Deal struck to save Otago
March 14, 2012
Steve Tew: "historic day for an historic institution" © Getty Images
A deal has been reached to save the Otago Rugby Union.
An agreement was reached on Wednesday between the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), Dunedin City Council (DCC), Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), New Zealand Rugby Players Association and the Bank of New Zealand.
The NZRU have agreed to loan the union $NZ 500,000 while the DCC and DVML will forgo debts of $NZ 480,000, according to the Otago Times.
Others features of the rescue package include: All Black tests for Dunedin in 2013 and 2014; a North v South match to be played in Dunedin in June with all the revenue going to the DVML; DVML agreeing to manage Otago's commercial and sponsorship as well as a three-year hire agreement with Otago from the ITM Cup.
"This is an historic day for an historic institution," said NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said. "The agreement we reached tonight represents a fresh start for this 131-year old organisation which we know holds a very special place in the hearts of many in this proud rugby province."
Tew added: "We will want to have a new board in place that has the right blend of skills and experience to ensure this union never again finds itself in the predicament it currently faces. And we will be insisting on ongoing scrutiny of its business plans and accounts." Local businesses will be prioritised in the debut repayment.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup