Catley organising fundraising effort within NZ, aiming at $150million

The man who led a campaign to try to change the face of the 15-man game says he is looking into a process of raising money for the game.

And he is not talking running raffles and selling cheese rolls.

Doug Catley contacted the Otago Daily Times this week and said he had been asked to put into motion a scheme to fund New Zealand rugby, calling upon individuals and entities from within New Zealand.

He said he was considering the request and needed to carry out some research.

But he believed it would come up with an initial $150million.

Catley is a Wellington businessman who helped form a group of former All Blacks, coaches and other rugby personalities earlier this year to voice concerns over the state of the game and the direction it was heading in.

The group felt the game had become dominated by big men and had become too much like league. It had called for submissions from rugby fans right across the country and many hundred had responded.

Catley said he had received the submissions and they had been passed on to NZ Rugby board members. He was expecting a response but the union has plenty of its books at present.

The union is in the middle of a deal with United States investment firm Silver Lake, which is attempting to buy a share in the commercial rights of the union and in exchange would bring expertise and revenue gathering ideas to the union.

The deal was given the go-ahead by the 26 provincial unions at the NZR annual meeting last month but has been held up by the NZ Rugby Player’s Association, which is not happy with the deal.

The national union needs money after being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and making a $34million loss last year.

The Silver Lake deal will pump $387.5million into the game but there is concern what is being signed away to get that money.

Others prefer money coming from New Zealand and that is where Catley has become involved.

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