Melbourne Rebels Handed Super Rugby Lifeline From Unlikely Source

Melbourne Rebels Handed Super Rugby Lifeline From Unlikely Source

Australian Super Rugby Pacific side, the Melbourne Rebels, are handed a financial lifeline by a consortium led by Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford.

Apr 3, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Melbourne Rebels Handed Super Rugby Lifeline From Unlikely Source

Super Rugby Pacific franchise, the Melbourne Rebels, looks set to be saved from their administration nightmare with a crucially timed $30 million (AUS $) investment.

Facing uncertainty heading into the 2024 season, the Rebels had their license removed by Rugby Australia, and they were placed into voluntary administration, having reported debts exceeding $23 million.

However, it is now reported that a private equity firm, headed by Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford, has said it is close to raising the $30 million required to save the club.

The move would see the Rebels depart AAMI Park and move to a new 15,000-seat stadium being built in Tarneit for the A-League side of Western United.

Releasing a statement of where they currently stand, consortium spokesperson and current Melbourne Rebels Director Georgia Widdup said:

“This would be the game changer that the Melbourne Rebels and the sport of rugby desperately need in Victoria.

“We have an exciting vision and a detailed, common-sense plan to grow the sport of rugby in the fastest-growing municipality in Australia.

“The Rebels are committed to the women’s game, the Pasifika community and important programs for the western region’s youth, and this move will enable us to significantly expand these critical areas.

“This is an opportunity to grow rugby’s grassroots supporter base and attract significant new private investment to make the game sustainable into the future.

“We are passionate about keeping rugby in Victoria, but we realize for the Rebels, and the sport generally, to thrive, we need to innovate and be smarter.”

The Rebels are in sixth place in the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific competition with three wins and three losses.

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