Storm’s $55m bid to buy Broncos
The owners of Melbourne Storm are interested in buying the Brisbane Broncos in an extraordinary twist to the Craig Bellamy contract saga.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Melbourne owners Matt Tripp, Bart Campbell and Gerry Ryan have had private discussions about a possible ownership bid for Queensland's flagship club.
Their combined wealth is close to $1 billion.
It has been estimated the Broncos would be worth about the $55 million mark in a potential sale.
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Tripp refused to comment when approached by The Sunday Telegraph last week.
The Storm owners have given no indication of their motives behind the bid.
The Broncos made a $2.3 million profit last year but have been badly affected by COVID and the team's performances to finish with their first wooden spoon this year.
The most interesting aspect is that Storm and Broncos officials have been at war in recent months over super coach Bellamy.
Bellamy is under contract until the end of next season in the southern capital but the Broncos have put in a huge offer for him to become director of coaching over Kevin Walters in Brisbane.
The Brisbane Broncos have also pinched Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy.
News Corp, publisher of The Sunday Telegraph and this website, has had no previous plans to offload the club, and Lachlan Murdoch, the co-chairman of the company, remains a passionate Broncos fan.
"News Corp is not open to a sale or any merger of its stake in the Broncos," sources at the top of the company said.
"We are looking forward to seeing the team rebuild and competing aggressively next season."
The club is owned 69 per cent by News Corp, 22 per cent by businessman Phil Murphy and nine per cent by other shareholders.
There are no rules in place to stop one owner from having two NRL clubs, as News Corp once had with the Storm and the Broncos.