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Saints $6.5 million sell off to tv station

DUFFMAN

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EXCLUSIVE by DEAN RITCHIE

March 16, 2006

WIN Television Corporation has purchased a quarter-share of the St George Illawarra Dragons in a historic deal worth more than $6million.

Details of the shock deal will be revealed at a press conference in Wollongong today.

The Daily Telegraph understands Illawarra's side of the merged club is struggling to pay back an $8m loan from St George Leagues Club and has sold half of its share in the joint venture.

The Steelers are attempting to repay the debt but cannot sustain on-going, heavy payments.

Illawarra's board secretly voted to sell off 50 per cent of its share at a recent board meeting -- meaning St George Illawarra is now 25 per cent owned by the Wollongong-based television station.



Dragons chief executive Peter Doust was unavailable for comment last night.

The $6m that Illawarra will receive from the WIN Corporation will help pay back the Steelers' debt to St George Leagues Club.

NRL chief executive David Gallop was in Adelaide overnight promoting a round six match between Penrith and Melbourne at Hindmarsh Stadium on April 15.

Gallop will however return to Sydney early this morning to attend today's announcement. It is understood Illawarra borrowed the money from

St George Leagues less than two years ago.

The debt proves a theory most held when the two clubs merged in 1999 -- St George would supply the money, Illawarra the players.

The mega-rich deal highlights the success of the joint-venture club, with the Russell Crowe-Peter Holmes a Court takeover bid for Souths being negotiated for $3m.
 

Jatz Crackers

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That woooosh sound you just heard was the sound of the backers of the privatisation of Souths, wipping out their calculators to reconfigure the sale price. :lol2:
 

ManlyBacker

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That woooosh sound you just heard was the sound of the backers of the privatisation of Souths, wipping out their calculators to reconfigure the sale price. :lol2:
More likely the calculators being crunched by those intending to vote on Sunday. Perfect timing for poor Peter and Russell, ... not.
 

Canteen Worker

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It does get me thinking: 1/4 of Sts is worth 6.5 million.

Makes the money offered for Souths to look petty. Max and Penn's share of Manly is not that big either!
 

Crushercleal

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Yeah but neither us or Souths generate what Saints do in terms of earnings power me thinks.
 

byso

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I wonder if the St George faction are happy about this?
 

Corso_Pete

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It appears the deal is about debt relief and no actual money will be changing hands.

Without knowing any of the details (other than what is in this article) I don't believe that you could make any direct comparison to either Souths or Manly where money was put into the football club.

Never underestimate the taxation advantages that a multi milliionare is able to extract in these sorts of deals.

Unless money is actually being paid to a football club I don't think you can compare the apparent value or compartive value of any club.
 

ManlyBacker

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"Illawarra's side of the merged club ... has sold half of its share in the joint venture."

I don't know Pete. It says they sold a share. How the money is applied is up to them and possibly unrelated to the WIN corporation.
 

Corso_Pete

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\"Illawarra's side of the merged club ... has sold half of its share in the joint venture.\"

I don't know Pete. It says they sold a share. How the money is applied is up to them and possibly unrelated to the WIN corporation.

But sold in exchange for what?, the outstanding debt which may have escalated due to defaults in payment or have WIN TV written out a cheque for $6M.

The devil is in the detail. Just my opinion but I expect it is the former rather than the latter.
 

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