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News NRL approaches Super League for investment and buying a stake

Foreign Legion

First Grade
Messages
9,764
https://news.sky.com/story/australians-approach-rugbys-super-league-about-stake-purchase-12156206

The top flight of English rugby league has been approached about selling an equity stake to its Australian counterpart in a deal that would shake up the sport's ownership.

Sky News has learnt that the Super League, which features clubs including Wigan Warriors, Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos, has held talks in the last few days with Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) about a possible deal.
The talks, which are at a very early stage, are expected to continue next week, according to insiders.

Precise details of the terms envisaged by the NRL were unclear on Wednesday, although senior figures inside the sport said they expected the NRL to seek a controlling stake in the Super League if a deal is to proceed.

One observer put the value of a 50% stake in the Super League at approximately £75m.

Rothschild, the investment bank, was asked by the Super League to identify an external investor more than a year ago, and has held discussions with a string of private equity firms and other financial investors.

The NRL's approach marks an unusual development in the efforts to bolster sporting finances, with such cross-border investments extremely rare - particularly in a sport as prominent as rugby's Super League.

Last month's Grand Final between Wigan Warriors and St Helens was dramatically won by St Helens in the dying seconds.

The match was the final one in the penultimate season of a five-year broadcast deal between the Super League and Sky Sports, which shares the same parent company as Sky News.

Recent reports have suggested that Sky is close to agreeing a new TV rights contract worth more than £20m annually - a sharp reduction on the previous deal, but an agreement that would nevertheless deliver more than £60m to rugby league's coffers during financially parlous times.

The Super League, whose multi-million pound title sponsorship is currently held by Betfred, also faces the potential predicament of a ban on sponsorship by betting companies floated by the government this week as part of a review of gambling legislation.

Betfred also sponsors the Championship, rugby league's second tier.

Rugby league is due to receive £12m from a £300m government support package aimed at helping dozens of sports survive the winter period.

Under the current ownership structure, the 11 Super League clubs each holds one ordinary share in the Super League, while the Rugby Football League holds a "governing body share" with different rights.

Next week, the Conservative peer Lord Caine will chair a panel to determine the 12th club to contest next season's Super League following a decision not to reinstate Toronto Wolfpack.

Further details of the NRL's interest in the Super League, including the structure of a proposal, were unclear on Wednesday.

NRL clubs due to compete in the 2021 Telstra Premiership include Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced even some of the world's richest sports leagues and governing bodies to turn to new sources of financing after being forced to endure months of performing without spectators in attendance.

In European football, the top flights in Germany and Italy are in talks with private equity firms about big capital injections, with numerous other governing bodies, leagues and clubs also looking to raise funds.

A spokesman for the Super League declined to comment, while the NRL could not be reached for comment.
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Robert Elstone, the Super League's chief executive, has discussed the idea with Andrew Abdo, his counterpart at the NRL, although sources cautioned that there was no guarantee that a formal offer would be made or any agreement reached.

Like many other professional sports, rugby league has found its finances stretched to breaking point by the coronavirus pandemic.
 

Foreign Legion

First Grade
Messages
9,764
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/nrl-buy-super-league-talks-4782999

The NRL has reportedly entered talks with Super League over buying a controlling stake in the competition.

According to Sky News, the two parties have been in dialogue in recent days and talks are set to continue next week.
he negotiations are said to be at a “very early stage” but it represents a major development as the sport deals with the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as lost revenue for individual clubs, Super League’s broadcast deal with Sky Sports expired at the end of the season and the new TV rights contract is thought to be substantially lower.

The report claims that the NRL is looking for a controlling stake, with 50 per cent of Super League said to be worth in the region of £75million

Super League has been working with investment bank Rothschild to identify investors, with talks reportedly held with a number of private equity firms and other financial investors over the past year.

Some Super League clubs are holding similar talks with private equity firms in terms of individual investment at their club with new Hull KR CEO Paul Lakin last month revealing Rovers have gone down that route.

The early negotiations with the NRL come at a time when Super League’s agreement with title sponsor Betfred is in some jeopardy amid talk of a potential ban on sponsorship by betting companies, a proposal which is being considered by government.
 

Lemon Squash

First Grade
Messages
7,199
Sounds like Gus has been in Vlandys ear again, I remember him floating this earlier this season.

All for it as long as it doesn’t financially cripple the NRL and after the year we’ve had I wouldn’t have thought there would be a spare 75 million pounds lying around.
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,905
There's definitely synergies there - from rebranding to "Euro NRL" or "NRL Northern", to co-ordinating the seasons better (imagine a world club challenge the weekend after both Grand Finals, and origin series running concurrently).

Could be a great move for the global game.
 

some11

Coach
Messages
18,446
Long term goal is to eventually own a stadium like the AFL has done.

This is a step in the right direction.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sp...l/news-story/0998b3319d86b334ab7ca1db38ace13c

Codes across the globe have begun dabbling in the area, rugby union and soccer in Europe among the sports to sell off stakes in return for significant money upfront.

Given the valuation placed on the NRL, a 20 per cent stake could be worth anywhere from $480m to $620m. Should the clubs and commission press ahead with the sale, the money would be split between them.

The clubs would be provided with greater financial certainty during one of the most difficult and traumatic times in their existence while the commission could use its share to invest, be it in a stadium or potentially the English Super League.
 

some11

Coach
Messages
18,446
I'm assuming they want to buy a stake in ESL, then talk about private equity for NRL.
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,218
I've thought about this a lot ever since the rumours started about a month ago, and can't help but think that it's a bad idea.

Unless they get control and take an aggressive hold no prisoners policy, which would be unlike them and will inevitably piss a lot of the establishment and fan base in England off, I can't see how the NRL will make the SL a sustainable business, let alone a profitable one, in a reasonable timeframe.
So it'd almost certainly just be another expensive luxury to piss money away on, when with the sport in the state that it's in locally, especially in the grassroots, the NRL can't really afford another expensive luxury to piss money away on.

Either way if they do end up owning a controlling share in the SL I hope they take it seriously and do everything in their power to make it successful, even if that means pissing off whole fan bases in England.
 

Foreign Legion

First Grade
Messages
9,764
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/re...ue-takeover-wide-of-mark-20201210-p56mh4.html

The NRL hasn’t held discussions about acquiring a stake in the Super League, instead focusing on finalising a pay deal with its players that will likely be announced next week.

The UK's Sky News has reported the NRL have been in negotiations to purchase a 50 per cent share of the English competition, suggesting that stake could be valued at approximately £75 million ($134m). However, the Herald has been told that no such discussions have taken place between the parties.


Powerbrokers at Rugby League Central believe the report is a ploy to drive up the price of the Super League, which has engaged banking giant Rothschild & Co to source potential investors.

The NRL wants to foster a closer relationship with the Super League and may give some consideration to an equity stake in the future. The governing body doesn’t own a single asset, something Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has stated he wants to rectify.

Commissioner Gary Weiss has been tasked with exploring options to secure the NRL’s long-term viability and ensure the code is better equipped to handle unexpected crises such as the coronavirus outbreak.

V’landys told the Herald in April that he would be open to the prospect of selling of a stake of the NRL to investors, although the game’s financial position has significantly improved since then.

Melbourne Storm chairman Matt Tripp had attempted to facilitate a private-equity bid for the NRL involving London firm Oakwell Sports Advisory. It was estimated that a deal could bring in between $500m and $1 billion into the game, although there was little appetite from the 16 clubs to pursue the opportunity.

The NRL is close to a breakthrough with the Rugby League Players’ Association on a pay deal that will result in players sacrificing about $20m over the next two years. After months of negotiations, the parties are likely to agree on a pay cut of between six and seven per cent.


Further meetings are scheduled for coming days, but a formal agreement and announcement is expected next week.

The NRL has already slashed around $50m from their own operating costs to offset the downturn in revenue due to COVID-19.
 

Foreign Legion

First Grade
Messages
9,764
https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...e/news-story/af7b4a4e53f9794cd82785d384496d75

The NRL is reportedly interested in purchasing an equity stake of the English Super League.
Britain’s Sky News reports NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and Super League CEO Robert Elstone have held early talks over the last few days, however at this stage no agreement has been made.

An insider told Sky News the NRL is seeking a 50% stake worth around £75 million ($A135 million).

Like the NRL, the Super League has suffered a financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Super League already has a relationship of some sort with the NRL with a number of former NRL stars and coaches making the move to the UK to star in the top level competition and vice versa.



Just a fortnight ago the likes of former NRL players Jackson Hastings and Bevan French went up against NRL and Super League veteran James Graham in the Super League grand final.

The teams battling it out for the premiership, Wigan and St Helens were coached by Australians, ex-Roosters player Adrian Lam and former Broncos and Knights assistant coach Kristian Woolf.


We’ve seen many NRL players in the later years of their careers take up a deal with the Super League and the same with younger players who haven’t been able to cement a spot in first grade.

For this reason, Fox League commentator and SEN Radio host Andrew Voss believes if the deal were to go through it would provide huge opportunity for emerging players.
“I don’t think it’s the be all and end all, rugby union is far more global than rugby league, but it at least opens up the world a little bit to league,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“If you’re a rugby league player that could get on a loan scheme to a Super League club, for a season go over to England, in some type of pathways program which could help develop young players.

“I just think it makes a stronger game on a global scale, I think that’s a positive.

“But, I also have some hesitancies with them selling their soul to Australia, I think they need to maintain their own identity.”
 

siv

First Grade
Messages
5,230
What I cant understand is

NRL is
- reducing the salary cap
- saving costs by culling the 2 referee system
- sacking 50% of HQ staff
- culling the Big League
- shutting down its multi-media department
- can afford to pay Souths & Cronulla a NRLW grant

Yet can now pay $150k for the ESL

Feels like Super League mark 2

Or a way to offload that English loan they borrowed by moving it back to England somehow
 

gerg

Juniors
Messages
1,454
That tv deal is pretty ordinary. How many people are actually watching the games over there?
 

siv

First Grade
Messages
5,230
Based upon how how the NRL rebranded SARL and WARL to NRL SA and NRL WA

It will end the game being called Rugby

It will now be the NRL Pommies
 
Messages
4,519
Make Murdoch's Brisbane Broncos the 12 team and re-live their 90s dream of playing "Super League". They'll finally have a chance of breaking their drought and not finish last.

Broadcast rights of Super League increase dramatically.

Friday Night NRL games suddenly have some variety.

Palaszczuk gets thousands of English tourists traveling to Brisbane each year to see their team play the NRL wooden spooners, and a swim in the urine soaked pool at South Bank.
 

BuffaloRules

Coach
Messages
13,764
That tv deal is pretty ordinary. How many people are actually watching the games over there?

Yeah.. thats what I was thinking.. 20 Million GBP is chump change really...

Cant say that this plan makes a lot of sense.. outlaying a big stake of money for what?

What annual returns/profits are they likely to make?
 

T-Boon

Coach
Messages
13,236
Just have the best 6 teams join the NRL.
3 into the BigSyd conference
and 3 into the BigQ conference
 

mongoose

First Grade
Messages
8,557
I'm guessing the ESL is on it's knees and the NRL is maybe just doing this of its own goodwill. Gould has probably been in Vlandy's ear telling him the game needs to be strong in the UK as well. Not much good if it sends the NRL broke though...
 

Frailty

First Grade
Messages
8,381
NRL couldn't afford two referees but can buy a stake in the struggling UK Super League.... Yeah ok.

This would be a waste of money for the NRL unless it can get a controlling share of the League. I don't think the clubs would give up their power because it would put them at risk.
 

Frailty

First Grade
Messages
8,381
I'm guessing the ESL is on it's knees and the NRL is maybe just doing this of its own goodwill. Gould has probably been in Vlandy's ear telling him the game needs to be strong in the UK as well. Not much good if it sends the NRL broke though...

Nah, the ESL is fine. I mean look at their Papa John's - getting free pizza instead of sponsorship dollars is some real out of the box thinking. NRL could only dream of such creativity from it's management.
 
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