Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Brisbane Deserves Big Second Helping of NRL

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Brisbane Deserves Big Second Helping of NRL

Article excerpt

MONDAY BUZZ

PHIL ROTHFIELD

SOMETIMES I wish one of the nine Sydney-based NRL clubs would go broke.

Just one club and no one in particular.

It is the only way to get a second Brisbane team into the competition and that's what the game needs right now more than anything else.

If we're ever going to lift the average crowd from 15,000 to 20,000 in line with the strategic plan, having football at Suncorp every week instead of once a fortnight is the way to go.

Plus it would make the television rights more valuable because the networks desperately want strong ratings north of the border which is why the Broncos always get prime-time coverage.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is already on record as saying that the game's administration will no longer be in a position to bail out clubs that can't manage their own finances.

With each of the 16 clubs getting $13 million grants from 2018, it leaves nothing in the NRL coffers to bail out anyone that goes broke.

Like the Wests Tigers who had to take out a $5.4million loan from former CEO Dave Smith (since paid back by Wests Ashfield) to save the joint venture.

Or St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust who had to borrow - and still owes - $6.5million from Smith despite having the best and most famous brand in the competition.

The Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans also have needed millions of dollars to stay afloat.

Once they are sold that's it. Once Doust pays the money back, it's all over.

Surely we all must agree that

a second Brisbane side to end

the Broncos monopoly of

having a major capital city to themselves is the way to go.

And no one wants to watch them every Friday night and have the advantage of seven-day turnarounds.

Put a second team in the comp and Brisbane families will finally get a chance to watch one local team on a sunny Sunday afternoon, while the other Brisbane team plays on Thursday or Friday night.

Make Mal Meninga the figurehead, like a Gus Gould at Penrith.

This would also strengthen Sydney teams which are monopolising the wooden spoon every year because it is impossible under the current lopsided system for them all to be strong at the same time. …

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