According to The Daily Telegraph, the Canterbury Bulldogs’ major sponsor, the $800 million Laundy hotel group, have threatened to walk away from the club after a boardroom brawl.
Pressure is building on the key members of the Bulldogs board to stand down as the major sponsor threatens to stop the $2 million funding.
Watch the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals on a Kayo 14 day free trial with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. Or, Telstra customers get $10 off Kayo per month for 12 months. Stream instantly!
“I’ve been around politics for a long time,” Chris Laundy said, who was a minister in Malcolm Turnbull’s old government.
“This is my first dance with rugby league and Canterbury’s politics.
“I’ve seen some silly things happen in my time but to see this happen, instigated by members before we have oxygen and clear air with a new coach and new players, I would consider it an act of political bastardry. We’re watching with great interest.”
Laundy added there would be no hesitations in leaving if things didn’t improve within the clubs board.
“If there were to be changes at board level, we’d need to know those people on the new board would share our vision for the club,” he said.
“We agreed to be involved and sign on in good faith with the board as it is currently configured.
“We have the ability to walk away. We need to have confidence in the people running the club.”
Laundy also said his father, Arthur, who owns 72 hotels, said a long term investment in the club is definitely what they want moving forward.
“We want to dip our toes into the water for the next two years, but, if it goes as well as we hoped it would, I would consider it a lifelong involvement,” he said.
“Dad is absolutely committed to the long term future of this club.
“If the members have another person prepared to open a war chest, beyond our original two years and well into the future, put your hand up and we’ll says thanks very much and go.”
Anderson, Dunn and Ballesty replaced former chairman Ray Dib and others in the hopes of turning the Bulldogs into a powerhouse, but it hasn’t come to fruition.
Without the support, it’s believed the trio have come to the conclusion that surviving through this has been made all the more tougher.
With the trio’s impending departure, it leaves Peter Mortimer, Joe Thomas, John Khoury and Adrian Turner as the remaining directors to bring the club out of the darkness.
“We can’t believe, because things are on the up and up, that they’d choose this point in time, this close to having the new coach at pre-season, to call on an extraordinary general meeting,” Laundy said.
“I’d call on anyone who has signed the document for an EGM to have a think about the impact on the new squad, the new squad and the people we are trying to sign.
“It sends a bad message. The hard yards have been done by this current board.
“This club needs to be unified and working in one direction.”