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Ousted Brumbies CEO wins injunction

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Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones has won a temporary injunction against the Super Rugby franchise who stood him down just days after he controversially criticised decisions taken under the previous administration of now-Crows CEO Andrew Fagan.

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Jones was removed from his position by the board following a weekend radio interview in which he was critical of the club’s finances. He threatened to “go to war” against his critics, and questioned the wisdom of selling off the club’s Griffith headquarters and committing the proceeds “into pre-paid rent for 30 years” at “a new facility that they don’t own any equity in and that there’s no recourse to actually ever get any of that money back”.

The club did not detail the specific reason for his termination.

Fagan, who joined the Crows ahead of last season, has refused to buy into the controversy.

But Jones lodged paperwork at the ACT Supreme Court and was successful in seeking an injunction against the standing down late yesterday, according to the ABC.

Jones and the Brumbies are set to return to court next Tuesday.

Jones said outside court he was “happy that I’m going back to work”, reported Fairfax Media.

The action against Jones followed a surprise visit to Canberra by Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver on Monday, with Brumbies chairman Rob Kennedy informing the CEO of his decision hours later.

“It was with great regret that I informed Michael of the board’s decision,” Kennedy said in a statement on Monday night.

“However, I believe this decision is in the best long term interest of the Brumbies.”

Jones earned the ire of Brumbies board members on Saturday, when he told ABC Grandstand he was concerned about the future of the club.

The Brumbies are currently under investigation by ACT Police, after Jones called on them to investigate a deal signed by previous management with the University of Canberra.

“If the Brumbies cease to be an entity, which is one of the very foreseeable outcomes… the ARU will be in default of the SANZAAR agreement, because they are required to field five teams every week,” Jones said on Saturday.

“And if this organisation folds and goes into administration the ARU is in default.

“They are big stakes games that a lot of these guys are playing, and its fairly irresponsible of most of them to do it.”

The Brumbies took a reported $1.68 million loss in 2015, and Jones told ABC they have made a profit just once in the past 11 years.

However, an ARU spokesman told News Corp Australia that the organisation would step in to save the club if required.

-AAP

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