WIN Corp deal secures future
Written by: Dragons media
CORPORATION, owner of Australia's largest and
leading regional television network, has covered
a substantial amount of the Illawarra Steelers
debts to joint venture partner St George, which
will enable the Dragons to continue playing home
matches in Wollongong.
WIN Corporation Executive Chairman, Mr Andrew
Gordon made the announcement today saying his
media company's investment of $6.5m in the Steelers
would enable the repayment of most of the club's
debt to St George Leagues Club.
WIN Corporation originated in the Illawarra
and proudly it is still based here today.
WIN has always prided itself on showing strong
support for locally based, national sporting teams,
said Mr Gordon. We believe the Steelers
are a fundamental thread in the fabric of this
region and I do not intend for this district to
lose hosting NRL matches at WIN Stadium.
The deal is conditional on the Dragons
arranging a new license agreement with the NRL
until 2011 and negotiating a similar term arrangement
with Wollongong Sportsground Trust allowing
the St George Illawarra Dragons to play half of
their home matches at WIN Stadium, plus a NRL
pre-season fixture annually.
Mr Gordon said that besides providing the funding,
which will be used solely to discharge the majority
of the Steelers debt to St George Leagues Club;
WIN Corporation will also receive 24 per cent
of the Steelers share in the joint venture.
We will also provide business opportunities
and management to improve the performance of the
Steelers Club and ensure long-term continuation
in the NRL by way of the joint venture,
Steelers Chairman, Mr Peter Newell said his directors
and members were indebted to Andrew Gordon, WIN
Corporation and of course Bruce Gordon for their
support of the club and the benefits NRL participation
brings to the Illawarra region's economy.
The amount of money WIN Corporation has
made available is one of the biggest investments
that I can recall involving sport in the Illawarra,
said Mr Newell. The Steelers will still
carry a level of debt, but WIN have given us the
chance to not only survive, but will work with
us on our future.
Mr Newell said that Andrew Gordon would be appointed
to the St George Illawarra Dragons Board as one
of the Steelers representatives.
WIN Corporation CEO, Mr George Papadopoulos
will also be invited to join the Illawarra Steelers
Board in an ex-officio capacity. Both these appointments
will add strength and business experience to the
The Steelers debts will not only be substantially
reduced, but WIN's involvement will enable the
club to continue the propagation and development
of the game of rugby league in the Illawarra and
South Coast region, Mr Newell said.
St George Leagues Club and Dragons Chairman Warren
Lockwood, who welcomed the involvement of WIN
Corporation with the Dragons explains its impacts
for the Dragons and St George Leagues Club.
A commitment from a corporate partner of
the quality of WIN Corporation is a major coup
for rugby league across the region and the game
itself, said Mr Lockwood.
In times when there is continuing pressure
being mounted on the Licensed Clubs, debt reduction
programs are essential.
The St George Leagues Club has always understood
and supported the strategy of the St George Illawarra
Dragons from the beginning. An essential component
of this strategy, was sustaining viability of
the Steelers and their contributions to the Dragons.
The repayment of capital and interest on
loans extended by the St George Leagues Club will
enable the Licensed Club to plan for its next
phase of refurbishment and better cope with the
pressure from increasing poker machine tax.