In an interview with Adrian Proszenko at TheAge.com.au, the head of a major American investment bank has cashed-up clients ready to buy Australian franchises – and even entire sporting leagues – that may not otherwise survive the coronavirus shutdown.
Rugby Australia stood down 75 per cent of its workforce last week while there is still no agreement over restructured salaries. Remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours, with chief executive Raelene Castle agreeing to a 50 per cent salary cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.
Rugby Australia is one of the sporting codes Down Under that is under threat at being forced to declare itself insolvent.
Andrew Kline, the founder and managing director of Park Lane, a firm that specialises in helping high net-worth individuals become owners of sporting franchises has facilitated deals for his clients to buy and sell teams across all the major American sporting leagues, including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.
"We have clients who are very interested in Australia; not just purchasing a team, but an entire league," Kline told the Sun-Herald. "It’s a great market that we believe in. We feel like there will be not just heavy Australian investment back in the country, but heavy American investment back in the country.
"As a firm, we’re very focused on picking different opportunities up. I can’t say too much, but we always keep a close eye on Australia. We were looking at Australian assets before COVID hit and we were interested. Now that there has been some steam taken out of the market, we are even more interested.
Due to confidentiality arrangements, Kline did not want to disclose the identity of his clients or the properties they are targeting. However, the Sun-Herald understands the four football codes – NRL, AFL, A-League and rugby union – are on the radar.