Melbourne Storm Chairman, Bart Campbell, this evening updated fans and members on the Club’s ownership structure and decision on a potential ‘fan ownership’ model.
“As you will recall, the Club announced it would explore the opportunities ‘fan ownership’ could bring to Storm in the latter stages of 2018. Since that time, we sought independent advice, engaged Greenhill to assist us and ran due diligence over what is a complex concept for our club, both from a Governance and execution point of view,” Mr Campbell said.
“The Board was thrilled with the response from individuals and businesses – big and small. However, reluctantly and after careful consideration, we have decided not to pursue a fan ownership model for the time being.
“This decision is largely driven by the complexity and ongoing cost of establishing and managing such a structure which is a big challenge for a business like ours to implement and report to. We feel the time and energy commitment required to operate in this structure could distract us from our focus on the ongoing high performance goals that we hold so high and new commercial initiatives being driven to support the ongoing growth of our Club.
“We will maintain our focus and finite management resources on developing a high performance business, on and off the field, so we can continue to share the thrill of success together.
“One of the things that drew us to the fan ownership model, was the power that our network of fans would bring to the Club. In the near term we have committed to expanding from four to up to ten shareholders. We are bringing in new shareholders who, first and foremost, have a passion for the club and personal networks which will be beneficial in helping us achieve the high ambitions we all hold for this Club.
“Through exploring the fan ownership model, we were enthused by the passion and reach of those who were interested in investing in our Club. As a result of this process, I am pleased to announce to you that we have added two new shareholders to the Club and are continuing to explore options with parties who can bring the same level of passion, a drive for success and open a network that helps us to grow and perform at the level to which you expect and deserve.
“I can reveal to you today that Jet Couriers owners, Brett Ralph and his brother Shaun, will hold 10% of the Storm Group, increasing to 20% over time, while another shareholder is awaiting formal endorsement from the NRL before we can announce their details too. This is a top outcome for the Club and we welcome them. The Ralph’s have supported the Club for well over a decade and bring business nous, a strong network and an understanding of professional sports through their investments in this space. More importantly they are good people.
“We are in ongoing discussions with other potential shareholders and have had a number of approaches from local and international individuals and groups interested in joining the ownership group and forming strategic partnerships and will continue to explore relationships that help advance our great Club.”
The Melbourne Storm group will continue to be the majority owner of Suncorp Super Netball team, Sunshine Coast Lightning, along with USC as minority owner.