Tigers kick off foundation in call to arms
Posted on 04/25/20 7:44 PM
Wests Tigers have set up a foundation to allow fans to donate funds to the club’s various arms.Wests Tigers are set to unveil the next big weapon in rugby league’s arms race, as they look to close their football spending gap on several NRL rivals.
Chief executive Justin Pascoe will on Sunday announce the launch of the Wests Tigers foundation, which will allow fans and businesses to make tax deductible donations to the club.
Benefactors will be able to donate money to heritage, community or the vital elite pillars of the club, with more than $1 million already raised for the next four years, the majority of which will go to football spend.
The project has been in the works for nine months and is in line with the n Sports Foundation, as the club aims to make up for the approximate $1 million less it’s understood they spend in comparison to some other clubs.
“There is a correlation between those who spend and those who are successful,” Pascoe told AAP.
“So it’s almost a call to arms.
“There’s a lot of fans around the club who are wealthy individuals, and we’re hoping to garnish support from them them for no other reason than to make a difference to the club. That’s really important.”
In setting up the project, the Tigers have studied particularly closely AFL clubs that raised just shy of $20 million in the 2016-17 financial year, according to ASF figures.
Similar set-ups have been used in much smaller ways at other NRL clubs, with rugby league accounting for $429,000 raised in the same calendar year.
The project is the baby of former Tigers player Shaun Spence who played nine games for the club in 2013, a couple of years before his career was ended prematurely by concussions.
As part of the program, the club also hopes to add to its resources for the 60 community programs it runs between its three Sydney bases at Leichhardt, Concord and the ever-growing Macarthur.
In the longer term, a club museum could also be on the horizon, featuring the varied history of Western Suburbs and Balmain, as the heritage pillar aims to bring retired players closer together.
“It could also look after them when there are tough times if we’ve got that pool there for them and their family,” Spence said.
It’s expected the majority of cash will be directed by fans towards the football department, as the club looks to build towards long-term success under coach Ivan Cleary after their best start to a season since 2010.
“I think the biggest thing is showing where that money and what kind of change that money can make,” Spence said.
“Something as simple as $10 from a member, if we get 20,000 members … $200,000 can buy a lot of equipment for these players.
“It’s such a powerful thing and for the first time you can really feel a part of it, that you’ve made an on-field contribution to the success of the club.”