Force to issue legal proceedings against ARU

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

RugbyWA has issued legal proceedings against the ARU after meeting with executives in Perth over the future of the Force on Monday.

The Force's local management were seething after a meeting with ARU chief operating officer Rob Clarke and chief financial officer Todd Day on Monday afternoon, which the franchise said presented an 'inconsistent and inequitable' criteria upon which to decide which franchise to cut between the Force and Melbourne Rebels under a new 15-team Super Rugby competition.

Force general manager Mark Sinderberry said earlier on Monday he believed the decision should hinge on more than finances but ARU chairman Cameron Clyne and CEO Bill Pulver said on Monday morning that financial sustainability would be the crucial criteria.

It is believed the Force felt they had no other option than to issue legal proceedings against the ARU, to enforce the alliance agreement established last year, which they believed guaranteed their survival until the end of the current broadcasting agreement.

A Western Force statement issued on Monday said the meeting was 'unsatisfactory'.

"The RugbyWA Board had an unsatisfactory meeting with Australian Rugby Union (ARU) management representatives today that highlighted that the terms of the assessment and process being used to evaluate ourselves and the Rebels were inconsistent and inequitable,"it read.

Discussions also failed to address the responsibilities that exist in the Alliance agreement between RugbyWA and the ARU and we felt in order to protect our position it was necessary to issue legal proceedings to protect our rights under the Alliance Agreement."

While the ARU said the decision should be resolved within the week, Force general manager Mark Sinderberry had expressed a different opinion on Monday, saying that would be an 'unrealistic' timeframe.

According to the club's statement, the deadline has been extended to give the chance for the Force to further prove their business case.

The ARU is yet to receive a writ from the Force over the issue, but that is expected to be forthcoming.

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