Super 14
Western Force clarify Giteau reports
October 30, 2008
Matt Giteau talks with the media during the Australian Wallabies press conference, Randwick Rugby Club, July 29, 2008
Matt Giteau is reported to be locked in a battle to leave Perth © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Matt Giteau
Teams: Force

The Western Australia rugby union (RugbyWA) has sought to clarify media reports that the union had come to an arrangement to help Matt Giteau after his recent financial losses on the condition that he extended his contract with the Western Force until 2011.

In a statement RugbyWA said that an article in the West Australian newspaper implied that RugbyWA had "facilitated a compromise arrangement" for Giteau to offset his financial loss due to the demise of his personal sponsor Firepower if he signed with the Super 14 franchise for a further two years.

"While RugbyWA has facilitated, with the permission of the Australian Rugby Union, an arrangement with a company to offset Matt's losses for 2008 and 2009, it has not been party to any offers made for the 2010 and 2011 seasons," the statement said.

RugbyWA added that it wanted to make clear a point in the article that the star utility back felt that the franchise "had an obligation to make good on the promises which lured him to Perth". "RugbyWA wishes to clarify that it has honoured all contractual commitments to Matt and is not responsible for arrangements made between a player and a personal sponsor separate to his contract with the club."

Giteau has been hit by the collapse of his personal sponsor Firepower, the failed fuel technology company, which owes him just over $1million in cash and shares and there have been reports that he wants to cut his ties with the Perth team for some time.

RugbyWA CEO Greg Harris said Giteau would remain a key player for the Western Force in 2009.

"Matt is an extremely valuable member of our team who is adored by the supporters and we'd like to think he'll honour his commitments with the Emirates Western Force in 2009," Harris said. "At this stage we have no indication that Matt wishes to be released from his contract and we are approaching things as business as usual," he said.

"Obviously Matt is one of finest players in the country and an integral member of our rgaonisation and we'd love to keep him here in Perth well beyond next season."

© Scrum

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