Blue Wiggle Anthony Field's amusing Balmain NRL plan
With a net worth of roughly $20 million, original Wiggles member Anthony Field want to make a splash in the NRL.
Anthony Field, one of the original members of the Wiggles, has clarified that he is only joking about his intent to potentially bring return the Balmain Tigers to the NRL after doing two seperate interviews on the subject. In conversations with both the Daily Telegraph and Ben Fordham on 3AW, Field discussed his lifelong love of Balmain, joking that should The Wiggles ever be sold, it would be something to consider doing.
The Wiggles as a group are believed to be worth roughly $50 million - but Field says the key to him actually proceeding with his dream is a win in 'the Italian lotto' - later revealing the whole idea began as a joke among his friends. Field's stake in the popular children's group is believed to be roughly $20 million.
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In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, which was followed by an interview with Fordham on 3AW, Field described buying into the Balmain Tigers as a personal 'fairytale'. Much would have to happen for that to actually come to pass, but Field says he believes there is an appetite among supporters of the merged club to explore different options.
The Wests Tigers' NRL license has been split between the two clubs, with Wests Magpies accounting for the vast majority of that at 90%, with Balmain picking up the remaining 10%. Despite being an unabashed fan of Balmain, Field said he would 'respectfully' approach the Magpies and ask them whether or not they'd prefer to go their own way, with the Tigers returning to Balmain.
"All my money now is invested in the Wiggles, and it would be a fairytale, but one day the Wiggles may sell somewhere. If I had that sort of money, yeah, I’d do it, absolutely," Field told the Daily Telegraph.
“If the Wiggles were sold one day for a ridiculous amount of money, I would definitely do it. I feel like I’m opening up a can of worms here but you can’t sweep tradition under the carpet.”
However on Thursday, Field took to Instagram to clarify that his desire to bring back the Balmain Tigers was merely an elaborate joke, saying that his first priority remained The Wiggles and their future.
I mentioned to some friends recently, that if I ever won the Italian lottery, it’d be a dream to one day bring the Balmain Tigers back," he wrote. "Obviously I’m devoted to The Wiggles and really loving the new era of the group, and will be wiggling for another 30 years. The Wiggles is still my #1 team! So I’ll be relying on that lotto win!"
Field later told Fordham that the majority of his money remained tied to the Wiggles - but the 'ridiculous' windfall any sale of the group would represent made investing in rugby league too enticing a prospect to ignore. The Magpies and Tigers merged in 2000 to form the Wests Tigers.
Anthony Field needs 'lotto win' for amusing Balmain NRL push
He also told Fordham that despite the supporter base being united behind Wests Tigers, he said the clear divide between fans of the two foundational clubs remained. A goal would be restoring the rival clubs to their former status as 'best of frenemies'.
“You go out to Campbelltown Ground, and they’re all wearing Western Suburbs jerseys,” he said. “You got to Leichhardt and everyone’s wearing Balmain jerseys. I just want to address the tiger in the room.”
Field's hypothetical plan got a seal of approval from Balmain Tigers legend Ben Elias, while the blue Wiggle also vowed to make a major change to the jumpers they would wear should be be in charge one day. He said he'd keep the jumper as free of sponsors as possible, vowing they would be 'pure' kits.
He also hopes to bring back the Balmain Leagues Club, openly admitting he 'lives in the past' and showing a fondness for what he called the 'run down' Leichardt ground. “I’m all for the Wests Tigers but, seriously, the community at Leichhardt is all Balmain and if you go to Campbelltown, all the hard-core people are in Wests jumpers and that’s great," he told the Daily Telegraph.
“Leichhardt is still the greatest ground. Part of the charm is it’s run down and it’s exactly like it was (in the past). When I go there, you could be back in the 1990s when ‘Junior’ (Wayne Pearce) was running around. Leichhardt actually means something, like Lidcombe Oval.”
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