Win Buys stake in St George Illawarra

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by MilanDragon, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. MilanDragon

    MilanDragon Juniors

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    WIN Corporation and its multi-millionaire owner Bruce Gordon have finally struck a deal that will partially privatise the Dragons, just months after the television network walked away from negotiations to buy a stake in the club.


    Fairfax Media understands more than two years of on-again, off-again talks between St George Illawarra and the media company have finally reached an agreement, with the Dragons expected to confirm their new ownership structure on the eve of the finals series.

    It's believed an announcement could come as early as this week.


    Under the deal, it is believed the Dragons' multimillion-dollar loan sourced from the NRL will be repaid and their home-game allocation, with matches at Kogarah and Wollongong, will remain largely intact.

    And the sale will conclude one of the last points of business for retiring chief executive Peter Doust, the longest-serving NRL club boss, who has been in charge of the Dragons for 18 years. He will step down at the end of the season.

    The WIN sale will also cap one of the most tumultuous periods in the joint-venture's history after the Dragons first floated the idea of privatising the Illawarra Steelers' equity in the club in late 2014.

    WIN Corporation was always the preferred option, given its Wollongong headquarters and long-standing ties with both the Dragons and Steelers.

    But the company told St George Illawarra officials it was no longer interested in assuming a 50 per cent stake in the club back in April, casting doubt over the Dragons' ability to find a suitable buyer before the end of 2018.

    The Dragons were unbeaten ladder leaders at the time and had just been installed as premiership favourites with bookmakers.

    WIN had insisted it would maintain a commercial relationship with St George Illawarra and remain a sponsor of the club, but its reluctance to progress with ownership talks was thought to be a big blow to the Dragons.

    Gordon and his son Andrew, a St George Illawarra director, briefly considered launching a fresh bid independently of WIN Corporation to assume the Steelers' share in St George Illawarra as other interested purchasers circled. But later, under the guise of WIN Corporation, they quietly returned to the negotiating table in the hope of snapping up an interest in one of the NRL's most recognisable franchises.

    Private investment in NRL clubs has become a much more attractive option under a funding agreement that sees clubs paid $3 million above the salary cap for the length of the existing broadcast cycle.

    Football department spending has also been capped, putting an end to the arm's race in which clubs felt compelled to spend freely to remain competitive with their cashed-up rivals.

    The issue of private ownership has been a hot one for the NRL in the past year after deals were struck to take Newcastle and Gold Coast off the market while a raft of buyers were earlier this year being mobilised to take the Sea Eagles off the hands of the Penn family.

    The Dragons are guaranteed to be featuring in just their second finals series in the past seven years after a morale-boosting win over the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night, which powered them back into fourth spot.

    URL LINK: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/fl...ml?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_feed
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2018
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  2. Lewish33

    Lewish33 Juniors

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  3. Objective View

    Objective View Juniors

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    And Brian Johnston new CEO.

    Straight Shooter
     
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  4. Saints Forever

    Saints Forever Juniors

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    When the ink is dry I will believe it.

    To date WIN Corporation interest in buying the Illawarra share of the joint venture has been up and down like a bride's nighty.
     
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  5. Gareth67

    Gareth67 Bench

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    I also will be glad when it does become official - signed, sealed and delivered. For what it is worth they WIN may not be every ones cup of tea , however if it the deal finally frees the Dragons from the heavy chains of the NRL I can only say good .

    They are professional and they will do the right thing by the Joint Venture, whether ones loyalty lies with St.George or Illawarra , WIN do everything possible to ensure that the Dragons will be at the top of NRL ladder .
     
  6. Saint_JimmyG

    Saint_JimmyG Bench

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    So, the club has decided to recruit in house to replace Doust?

    And (providing the article is accurate), WIN Corp will come aboard to cement the Illawarra factions within the JV.

    (Secret code for “McGregor’s job is VERY safe)

    IT MEANS BENNETT WILL NOT RETURN!

    No news is good news, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  7. Objective View

    Objective View Juniors

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    From what I'm told, chairman will NOT have a casting vote to break any deadlock. St George half can effectively block but not sure how this will play out in reality.

    Straight Shooter
     
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  8. ViceVersa

    ViceVersa Juniors

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    What the new changes off the field mean for St George Illawarra

    WHAT the new owners and bosses will mean for St George Illawarra after the club confirmed one of the biggest en masse changes in NRL history.

    1) WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
    St George and WIN Corporation are now 50 per cent stakeholders in St George Illawarra Dragons. WIN purchased the Steelers share. WIN has paid off the $6 million debt the Dragons owed the NRL.

    2) WHAT WILL CHANGE?
    In the short-term nothing. The Dragons will continue to split home games at Kogarah and Wollongong, with any changes to the jersey, logo or name needing 100 per cent of the board to agree.

    3) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE STEELERS?
    WIN has taken over from the cash-strapped Steelers. Illawarra are not financially viable. They retain one board member as a “b shareholder” but do not have full voting rights.

    4) WHAT IS THE BOARD STRUCTURE?
    St George will relinquish the chairmanship with WIN appointing Andrew Gordon. However, Gordon will not have a casting vote in the result of a split board.

    5) WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR COACH PAUL MCGREGOR?
    McGregor is contracted until the end of next year and enjoys the support of the board and the new owner. Barring a calamity this year, McGregor will start next season as coach.

    THE CHANGES
    IN

    BRIAN JOHNSTON (chief executive)

    Club stalwart who has served as a player, chief executive and chairman. Was the joint-venture’s first boss in 1999 before standing down for health reasons a year later with Peter Doust his replacement. More recently has been the Dragons chairman while also a business consultant for IAG.

    Bruce Gordon (part owner)

    Gordon is the owner of WIN Corporation who have purchased a 50 per cent stake in St George Illawarra. He was ranked 112, with a wealth of $629m in the AFR’s rich list earlier this year.

    Andrew Gordon (chairman)

    The son of Bruce. Has sat on the Dragons board as one of the Steelers representatives for more than a decade. Replaces Johnston as Dragons chairman. Is the executive chairman of WIN Corporation.
     
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  9. Saint_JimmyG

    Saint_JimmyG Bench

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    Paper, scissors, rock?
     
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  10. Brutalitops

    Brutalitops Juniors

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    Cautiously optimistic.
     
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  11. Saints Forever

    Saints Forever Juniors

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    What I would like to know is:

    1) Does the Illawarra appointed board member have the right to vote at board meetings or merely act as an observer ?

    2) Do St.George and WIN Corporation have an equal number of board members ?

    3) If the Chairman is appointed by WIN Corporation but cannot exercise a casting vote, how does the JV resolve contentious matters such as the dismissal of a coach ?
     
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  12. Gareth67

    Gareth67 Bench

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    Well it would appear that I have spoken too soon as - Point No. 5 , that being McGregor has the full support of the board I did not believe would be the case . I believed, or hoped that they the board would realize the mans limited capabilities and take measures to ensure the Dragons future success by looking for a substitute. Still the Tele is only surmising , perhaps we shall know more shortly .
     
  13. Brutalitops

    Brutalitops Juniors

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    I would read it as has support of the board to see out his contract, rather than an indefinite period.

    Mary is not being sacked for 2019. And if that means we get Bennett in 2020 I'm not too bothered. There's no way we get a coach to come here for just one year warming the seat for Wayne.
     
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  14. Gareth67

    Gareth67 Bench

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    Yes I see your point Brutalitops, and considering that the team is now into the semifinals, that will be classed as a successful season .
     
  15. to_ddeath

    to_ddeath First Grade

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    Any extra year of McDunning-Kruger is a wasted year.
     
  16. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Bench

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    So WIN have 50% of the board and the Chairman.
    And this is not a WIN/ Illawarra takeover how?

    “Home game allocation will remain largely intact”
    Living 10 minutes from Kogarah Oval, why does that statement not fill me with a huge amount of confidence?
     
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  17. blacksafake

    blacksafake Guest

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    Normally when you have the full support of the board Gareth it’s a poison chalice :grinning:
     
  18. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Bench

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    Also, they paid the $6 million to the NRL.
    No mention of what they paid for the 50% stake in the club?

    Or was the 6 mill it?
     
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  19. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Bench

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    There are signs that McGregor has been put on notice imo.
    He's made some statements and his body language suggest the fact that there may have been some kpi's put in front of him that he would have to meet to warrant an extension. I don't think hes meeting them atm
     
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  20. blacksafake

    blacksafake Guest

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    Let’s hope this is the case Dragonslayer
     
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