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.