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Hollywood actor Russell Crowe has revealed the driving force behind his decision to sell his stake in the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team.
Speaking to News Ltd, Crowe who recently divorced from his wife of nine years feels he needs to 'simplify' his life in order to save his family.
"My family situation has changed," Crowe said.
"I have to address personally how busy I have made my life outside of my actual job.
"It doesn't change anything at the club level. I will always be a South Sydney supporter and member, as I have been, man and boy, South Sydney 'til I die.
"If I have any chance of keeping my family together, I have to simplify my life where I can."
Crowe told the Rabbitohs weeks ago that he was keen to sell his half of the 75 per cent stake in the club that was purchased in 2006 with business partner Peter Holmes a Court.
Holmes a Court praised Crowe for the many unseen 'great things' the oscar-winning actor had brought to the club.
Russell has today announced that this will be his last season as an owner of the Rabbitohs," Holmes a Court said.
"There are so many great things that he has done over the last six seasons that will never be seen."
"One thing that will always stay with the club is his pursuit of excellence in everything we do, a drive that has to be seen to be believed."
"This passion and focus is now in the club's DNA and it won't ever leave. All praise for him: for his investment, his passion, his time and his love of the Rabbitohs. I consider myself fortunate to have been by his side for some of the ride."
The Rabbitohs confirmed at a press conference today that Crowe is selling his stake in the club, but that South Sydney itself is not for sale.
Rabbitohs chairman Nicholas Pappas and chief executive Shane Richardson have applauded Crowe's contribution to the club, and say the Academy Award-winning actor is leaving for family and work-related reasons.
"The first thing is that people's personal lives change," Pappas said.
"There's a personal equation here. He has a young family. Obviously his commitments with work has been excessive over the last 18 months.
"He got involved to set [the club] up going forward. I believe that he feels never before has it been in a better position for him to be able to make that decision.
"It's a personal decision. It's a personal decision from him ... and I think that we've got to respect that."
Pappas said Holmes a Court is yet to indicate whether he will keep a stake in the club.Russell Crowe himself has sought to ease concerns of South Sydney fans taking to Twitter to declare: "South Sydney FC in a great place. Money in the bank, long term contracts with star players, excellent coach. Don't listen to panic merchants."
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