Creditors vote for Rebels Super Rugby rescue plan

Creditors have voted to accept a financial rescue plan for the cash-strapped Melbourne Rebels rather than liquidate the Super Rugby Pacific club.

At a meeting on Friday, creditors opted to follow the recommendation of the voluntary administrator and accept a proposal by a private investor group that includes current directors.

The directors have proposed a Deed Of Company Arrangement (DOCA), which guarantees employees 100 per cent of their entitlements, but leaves unsecured creditors with as little as 15 cents to the dollar.

Rebels coach Kevin Foote has praised his players’ efforts in a stressful season. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

The club went into voluntary administration in January with total debts of $23.1 million, with PwC voluntary administrator Stephen Longley stating in his report last week the club may have operated insolvent for more than five years.

The DOCA is also dependent upon Rugby Australia handing the Super Rugby participation license to the new consortium, who are planning to invest more than $25 million into the club over the next five years.

RA, who has promoted the club this season, taking over the salaries bill for players and staff, has given no indication of their plans for the club, who joined the competition in 2011.

The Australian Financial Review reported that RA planned to vote against salvaging the club and claimed the independent report by Longley was biased towards the former directors.

It’s understood the Victorian government advised RA that, in the absence of professional rugby presence in the state, it could withdraw from bidding for future Wallabies Test matches and hosting the Rugby World Cup final.

Meanwhile, the Rebels will host the Blues at AAMI Park in round 11 of the competition later on Friday.