Excesses Lead to Demise of Austin Gilgronis? 

When is $371M not enough own a Major League Rugby (MLR) club? 

When you mis-manage your company, over-spend on lavish real estate, and get disqualified  for over-paying your players. 

Adam Gilchrist is locally known as the owner of MLR’s Austin Gilgronis.  Gilchrist acquired the Austin Elite and rebranded it in 2020, bringing a new cachet to the local sports scene.  Gilchrist also owns MLR’s LA Giltinis. 

The 2022 MLR season was exceptionally successful for the Western Conference leading Gilgronis.  The feeling of success began to deflated when it became known that players, coaches, and vendors were not receiving payment.  Only the venue, Bold Stadium at the Circuit of the Americas, had received payment.  

Adding to the discomfort, MLR disqualified the Austin and LA clubs from the potentially lucrative post-season play.  Sources said the expulsions were for breaches of the salary cap rules.  MLR  issued a brief statement, saying that due to a violation of league rules, the clubs had been disqualified from the 2022 Major League Rugby competition. 

The future of both clubs is doubtful.  Only one Austin Gilgronis player continues to live in the area, with the balance returning or Australia or taking roles with other teams.  Several members of the Austin front office have already posted finding jobs outside of rugby. 

Gilchrist’s funded his rugby passion with his success as the CEO of F45 Training.  

Gilchrist made a splash in the fitness business with the opening of his first F45 Training studio in 2013.  He skillfully expanded that one studio into a 2019 IPO that netted him $371 million.  Along the way he recruited investors, brand ambassadors and partners that included Mark Wahlberg, Cindy Crawford, Magic Johnson, and David Beckham.  The company had about 1,900 studios across 69 countries as of March 2022. 

Gilchrist again is making big slashes as he desperately tries to keep his financial head above water.  On Tuesday it was announced that Gilchrist has stepped down as CEO, and 110 employees are expected to lose their jobs.  As of August 3, 2022, its shares have fallen from $16 at its IPO to $1.75.  

Gilchrist’s also fueled a penchant for high price real estate with his success at F45 Training. 

In late 2017 Gilchrist bought a Californian bungalow at Freshwater overlooking the beach for $5.4 million, sight unseen, paying $1.3 million over the asking price.  Two years later he purchased the adjacent property for $14 million with plans to demolish the home to make way for a pool. 

Gilchrist put the Freshwater properties up for auction a week after the F45 Training share price plummeted.

Gilchrist continued to attract attention with the 2019 purchase of the Wategos Beach holiday home of contemporary art collector Danny Goldberg for $18.85 million. 

Gilchrist’s interests include a variety of beachfront properties totaling more than $16 million,  including a block of four beachfront apartments for a total of $8.17 million.

August 3, 2022

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