A key member of Brad Fittler’s NSW State of Origin team for the second game is waiting to collect more than $13,000 from a bankrupt sportswear company.
A key member of Brad Fittler’s NSW State of Origin team for the second game is waiting to collect more than $13,000 from a bankrupt sportswear company.

The NSW Origin star owed thousands by bankrupt company

The ARL has emerged as the second-largest creditor of bankrupt football boot and clothing maker XBlades; and NSW Origin star Tyson Frizell is in the top 25.

The manufacturer, whose shareholders include three-time AFL premiership winner Jimmy Bartel, owes about $12 million, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The Australian Rugby League Commission, which is the sport's governing body, is due $429,000.

This is understood to be royalty payments for jersey sales.

Blues back-rower Frizell, who has worn XBlades gear for several seasons, is owed $13,500.

His manager, Michael Lowe, said: "They were quite late with most of their payments but they were really good to work with, ­relationship-wise."

Frizell's former club, St George Illawarra, is the fifth-largest creditor with $192,500 outstanding, according to a recent report by XBlades' administrator.

The NSW Waratahs rugby union operation is due $131,000 and the AFL $87,000.

In all, 82 unsecured creditors are owed $2.65 million. The largest is a little known supplier, Jes Trading.

The report also shows that some of XBlades' creditors actually owe the company smaller sums - the Cronulla club owes $191,000, but is due $260,000.

XBlades also has $7.4 million in loans to its directors and shareholders, although it's unclear who is owed what.

XBlades' directors are US-born retail investor Mike Green, now of Melbourne, and well-known ragtrader David Gazal, of Sydney.

Mr Gazal and his wife, Jackie, have an 11 per cent stake in XBlades, while Mr Green has twice that.

Mr Bartel, who was involved in running XBlades for a period, has a shareholding of 7.5 per cent. He reportedly designed the model worn by Frizell.

Former CEO Leighton Richards has a 22 per cent stake while the founding Spyros family owns 25 per cent through several companies. Bill Spyros was a director until July this year.

He and the company's other shareholders, along with its directors and former executives ­either declined to comment or did not respond. Neither did the Sharks nor Jes Trading.

Administrators Worrells dec­lined to answer questions. It is known to be looking to sell the business, which continues to trade. In September, XBlades pulled out of the final two years of a three-year deal with NSW Rugby "due to the impacts of COVID-19".

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Originally published as The NSW Origin star owed thousands by bankrupt company


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