Balmain will survive as a partner in the Wests Tigers after joint-venture partner Wests Ashfield accepted responsibility for the club’s outstanding loan to the NRL and agreed to establish a Tigers leagues club at Rozelle.
Under the terms of a commercial arrangement that still requires member approval from both parties, Wests Ashfield will amalgamate with Balmain Leagues Club after the entity went into voluntary administration last year. The deal will result in an amalgamated Balmain Leagues Club entering into an agreement with the owners of its Rozelle site, Heworth, to build a new Tigers leagues club on the property.
The deal, facilitated by Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrnes and agreed to by all secured creditors, effectively saves Balmain from extinction and ensures it remains a partner in Wests Tigers. Wests Ashfield will also make a five-year commitment to fund the Balmain Football Club and its junior footballers.
“In landing this agreement we have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat,” Byrne said.