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Elite clubs caught up in BLK receivership

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Scott Bailey

Merchandising and playing apparel for more than 10 Australian professional sporting outfits could be thrown into chaos with sportswear company BLK being placed into receivership.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on Wednesday published that the Gold Coast-based organisation's parent company, World Rugby Specialists, had been placed under external administration.

BLK, which evolved out of apparel company KooGa in 2011, is the provider of gear for six AFL clubs, including Richmond, Adelaide, GWS, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

They had also recently signed a deal with St Kilda to be the club's apparel partner for 2017, while premiers the Western Bulldogs have just moved away from the organisation.

"Our commercial/licensing departments are in the process of gathering as much information as they can from the receivers to understand the implications for those clubs in the competition that have a relationship with the company for 2017," an AFL spokesperson said.

However the company's woes go well beyond just the AFL.

Their website lists them as the apparel supplier for the Melbourne Rebels, Queensland Reds and Western Force in Super Rugby, as well as the Newcastle Jets in the A-League and the Australian Diamonds and a number of National Netball League clubs.

They are also the uniform supplier for the New Zealand and England rugby league team, and provide jerseys and other gear for the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL.

"We have very little information regarding the impact at this stage," Titans CEO Graham Annesley said.

"But we are working closely with the NRL, through its licensing department, to protect the clubs interests and ensure our preparations for the 2017 season are not impacted."

They also partner with Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Queensland to supply the state's domestic cricket wear and merchandise, as well as a number of local clubs.

While it's understood winter sporting codes are likely to be unaffected in the short-term with the arrival of training and playing gear, the issue could be more problematic in terms of 2017 merchandising apparel.

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