New deal to save Balmain Tigers

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Following the Balmain Leagues Club going into voluntary administration last year an agreement has now been reached that will see the Balmain Tigers continue as a partner in Wests Tigers and a Tigers Leagues Club included in the development at the Club's former home in Rozelle. 

At the request of Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, Wests Ashfield has stepped in to salvage the dire situation through an amalgamation with Balmain Leagues Club and a commercial agreement that, when finalised, can deliver a win for all parties.

Heworth, owners of the Balmain Leagues Club site, and all secured creditors of Balmain Leagues Club have accepted the terms outlined in the Deed of Company Arrangement process with Wests Ashfield, which will result in:

  • The amalgamated Balmain Leagues Club entering into an agreement with Heworth to establish a new Tigers Leagues Club at the Rozelle site.
  • A five year commitment to provide funding for Balmain Football Club and the Club's junior footballers.
  • Wests Ashfield accepting responsibility for the outstanding loan to Balmain Tigers from the NRL.

Mayor Byrne, who helped broker the agreement, said this was an historic step that can unify all shareholders in Wests Tigers into the future.

“In landing this agreement we have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The Tigers were about to become extinct, but the Club can now continue as a rugby league entity and to be a partner in Wests Tigers for many decades to come.

“I approached Wests Ashfield seeking their cooperation to establish a Wests Tigers base in Rozelle. Wests and their CEO Simon Cook deserve enormous credit for coming to the aid of the Balmain Tigers at a desperate time. It’s a big thing to do,” he said.

“After 20 years of sometimes tense relations between the Tigers and Wests this agreement can be the catalyst for a new and unified era of success for Wests Tigers.

“Heworth, the new owners of the Leagues Club site, has also acted in good faith and shown an understanding that keeping the Balmain Tigers alive is the whole premise of their development proposal. I thank them for their rational and respectful approach.”

The news comes as Council is publicly exhibiting amendments to the Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Balmain Leagues Club precinct, which will be published this week.

Heworth has submitted an application to modify the existing DCP to focus the bulk of the development on Victoria Road, away from residents in Waterloo Street, and a revised town square. The proposal also significantly reduces the retail component and traffic impacts.

“The current State Government is proposing to compulsorily acquire the property to use as a large scale tunnelling site for the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel,” said Mayor Byrne.

“The dive site, located in the middle of Rozelle shopping centre and adjacent to Rozelle Public School, would poison the local environment and flood local streets with dangerous trucks for years to come.

“Council and the community would much prefer to see a sensible development that brings the Tigers back to their spiritual home proceed on the location instea

“The very survival of the Tigers depends on preventing the State Government from snatching this site,” he said.

Council is holding a meeting for the community to discuss the proposed DCP amendments on Thursday 28 March, 6pm-7.30pm at Balmain Town Hall.

For further information please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787.

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Page last updated: 31 May 2019