Wake up Antony! Balmain Tigers chairman denounces Blue Wiggle’s ambitions to buy Wests Tigers and re-split the merged club as ‘fantastic and unrealistic’
- Balmain Tigers chairman Dr. Leslie Glen didn’t mince words
- Rejected talk ‘Blue Wiggle’ Anthony Field to buy Wests Tigers
- Field said this week he wants to see the NRL joint venture split
- I would like to see the Balmain Tigers as an NRL club in its own right
- Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers merged in 2000
Dr. Balmain Tigers chairman Leslie Glen has dismissed speculation that ‘Blue Wiggle’ Anthony Field will buy the Wests Tigers’ NRL license and split the joint venture back into two separate clubs.
Field, 60, shocked the footy world earlier this week when the lifelong Balmain fan said he would love to buy the merger club one day and return Balmain permanently to their spiritual home at Leichhardt Oval.
In a scathing statement, Dr. Glen labeled Field’s lofty plan as “fantastic and unrealistic.”
“Balmain Tigers Rugby League would like to reaffirm its steadfast support for Wests Tigers and the majority shareholder of the club, Wests Magpies Pty Limited,” the statement read.
Balmain Tigers Rugby League remains 100 per cent committed to its investment in Wests Tigers and to the future of the joint venture club.
“Recent comments from child artist and longtime fan Anthony Field are fanciful and unrealistic and the Balmain Tigers will not be commenting further.”
Dr. Balmain Tigers chairman Leslie Glen has dismissed the ‘Blue Wiggle’ speculation. Anthony Field is keen to buy the Wests Tigers’ NRL license and split the joint venture back into two separate clubs
Western Suburbs Magpies and the Balmain Tigers merged to form the Wests Tigers ahead of the 2000 NRL season (pictured left, current winger David Nofoaluma)
Field also wants to see Balmain return to their spiritual home at Leichhardt Oval as an NRL club in its own right.
He later admitted on the Today Show that the “business venture” was unlikely to ever get off the ground.
“It’s a total dream, I was having lunch with Benny (Elias), with Blocker (Steve Roach) and with Sirro (Paul Sironen) and the vibe was flowing and it just became a question, ‘What would you do if you won ? the lottery?’” Field explained.
“I said, ‘I’d bring the Balmain Tigers back.’
‘That’s where it came from. It’s great fun. If I win the Italian lottery, and I feel I have a chance, I will buy the Tigers and let them go their own way (and also) bring back Balmain Leagues.”
Before merging with Western Suburbs Magpies to create the Wests Tigers in the NRL, Balmain was one of the most successful clubs in the league.
They were a foundation club in 1908 and won 11 premierships before merging in 2000.
Musical supergroup The Wiggles (with Field, pictured right) is worth more than $50 million after forming in 1991
Anthony Field, his son, friends and family and Wiggles members can often be seen together in NRL games
Field, who lives in the area, during a recent game at Leichhardt Oval in a traditional Balmain jersey with his son (center)
Anthony Field (second from left) and Purple Wiggle John Pearce (second from right) met Tigers legends Robbie Farah (left) and Benji Marshall (right) after a game recently
Field, 60, is not short on cash and could easily follow the lead of private NRL club owners like Russell Crowe (Rabbitohs) and Scott Penn (Sea Eagles) if given the go-ahead.
A majority owner of the Wiggles, an amazing money spinner around the world, it is estimated to have a net worth of $20 million with the group itself being worth more than $50 million.
The bubbly Wiggles superstar is married to long-term partner Michaela Patisteas, and the couple share three children – who can often be seen by his side in Tigers Guernseys at football matches.
Fittingly, it was a match at the “eighth wonder of the world” when Field realized he had found the love of his life.
“And I remember taking my current wife (Michaela) to a game, she was from Victoria and had no concept of competition, one time at Leichhardt Oval,” he said.
“We watched the Tigers get completely demolished and she had a few drinks and fell backwards off one of the couches and I thought, ‘This is the girl I’m going to marry.’