South Sydney have another famous face joining the side after billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes bought a 25 per cent stake in the NRL club.

Cannon-Brookes, who is worth around $37 billion, garnered his fortune after founding computer software company Atlassian in 2002. The 41-year-old Sydney native has reportedly been in talks to acquire a stake in the club for up to a year.

The club's other two high profile owners, Hollywood star Russell Crowe and billionaire James Packer, both reduced their share of ownership to 25% each, while Rabbitohs members own the remaining 25%.

“I’m excited and humbled to be a part of this iconic club,” Cannon-Brookes said in an official club statement.

“The South Sydney Rabbitohs are special. Not only are we the oldest, loudest and proudest – we are an organisation people truly, deeply care about.

“I’m looking forward to partnering with Russell and James and bringing what I can to the table to help the club grow to even greater heights.”
Cannon-Brookes made history last year when he became a minority stakeholder of NBA team the Utah Jazz, the first Australian to do so.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph after the announcement, Cannon-Brookes spoke of his intentions to bring in experiences and lessons from the US to help develop the club, both on and off field.

“Hopefully I can bridge some connections (in the US) to see how other clubs and leagues run and there’s probably some lessons to be learned on how that can help bring better experiences to the members,” he said.

“It’s one thing to have a really great legacy culture – ‘the oldest, proudest, loudest’ is written ­pretty deeply into people’s ­psyches – but it also comes with a sense of that culture continuing to improve.”

South Sydney came excruciatingly close to premiership glory in 2021, losing 14-12 to Penrith in the grand final after obtaining an early lead. Finishing the season third on the ladder, the Rabbitohs went on an impressive run in the second half of the year, losing just one game after their Round 13 bye.

Long time owner Russell Crowe was full of praise for Cannon-Brookes after the announcement on Monday, believing that the tech billionaire's connections will be invaluable for the powerhouse club.

“I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed to South Sydney members and supporters that Mike wears a white Rabbitohs hat for special occasions,” Crowe said.

“This is a very strong move for the club. It connects us to the front edge of emerging technologies and business and underlines the importance of our efforts in the community.

“Mike understands the resonance of sport in Australia, and James and I welcome his input going forward in keeping South Sydney ahead of the curve, and a game-leading organisation, on and off the field.”

Cannon-Brookes is just the latest addition to a new look Rabbitohs going into 2022, with incoming coach Jason Demetriou replacing the outgoing Wayne Bennett, and captain Adam Reynolds departing to join the Broncos.

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