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SBD Global/April 2, 2014/Franchises

ARU Club Melbourne Rebels Set To Lose Up To A$3M This Year In 'Worst-Case Scenario'

Australian Rugby Union club Melbourne Rebels CEO Rob Clarke admits the franchise faces a A$3M ($2.8M) loss this year, but insists that "it is a worst-case scenario," according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. The Rebels "have been sup­ported financially by the cash-strapped ARU since the team’s original private owners withdrew their investment in March last year" after losing an average of A$3M a year for three years. While conceding that "it was possible" the Rebels could lose another A$3M, Clarke "was optimistic the loss would be considerably less." Clarke: “Given we are in a calendar-year financial year there are things happening now that could influence that. It is absolutely worst-case. I’m certainly not anticipating a $3 million loss for the Rebels. There are a few levers within our control and we are pulling those levers as we go through the season." Clarke predicted that the Rebels "would be financially independent of the ARU by 2016." Clarke: “Only five of the AFL clubs made a profit in 2013 if you take out the poker-machine revenue. Only five made a profit out of their football departments. We are not alone. We are not Robinson Crusoe in the struggle to run a profitable organization, but I think we are focusing on the right areas to turn it into that” (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/2).
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