ARU face insolvency by 2019 if Western Force were to remain in Super Rugby

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Force appeal dismissal not the end (5:11)

Greg Growden believes the Western Force with Twiggy Forrest's money behind them will not give up their fight with the ARU over their Super Rugby axing. (5:11)

The Australian Rugby Union claim they would have become insolvent by late 2019 if they tried to retain all five Australian Super Rugby franchises.

On Tuesday, the ARU finally released the data they used to make their decision to axe the Force.

The data states that as a best-case scenario, the ARU would have been faced with a $13 million black hole by the end of 2020.

A worst-case scenario would have seen them in a $26 million financial hole.

The axing of the Force will save the ARU $18 million over the period from 2018-2020.

The ARU said at the time of the board's decision to axe the Force on August 11, the reported balance of the 'Own the Force' campaign was only $1.8 million, and the franchise's annual $1.5 million sponsorship deal with the WA Road Safety Commission wasn't guaranteed beyond 2017.

Under financial forecasts, the Rebels came out on top of the Force in deciding which team to keep.

In a best-case scenario, keeping the Force and axing the Rebels would have seen the ARU tip over the edge of insolvency by 2020.

At worst, the ARU would be insolvent with a cash balance of minus $6 million by 2020.

The best-case scenario of keeping the Rebels and axing the Force would leave the ARU with a cash balance of $4 million by the end of 2020.

That was based on the realisation of a Victorian Government commitment to the VRU and ARU through to 2025.

A worst-case scenario, in which that deal falls through, will see the ARU in a $2 million hole.

That data played a key role in the ARU deciding to axe the Force ahead of the Rebels.

However, these figures were calculated before billionaire Andrew Forrest offered the ARU a package worth around $50 million.

ARU chairman Cameron Clyne admitted that if that offer came earlier, things could have been far different.

The document released by the ARU on Tuesday also revealed that once the Melbourne Rebels ownership was transferred by Andrew Cox to the Victorian Rugby Union on August 4, the franchise could no longer be legally cut.

It left the Force as the only team the ARU could legally cut.

The ARU say other factors that went into making the decision included team performance, quality of the franchise's rugby program, commercial factors like stadium commitments and government support, rugby market size, and status of economy.

From this data, the Brumbies were eliminated from the process based on superior on-field and financial performance metrics.

The ARU also rejected the idea of a merger because historically, the most successful mergers occur where sports entities have involved teams that are geographically linked.