21 Mar 2012

Private funds to bail out Otago rugby union creditors

10:48 am on 21 March 2012

Private donations are being used to repay 180 creditors owed $690,000 by the Otago Rugby Football Union.

The union has debts of more than $2 million and faces an expected loss of $750,000 this year.

During the past few days, undisclosed sums of money have been donated by individuals and businesses.

Sir Eion Edgar, chairman of investment group Forsyth Barr, has confirmed he has donated money, but will not say how much.

He and other businessmen also plan to match funds raised by a television programme dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000.

Sir Eion is also behind the formation of a charitable trust which intends to develop a capital base outside the Otago Rugby Football Union to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.

Meanwhile, the Dunedin Mayor, Dave Cull, says the plight of the small creditors was the crucial factor behind the City Council accepting last week's bail out package, brokered by the New Zealand Rugby Union.