Melbourne's chances of securing the 15th place in Sanzar's Super rugby competition seems to be in trouble with the Australian Rugby Union taking over the fight.
The VicSuper15 consortium, including mining magnate Kevin Maloney, have decided to pull out because of dissatisfaction with the way the Australian Rugby Union handled the bid process.
According to a report in the Australian Newspaper, the VicSuper15 directors will not invest in the new private ownership model to be created by the ARU for the team.
The governing body appears to have taken over the bid but an ARU spokesman dismissed a report the franchise would be headed by senior officials Matt Carroll and David Nucifora, as chief executive and coach respectively.
The Victorian bid will compete with South Africa's Southern Kings, from the Eastern Cape region, for the spot in the news extended SANZAR competition.
A decision is expected from the governing body on October 21.
The successful team will play out of a five-team Australian conference, giving Melbourne the inside running due to financial and logistical reasons.