The Force have officially launched their Own The Force campaign, publishing their company prospectus on Thursday.
Though their future is still not certain, as SANZAAR’s discussions over a new Super Rugby format linger, the club has pushed forward with a plan to help establish more financial viability.
Fans can buy one of 10,000 $1000 shares in the newly public company Western Force Owners Pty Ltd., though if a minimum 5000 aren't taken up in four months, buyers will be refunded.
The franchise’s prospectus states its aim is to obtain the operating rights to the Force, though that is not an objective the Australian Rugby Union, who currently holds them, has guaranteed.
WA Owners chairman Tony Howarth said it was time for supporters to put their money where their mouth is, after 4698 people registered their interest in buying a share in recent months.
“The support to date has shown the strength of the Western Australian rugby community. Players and the club are thrilled, but now it’s crunch time, and we need more West Aussies to get behind the future of the club,” he said.
“Fans will own the club and we’ll have the rights to operate a professional Western Australian team that can participate in the Super Rugby competition,” Mr Howarth said.
Anyone who does take a share would hold voting rights to an advisory committee and approval of key positions in the club’s hierarchy, input into match day and owner functions and discounts on memberships and junior registrations.
Thursday’s announcement came in a week that Australia’s under-fire Super Rugby clubs found their voice, with the Rebels and Brumbies both issuing calls to arms to their supporters ahead of critical Super Rugby matches.
The Brumbies put out their call on Tuesday, urging fans to come out to their clash with the Highlanders on Saturday night, one that could
The Rebels managing director Andrew Cox sent a letter to members on Thursday, a day out from their derby with the Waratahs, a match that will likely decide their 2017 season fate.
No decision on the future of the Super Rugby competition has been made public, with all four SANZAAR countries needing to communicate with various stakeholders.
Saturday will mark two weeks since a critical SANZAAR executive meeting, after which Super Rugby’s governing body said a decision would be made public in ‘the coming days’.
The ARU and its other SANZAAR partners have been asked to stay silent on the matter until all the decisions have been confirmed, though it is believed to be hinging on South Africa’s willingness to drop two of its teams, a move that would likely spell the end of an Australian side.
While the Force initially appeared the most under pressure when a competition review was announced eight months ago, rumours have circulated about the possibility of the Brumbies or the Rebels being in danger.