Financially Striken NRL Cronulla Rescued By $400M Development Deal At Toyota Stadium
The "wolf was finally banished" from National Rugby League Cronulla's front door when Chair Damian Irvine received a payment for a residential and business development at Sydney's Toyota Stadium valued at A$400M ($418M), according to Daniel Lane of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Irvine admitted the Sharks were "close on several occasions to being shut down because of spiraling debt." Irvine "ended one of the most-traumatic chapters in Cronulla's history" when he took the cheque from property partners Bluestone Capital and handed it to St. George Bank. The club's debt "had hovered" between A$10M-$15M. Irvine said, "It's a full stop in terms of that financial instability. This allows all energies to be spent on core business, as opposed to [staying afloat]." Irvine said the Sharks "would maintain the disciplined approach they'd been forced to adopt" to stay alive. He added the league's clubs' remaining A$3.5M debt was serviceable and described as a genuine ''upshot'' the A$800,000 a year the club paid to service the debt "was now available for other use" (SMH, 11/25).