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Brumbies chief hangs on but board could be dissolved

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The embattled chief executive of Canberra’s rugby union franchise ACT Brumbies, Michael Jones, will keep his job for now after the Super Rugby club’s board lost a legal challenge.

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ACT Supreme Court Justice Richard Refshauge today upheld a temporary injunction that, under whistleblower protection laws, allowed Jones to continue in his role after being stood down by the board last month.

It followed a scathing radio interview on ABC Grandstand in which he referred to a report around the franchise’s sale of its Griffith headquarters.

Federal police are still investigating documents related to the sale, which happened during the tenure of now-Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan. There has been no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Fagan or any other individual.

Refshauge also reinstated an order that allows the Brumbies to dismiss Jones with five days’ written notice.

The judgment came just hours before a scheduled extraordinary general meeting, with a move to dissolve the board and elect a new one on the agenda.

Jones said the decision was just the first step in his vindication.

“I’m now going back to work and continue my job,” he told reporters outside court.

“Right through this I’ve had the complete support of all the employees and players. We’re trying to focus on the job of running a rugby club.

“The speculation has no doubt been a bit harrowing and a massive distraction.

“It’s not over, there’s still a long way to go, but today is the first step.”

The KPMG report, to which Jones referred in his radio interview and is the subject of a police investigation, remains suppressed.

“From my perspective, as soon as everything comes out it’ll be a lot clearer to what’s happened,” Jones said.

-AAP

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