The perenial wooden spooners can do it, why can't we?

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UFO Hunter
The perenial wooden spooners can do it, why can't we?

A Message From CEO Shane Richardson

I thought it was time I dropped you all a line.

It has been a tough time for all Souths fans over the last few weeks. Some of the media have tried to paint as dark a picture as possible. As always it has been a long way from the truth but as the saying goes “good news doesn’t sell papers.� Souths fans are well aware of agendas in the press.

I have always tried to communicate directly to you, the fans, to keep you up to date. That has been my track record in the 12 months I have been here and it will continue to be the case.

All of the big decisions this club has made have been relayed to you, the fans, first. Nothing has changed.

Unfortunately this Club suffers more than most from innuendo and rumour-mongering, probably because we haven’t in the past communicated directly the way we should have. I write this message to simply re-affirm the plans we have already outlined previously so that the whole Club understands our direction. We will eventually have success if we stick together and don’t cannibalise ourselves. United we win, divided we will surely fall.

I honestly believe the Club has never been as united both on and off the field. That’s the only club that I want to be a part of.

Set out below is the re-affirmation of our plans:


As discussed at previous fan information meetings our policy has always been to promote and foster our own juniors and to that end we are proud of our record in giving the opportunities to the likes of John Sutton, Manase Manuokafoa, Michael Moran, Buddy Gordon, Roy Bell, Beau Champion and Shannan MacPherson to progress to first grade.

We still obviously need to recruit players to enhance the roster and to that end we have been active in the player market. We will continue to do so, as have nearly all the NRL clubs, including the Gold Coast who will start with a clean slate.

Our policy is that we need to bring players to the club who can significantly improve our team, particularly defensively. We also want players who want to be here, have a quality work ethos and no baggage off the field.

When you are on or near the bottom of the table it is always difficult for any Club to recruit high profile players. It was no different when I was at Cronulla, Hull or Penrith. Difficult, but not impossible.

We have a plan and we will stick to it. We have to be patient and not waste our money in panic buying which we will pay for in years to come. We will be able to attract the types of player who will complement our young talent.

Rabbitohs in Sydney

This Board has never countenanced a move away from Sydney. It has never been on their agenda. The task they have given me is to do everything that is possible to keep the Rabbitohs at Redfern. That has been, and still is the mandate.

To do this we have had to make some tough decisions. Our plans have not changed from when I discussed them with you at the previous fan forums.

There is no doubt that there is many vested interests outside the Club who are driving an agenda to shift us to the Central Coast, but as I have said previously, that has never been the mandate given by the Board.

The Telstra Stadium deal was done because:

1) It guaranteed us an excellent income through a difficult re-building process with the team;
2) We established a stadium partner who genuinely believed that Souths could become a force again;
3) The term of three years with a three year option yearly our way allowed us time to show the Sydney City Council just how important the Redfern Oval re-development was to, not only Souths, but the whole community.

The Club has been united in this cause and to that end the Council has abandoned their ‘greening’ project and has now entered negotiations to ensure Souths are based at Redfern for a long time into the future. This could not have been done if we were not united off the field and if the Telstra Stadium deal had not given us financial security.

If we remain committed and united we will realise our dreams of returning to Redfern. If we cannibalise ourselves then our detractors will have succeeded.

Understand clearly we don’t have massive Leagues Club support pouring in $3 million a year as a minimum towards a successful team.

An important part of our survival is the support we have from the South Sydney Juniors. Without it particularly in the short term we cannot maintain the fight to keep Souths in Redfern. Their support is crucial to our business plan.

All of the steps outlined above, the promotion of our junior talent, the Telstra Stadium deal, the lobbying of the Council and the partnership with the Juniors have been relayed to you the supporters. All of these steps have been transparent. All of these steps have been made to keep Souths at Redfern.

These are trying times for the Club but no worse than you have been through before. Tough times should make us more resilient and stronger. Believe in each other, and your Club, not in innuendo, gossip and hearsay. We as a Club have not lied to you, so why believe people that have lied to you in the past.

I, as CEO, accept full responsibility for the decisions that have been made. Success is a difficult word to quantify. You work hard and you try and make decisions based on integrity. I am certainly not always right but I do know that we need to build a Club that is based on integrity and hard work. Anything else is not worth being involved with. You can’t buy integrity and you can’t buy spirit that has been around since 1908.

Shane Richardson
South Sydney Rabbitohs


Journey Man
The perenial wooden spooners can do it, why can't we?

shows us up doesn't it.

Even if all it is is spin doctoring, it's a damn site more than we get.

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