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One of the dangers of private ownership

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Chip and Chase, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The South Sydney patriarch George Piggins has accused the Rabbitohs co-owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court of sending private investigators to spy on him and search in the garbage bins of those opposed to their takeover of the club - and this is why Piggins now refuses to return to the fold.

    In an open letter to South Sydney supporters, penned exclusively for The Sun-Herald, Piggins outlines his reasons for distancing himself from the club he saved from the brink of oblivion. In the letter, he states: ''Crowe and Holmes a Court used the services of Palladino and Sutherland, an American private investigation firm, to come to Australia to investigate us, as well as using other local investigators to secretly search garbage bins of those opposed to the takeover bid, and secretly photograph me, my family and friends.''

    In a defamation case that a South Sydney supporter, Tony Papaconstuntinos, brought against Holmes a Court in the Supreme Court of NSW in April 2009, the club co-owner admitted using the services of the US private investigation firm to spy on members of the ''no'' vote against his and Crowe's privatisation of the club.

    Under cross-examination, the multimillionaire businessman said the firm had been hired to investigate death threats against the Oscar-winning actor Crowe, as well as other threats. Holmes a Court told the court: ''There was for a very short period of time a group of American investigators when the threats were made against Russell Crowe that Russell engaged and then they directed some Australian associates of theirs to continue the investigation.''

    But Holmes a Court also admitted to the court the he had lied about death threats against himself - ''it was absolutely a fabrication'' - to deflect attention from Crowe who, he said, had been threatened in 2006. Holmes a Court added that he did fear for his own safety.

    Papaconstuntinos won the case, although Holmes a Court had this overturned on appeal, while the Piggins camp has had five actions settled in their favour.

    The American firm - which has acted for the Russian mafia, the former US president Bill Clinton and the Black Panthers - has been heavily criticised in the US Congress. The private investigator Jack Palladino played himself in The Insider, a film nominated for seven Academy Awards in which Crowe played a tobacco industry whistleblower, Jeffrey Wigand.

    The Sun-Herald provided Crowe and Holmes a Court an opportunity to comment yesterday. Instead, the Rabbitohs replied with the following statement from their chairman, Nicholas Pappas: ''It is in no one's interest, least of all the players, [coach] Michael Maguire and his coaching staff, that the past is revisited at this time.

    ''All supporters of this great club of ours are invited to be part of the club's continuing resurgence.''

    As the Rabbitohs charge towards just their second finals appearance in more than two decades - and potentially a long-awaited 21st premiership - the calls for Piggins to return have grown louder. With a top-four spot and a home semi-final all but assured, fans and former players have called for the legendary former Rabbitohs player and coach to attend a Souths game.

    However, Piggins has chosen now as the time to articulate his reasons for staying away to ensure the spotlight is solely on the players during their upcoming playoff campaign.

    ''I guess to a great number of people it might seem very strange that I remain reluctant to attend a Souths game,'' Piggins says in his letter.

    ''The attacks upon me, my family and my friends were so severe that five defamation actions were settled out of court in my favour … I can assure you I'll be screaming for [Souths] right throughout the finals together with my close friends and family.''

    While Piggins's deeds as a player are legendary - he represented his state and country and is considered one of the greatest to wear the Rabbitohs' ''cardinal and myrtle'' - his greatest legacy was achieved off the field. Having coached the Rabbitohs for nothing during their toughest years, he led and won the fight to have the club reinstated into the NRL competition after it was expelled during the Super League war. He has no issue with the players and has even privately met with Maguire, at the coach's invitation, to discuss the club's history.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/south-sydney-rabbitohs/they-spied-on-me-says-piggins-20120811-241ek.html#ixzz23HvKCxh9



    South Sydney patriarch and former chairman George Piggins has claimed Rabbitohs co-owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court hired a US private investigation firm to dig up dirt on him and his family during the battle for the club in 2006.

    In an explosive and emotional open letter penned to The Sunday Telegraph, Piggins details why he continues to stand firm on his seven-year exile from the club he helped save by marching to Town Hall with more than 100,000 rugby league fans.

    Piggins claims the US private investigation company of Jack Palladino, who played a role alongside Crowe in the Hollywood movie The Insider, was recruited to try to "destroy me, my family and friends in their quest to privatise the club".

    Piggins's claims were aired in the NSW Supreme Court three years ago in a defamation action brought against Holmes a Court by CFMEU president Tony Papa.

    Under oath, the Rabbitohs co-owner said Crowe had engaged private investigators in the lead-up to the March 2006 election.

    Holmes a Court said Crowe used the services of Sandra Sutherland, the wife and business partner of Palladino, to try to find the source of an alleged death threat against the Hollywood star.

    In his letter, Piggins claims: "Crowe and Holmes a Court used the services of Palladino and Sutherland, a US private investigation firm, to travel to Australia to spy on people opposed to the takeover of the club in a dirt digging exercise.

    "Secret photographs were taken of me, my family, as well as my supporters, by local covert surveillance operators and we were secretly followed.

    "Since that day I have not been to a match. The attacks on me continued. I was responsible for everything bad about Souths."

    Palladino has worked for former US President Bill Clinton and played himself alongside Crowe in The Insider, the hit movie about former tobacco executive Jeffrey Wigand turning whistleblower against the industry to win a $200 billion court settlement.

    Piggins was stunned to wake one morning three years ago and discover a dossier of emails and paperwork tossed under the garage door of his South Coogee home.

    The fine print was dynamite. A disgruntled whistleblower involved in the "vote Yes" campaign, Graeme Tunks, had flipped after a massive blow-up with Holmes a Court and decided to leak details of the behind-the-scenes battle.

    Aside from admitting private investigator Sutherland, the wife of Palladino, had spent up to 18 hours personally interviewing him, the Rabbitohs member also included a paper trail showing that Holmes a Court had been in regular contact with the rebel South Sydney fan website rabbitohs.com.

    The website, which was half-owned by Tunks, had waged a campaign against Piggins, including publishing a doctored pornographic image of his wife Nolene with ex-South Sydney board member Jim Lahood.

    It is not suggested Holmes a Court knew about the image.

    "From day one (Holmes a Court) was digging for information on George and I told him what I knew," Tunks said.

    "It was a strategic alliance. I had a private investigator come to my home twice and stay for about 15 hours in total.

    "In the second meeting, one of the ex-Souths directors was at my place, Jerry Lissing.

    "He had serious inside knowledge of how George's board worked.

    "Everything she asked us was about money, about connections with the CFMEU and the water front."

    The cosy relationship between Holmes a Court and Tunks got so tight the Rabbitohs co-owner hosted the former Naval officer for dinner at his Centennial Park home.

    And when the "yes vote" won a 75 per cent majority at the ballot box by the margin of 13 votes, Holmes a Court sent Tunks a set of golf balls emblazoned with the Rabbitohs emblem and a note that read: "It took balls. Peter"

    The Sunday Telegraph contacted Holmes a Court about the allegations and he declined to comment.

    Read more: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/george-piggins-claims-russell-crowe-and-peter-homes-a-court-played-dirty-in-battle-for-control-of-the-rabbitohs/story-e6frexnr-1226448251662
     
  2. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

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    Title correction: one of the dangers of private ownership by a paranoid egomaniac, laced with a feuding pigheaded legend, and a mega rich blow-in with no love for league. ;0)
     
  3. lovefooty

    lovefooty Well-Known Member

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    Dont just think this stuff only happend at souths.
    The Penns conducted a full investigation into Max Delmege.
    Penn said to max a few years back that we are going to run a full investgation on you and your businesses. It will be like a royal commission.
    Max has told me this him self. Homes a court and Penn are very close friends. It seems like they have simalar business practices.
     
  4. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Yes, Crowe's ego is legendary. However most successful businessmen aren't known for being shrinking violets.
     
  5. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

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    Did Max also divulge his business practices to you?
     
  6. manlyfan76

    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Hey George come along to a game at Brooky, I'll shout you a beer on the hill.
     
  7. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    No private ownership = no manly

    No matter which side of the fence you sit without our private owners we would not be here today...so how can it be a bad thing?
     
  8. kingoftherodeo

    kingoftherodeo Active Member

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    Piggens needs to get over it. Without Crowe, souths would be at the bottom of the ladder or in the same boat as the bears. If he wasn't such a dinosaur, he would have complied with Crowe and co for the best interests of the club. In fact, they wanted him to be a part of it. No doubting Piggens heart is in the right place, but really, was he the guy to take souths to where they are now? I don't think so.
     
  9. Central Coast Eagle

    Central Coast Eagle Active Member

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    Do you only come on here to bag out Penn?

    Why did C&C have to modify your post?

    [I edited his post because he quoted all of my orginal post in his reply, which is one of my pet hates. It added nothing to his post and just made it two foot longer than it needed to be. Nothing sinister - C&C]
     
  10. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Apples and Oranges Love Footy - Max was on the verge of going bankrupt and behind in ownership payments to the Sea Eagles LTD.
     
  11. lovefooty

    lovefooty Well-Known Member

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    So max puts in 15 mil ove 5 years and was late on a 250,000 payment(he did pay two weeks later) and he gets dumpt on at a press conferance to announce Quantum as our new sponsor by Penn.
    Aggressive busnises tactics as i see it.
     
  12. jbb/james

    jbb/james Well-Known Member

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    George piggins fought tooth and nail for his club with his own money, took on superleague and news ltd and won. His legal challenges set precedents that protected many existing clubs from getting the same treatment down the track

    George piggins is a bloody legend, and i would feel proud to shout him a beer and thank him for making a stand, based on good old fashion values or right and wrong
     
  13. conanu

    conanu Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    We have our own stubborn dinosaur that churns up **** every now and then. At least thiers stepped aside and let the club get on with it whilst remaining a staunch supporter.
     
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  14. tookey

    tookey Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Exactly.

    And no Penn and no leagues club.

    Both have put a lot of money into Manly and both have their faults. Without both of them the leagues and football clubs wouldn't exist today
     
  15. Masked Eagle

    Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

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    Just don't tell him you support Manly.
     
  16. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Is it tiring?

    being lead around on a chain and hating someone so much?
     
  17. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

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    What penn and mayer did was a disgraceful act and shouldn't be forgotten.
     
  18. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    There is two sides to every story: It is no secret the interference of owners (who were businessmen) into the Football operation of the club and even in the selection of the playing roster was a factor in certain staff moving on. The behaviour of relatives of owners did not endear itself to the football operations of the club either. It is all a matter of perspective.

    I have never met Max or Penn (unlike LoveFooty) but there is a lot more than the one-sided posturing made on this site.
     
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  19. MWSE

    MWSE Well-Known Member

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    People always bring up the "interference of owners into the football operation of the club" and how that "forced" Des out.

    How about it going the other way? And Des leaving because he couldn't manage everything he wanted to in the business side of the house.

    Two way street people. Walk down one.
     
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  20. lovefooty

    lovefooty Well-Known Member

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    What I do know is that there has been a push back by the penns on max and that they wont let the new lounge be named after him. he could not even get vip statis into the ground until there was a blow up at board level.
    A pretty ruff go for a bloke who saved the place in 2002 and who has put in double digit millions.
     

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