Otago rugby has been given an extra week to stave off liquidation in an effort to piece together a rescue package.
The board of the Otago Rugby Football Union were due to file for liquidation late this afternoon but New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said the ORFU board had agreed to defer the application by one week to allow more time to work through the details of a possible recovery package.
"The key parties have been talking since Monday and have identified some options that warrant further examination,'' Tew said. ``It makes sense for the union to delay proceedings to allow these parties more time to undertake proper analysis.''
The NZRU, Dunedin City Council, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association have all been working through details of the package. Potential sponsors have also been consulted.
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"Obviously things are at a very delicate stage, so we are not in a position to discuss the shape of any deal. However, we are only considering arrangements that will put the union on a sustainable long term footing. This is complicated and any deal has to be multi-faceted involving input from all of the union's key partners.
"This doesn't change the fact that the financial picture remains very bleak, there are some significant hurdles to be overcome, so the outcome is by no means certain, but all parties are working hard on these proposals.''
The ORFU is fighting to find a way to pay more than $2.3 million in debts, including $400,000 owed to the local council.