2016 biggest storylines: Brumbies' administration battles

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

As 2016 ticks down, rugby.com.au is looking back at some of the biggest moments and storylines of the Australian rugby year.


Brumbies vs Michael Jones

It was one of the longest-running sagas in Australian rugby this year - the ongoing feud between outgoing Brumbies CEO Michael Jones and his former board.

The dispute began with an extraordinary ABC Radio interview featuring Jones, with the CEO opening up about a KPMG report he had handed over to the AFP over financial irregularities.

Jones at the time said the details of the report he gave could irreparably damage the franchise on a number of levels, believed to be focused on the sale of their former training base.

Michael Jones will stay at the Brumbies helm for a little bit longer. Photo:Getty ImagesThat report and the Brumbies are still the subject of investigation by both the AFP and ASIC over the information, a process that could continue for close to two years.

The then-CEO said he was being unfairly targeted by opponents to his actions outside of the club.

The Brumbies board moved to dismiss Jones as the feud simmered on, but Jones moved for an injunction under whistleblower legislation - a move that was initially upheld, keeping him in the position for another six weeks.

Ultimately, Jones left the club after reaching a settlement in the case, but continued to pursue court action against the University of Canberra to protect his reputation.

In that, Jones said he wasn’t attempting to unearth the contents of the KPMG report, which were still suppressed in court, but rather keep his reputation intact over his actions.

Former ARU integrity manager Phil Thomson took over as interim CEO, in the position for close to six months, as the Brumbies steadied themselves off field.

The Brumbies announced Michael Thomson as their new CEO late last month, ending months of speculation over the future of their administration.

Look back at the countdown so far:

Number 10 : Sydney Bledisloe

Number 9: Wallabies' generation next

Number 8: Global player routes

Number 7: Super Rugby cleanouts.