Billionaire’s scathing attack on ‘dumb’ ARU

BILLIONAIRE mining magnate Andrew Forrest says he will have no qualms about taking the ARU through a costly legal

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Billionaire and philanthropist Andrew Forrest speaks during a press conference.

Forrest’s legal team are in the process of taking out an injunction against the ARU’s decision to axe the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition.

If the Forrest-backed RugbyWA win a right of appeal, they will take the matter to the Supreme Court.

The ARU are already struggling financially, and they could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if they are defeated in court.

Forrest said he couldn’t fathom how the ARU could axe the Force instead of the Rebels.

The Rebels have reportedly lost about $30 million over their seven-year existence, costing the ARU approximately $17.5 million dollars.

The ARU claim finances were the primary reason behind their decision to axe the Force.

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But Forrest says this can’t be true, because he had already told the ARU he would bankroll any potential future losses at the Force.

This means, at worst, the Force would always break even.

Forrest said the ARU’s decision to introduce a team into AFL heartland was doomed from the start.

And he has no qualms about taking the ARU to court in order to achieve the outcome that he believes is the best for Australian rugby.

“I think the ARU has been famous at bleeding money,” Forrest said.

“They’ve been propping up Victoria for so many millions of dollars of losses.

“They’ve had this vain pursuit that they can challenge the AFL in AFL’s heartland.

“That was never going to happen. Melbourne people love the AFL, and I agree with that love — it’s a fantastic sport.

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Andrew Forrest addresses the Force players and coaches at nib Stadium.Source:Getty Images

“But our love is for rugby. And to try to impose it upon Victoria was just an ego-driven decision.

“And to not encourage it in WA where the people of this state have a great love for this sport and the Force, is really a retrograde decision against the Force.”

Forrest has called for a complete overhaul of the ARU board.

He choked back tears as he talked about how proud he was to see the groundswell of support the Force has received.

“It just makes me super proud of Western Australia, super proud of my countrymen here,” Forrest said.

“I deeply regret that as an Australian, there’s an administration of a sporting code which has made a really dumb decision.

“But it has empowered West Australians to stand together.”

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