday at EnergyAustralia Stadium.Three converted tries is all that stands between the star half back and Jason Taylor?s long standing record of 2,107 career points, an accomplishment within Johns reach.?We?ve all seen how lethal Joey is when he?s playing at his best and he?s capable of an 18 point haul, especially with a home crowd behind him,? said Knights coach, Michael Hagan.Johns will re-unite with former team mate and 1997 Grand Final try scoring hero, Darren Albert, who returns to his old home ground for the first time in a Cronulla jersey. He?ll lead a Hunter Valley charge featuring Maitland junior, Greg Bird and former Knight, Brett Kimmorley, who is out to impress Origin selectors in his annual duel with Johns.?Noddy always lifts when he?s playing in Newcastle and with possible Origin selection up for grabs, I would expect him and Andrew to reignite their on-field rivalry,? Hagan said.After a week off to recover from the demands of the representative season, Knights Hooker, Danny Buderus rejoined the Newcastle squad today, training at Lambton Pool in preparation for the teams return home.?It was important Danny had the week off to rest but now everyone is back on deck we need to improve to stay in the top eight and keep our finals campaign on track,? said Hagan.After being ruled out of last week?s trip across the Tasman, fullback, David Seage has been cleared of a hamstring injury and will start at fullback while utility forward, Riley Brown will miss at least a week after suffering a shoulder injury at Ericsson Stadium.Kirk Reynoldson has been named on the Interchange bench in an otherwise unchanged 17 man squad.

Brotherly Love

MY little brother Micah tugged my shirt, ?What are those gorillas doing to each other?? Covering his eyes with my hands, we made haste to the next exhibit. There a loud growl hit my ears, but it was just his stomach. ?Can we get something to eat?? I spotted a vending machine ahead and bought Micah a packet of Twisties. An avid fan of Wests since the latter half of last year, he was intent on obtaining a Benji Marshall Tazo. With the last of my change I opted for a Snickers bar ? the peanuts and nougat forming a delectable combination, not unlike Tim Smith and John Morris of 2005. ?Don?t you mean Prince and Benji?? my brother chuffed. I began to worry that with his fair-weather glory hunting attitude, Micah would turn out like Raiders fans my age.

Anti Tampering Laws Scrapped

NATIONAL Rugby League chief executive David Gallop has announced his intention to remove the existing anti-tampering rules after July 1. July?s chief executives? meeting will be used to canvass whether a new regime should be implemented or whether the concept of an anti-tampering date should be dropped entirely. ?In truth I think it would take a compelling argument from the clubs for us to recommend to the board the retention of any sort of anti-tampering system going forward but they will have the opportunity to present that case,? said Gallop. ?The anti-tampering rules were first introduced to protect the clubs at a time when there was not an effective salary cap. ?The arguments were that a player shouldn?t be able to negotiate with another team until he had finished all but the last six months of his existing contract. ?The rule is there to protect clubs. The fact is that tampering can only take place if clubs themselves participate in negotiations. ?Furthermore the rule can only ever be enforced if clubs take the time to make official complaints rather than media accusations. ?Rather than see the same accusations made each year I think we would be better off removing the date for future seasons.?

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