You are here: Home / Media / Rabbitohs' model is Collingwood

Rabbitohs' model is Collingwood

The actor Russell Crowe (pictured) drew businessman Peter Holmes a Court to the Rabbitohs, but the Collingwood AFL model led him to Redfern. By Roy Masters SMH November 24, 2005

Collingwood's palace by the Yarra, a sophisticated, integrated training facility on government land and only a stroll away from the MCG, the Magpies' home ground, is his blueprint for NRL club South Sydney.

Holmes a Court believes a training complex at Redfern, built on public land with $19million of rate- payers' money, and a home ground within walking distance at Aussie Stadium, is the best outcome for the Rabbitohs.

But there's 10,000 square metres of unrealised potential in Redfern real estate which also attracts the businessman.

Asked his financial interest in entering a political squabble between Souths patriarch George Piggins and Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Holmes a Court says: "It's to unlock the potential in buildings owned by Souths Leagues club opposite the ground. Only half that 10,000 square metres … is occupied.

"The income flow from the use of those facilities can go to the football club. We have submitted an offer to renovate the leagues club."

Crowe and Holmes a Court have put their money where their collective mouth is, converting an old building in Chalmers Street, Redfern, into an entertainment complex.

Holmes a Court has also brokered a deal to bring the rich financial and talent resources of Souths Juniors club at Kensington closer to Redfern.

"I have been working closely with the Juniors' new president, Keith McCraw, for two reasons," he said.

"Firstly, we want their financial support. Second, the future of the Rabbitohs is built on the juniors which come through the competition they run."

He began following Souths five years ago. "Russell made my six-year-old twin boys fans, and they made me a fan," he said.

"Because the Rabbitohs don't have consistent leagues club support, they are a couple of million dollars behind [most] NRL clubs each year.

"My model is unashamedly Collingwood's Lexus Centre. It's doable at Redfern with council support."