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Piggins' fears realised in Crowe exit
By James MacSmith
19:59 AEST Sun Nov 18 2012

George Piggins says his worst fears about private ownership of South Sydney could be realised with Russell Crowe reportedly keen to sell his share of the NRL club.

The Nine Network reported on Sunday that Crowe wanted out of the club at the end of the 2013 season after a difficult year both professionally and personally.

Piggins was a fierce opponent of Crowe's and businessman Peter Holmes a Court's successful takeover bid in 2006 and has been an outspoken critic ever since.

The former club patriarch said he was not surprised at the uncertain predicament Souths now found themselves in.

"Before the vote I went and visited Russell and he said if he won the vote it was his club to do whatever he wanted to do with and that has proven to be the case," Piggins told AAP on Sunday.

"I think the fans must be very concerned about where the club goes now, and those who voted for the takeover must be very concerned too.

"This is exactly what worried me most about the whole thing ... the fans will be feeling cheated."

Amid much fanfare Crowe and Holmes a Court gained ownership of the struggling club after 75 per cent of Leagues Club members voted in favour of their $3 million takeover bid.

South Sydney have called a press conference for Monday morning when club officials are expected to address the issue.

But where exactly Souths go from here if Crowe wants out is the big question.

Crowe and Holmes a Court have publicly fallen out since buying into the club and Holmes a Court, who once enjoyed a very hands-on role, is far removed from the day-to-day goings on at Redfern.

It is unknown if Holmes a Court would continue as an owner or follow Crowe out, with the club forced to begin a search for a new owner.

Given the struggles of the Rabbitohs' leagues club and the unwillingness of the cash-rich South Juniors to give money to the senior football club, the continuity of a private ownership model seems the most likely possibility.

But just who would be interested in the club, which has drained millions from Crowe and Holmes a Court, is a big question despite the club's resurgent on-field success.

Piggins resisted the opportunity to claim `I told you so', instead wondering what was the next step for the famous club.

"There's no fun in being right," he said.

"You have to ask where do Souths go from here?

"Where will the money come from considering the struggles leagues clubs are having these days? Will the club still be based in Sydney or might they have to move it somewhere like Perth?

"This brings so much uncertainty, and it was always what troubled me about it.

"But I can't see anyway they can go back to the old model. They will have to find another billionaire who wants to take over and I'm not sure there are too many of them out there."

A member of Souths' last premiership-winning side in 1971, Piggins hasn't attended a Rabbitohs game since the takeover.

He wouldn't be drawn on whether any possible exit of Crowe and Holmes a Court would open the door for his return to Redfern, insisting that at 70-years-old he would leave the running of the club to others and would continue to watch matches on television.