Rebels boss wants out


EMBATTLED South Grafton Rebels president Allan Rudduck hopes to stand down when the Rebels reconvened AGM takes place at South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club, at 2pm on Sunday, December 18.

Rudduck's wife Joy is gravely ill and coupled with his other business commitments, the hotelier is finding it increasingly difficult to give a fulltime commitment to heading the club.

"At the moment Joy is very ill and family is more important than the football club," Rudduck said.

"I just don't have the time at the moment.

"At this stage I'm only half inclined to do it (remain president), I will still remain a sponsor, but I'd prefer to step down.

"I'm talking to one person who is interested, but If the club gets stuck at the AGM and no-one will do it, I'll stick my hand up again."

Several long-time Rebels supporters have contacted The Daily Examiner in recent weeks, expressing concern for the club's viability.

Rudduck, the only person elected on the Rebels executive following an acrimonious AGM on October 26, remains confident the Rebels will survive in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition at least for next year.

However, he firmly believes the time is fast approaching when the club will need to look at amalgamation or folding.

"We're not as bad off financially as some people believe," Rudduck said.

"There is still money coming into the club and I'm very confident the club will survive and we will get a committee for next year.

"But the town should have one team, that's definitely got to come.

"It costs us and the Ghosts around $130,000 to $140,000 to run a football club and Lower Clarence too.

"Surely it's easier paying say $160,000 to have one strong club than $260,000 for two clubs.

"Those against it are the ones with short arms, long pockets and big mouths. The same people are also the last to put in and do the work.

"It's a matter of sitting down and using a bit of common sense."

Rudduck says while he favours amalgamation, he believes because of long-term rivalry, it may never eventuate.

"There will probably never be amalgamation as one club," he said. "There is too much ill-feeling on both sides.

"The two clubs would have to close down, keep the juniors and use them as a feeder into a new senior club."

Rudduck said he believed the bulk of last season's Rebels players would resign for next year and he insisted, previous inflated contracts he described as 'an absolute joke' would not be allowed.

"They (the players) have all been told what the rules are for next year," Rudduck said.

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