Andrew Webster of the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the Wests Tigers need a $1 million cash injection to survive. The good news is that the Western Suburbs side of the joint venture is ready to step in and provide the funding, but only in exchange for the controlling votes on the Wests Tigers board.
When the Wests Tigers joint venture was formed it was seen as one of the more even joint ventures we had seen in the game. Before the merger both the Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies were struggling clubs. Together it was hoped both teams could provide enough to make a joint venture team that was successful.
When the merger was worked out, the controlling interests fell more towards the Balmain Tigers more than the Western Suburbs Magpies. Over the years though the financial clout of the Western Suburbs side of the joint venture grew. At the same time the Balmain side of the joint venture hit some tough times financially.
As long as the Wests Tigers were seen as being relatively successful, there was no need to change anything. Now the club has hit tough times, it’s understandable that the Western Suburbs side of the joint venture now wants to take control of the Wests Tigers, especially considering that they will be contributing more financially to the joint venture than the Balmain Tigers are.
It is a really interesting battle, but one that does no favours for the Wests Tigers themselves. A good club needs focus. They need direction. When you have a battle for control of a football clubs board you have distractions. It is hard to argue that the Wests Tigers don’t look like a club with a lack of focus or direction right now.
I’ve felt for some time that the Western Suburbs side if the joint venture needed to be given control of the club. A change was needed for the Wests Tigers. The Balmain Tigers have their own issues to sort out, especially with the issues surrounding their Leagues club.
The good news for Wests Tigers fans is that the control of the board at the Wests Tigers is a pretty straight forward one. Wests Ashfield has the money and it wants the controlling vote on the board. There isn’t a great deal the Balmain Tigers side can do to argue with that logic.
Wests Tigers fans don’t need to worry about the future of their club. The Tigers are not going anywhere. This is just about two sides of one club battling it out for control. Things have changed since the joint venture was formed and those changes need to be reflected in the make up of the Wests Tigers board.
In short, this is a battle that needs to happen. When it’s all over I believe the Wests Tigers will be better off for this short term pain.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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