THE WRAP: NRL Round 10

NRL logoBy STEVE MASCORD

MELBOURNE Storm will break even with no outside assistance in “four or five years”, the club’s new chief executive said at today’s handover by News Limited.

After months of negotiations, former New Zealand barrister Bart Campbell was confirmed as the new chairman of the world and NRL champions with ex Harlequins and Saracens rugby union boss Mark Evans as CEO.

But other members of the Holding MS Australia consortium, believed to include businessmen Gerry Ryan and Matthew Tripp, remain unconfirmed

“Over a five year period, we’d like to get this organisation to be self funding and viable financially without seeing any deterioration of its playing performance on the field,” said Evans, who added he would “imagine” resigning Cameron Smith would be a priority for the football department.

“That’s the aim. It’s not complicated. It’s not easy but we think it’s doable.

“There are still opportunities going forward. Hopefully, without being arrogant or shouting it from the rooftops because that’s not the style we’re looking for, we’d like to think that over a period of time, we can take it up another level.”

Asked if the consortium was looking to make a profit and onsell the Storm, Evans said: “Well, any sports club, you’re only a custodian, aren’t you?

“It’s not like a lot of other business acquisitions where you’re looking for an exit the minute you take it over. That’s not the case.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be the custodian of a sports club for a particular length of time, that’s what it is.

“It will remain privately owned for the foreseeable future. Who knows what might happen down the line. We’re not really thinking about that.”

Existing chairman Stephen Rue hands his role to Campbell while Evans takes over from Ron Gauci.

“The only reason we’re not naming the whole consortium is that most of them are overseas at the moment,” said Evans.

“Rather than go off half baked … they’d like to be here to meet people. We thought it best to announce Bart as the primary shareholder and Bart as the CEO.

“The other shareholders, who are all from this part of the world, will be formally announced and introduced at a function in Melbourne in a fortnight’s time.”

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