Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Optimism for CQ's NRL Bid

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Optimism for CQ's NRL Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith Leighton.Smith@capnews.com.au

CQ's NRL bid

Duration: 10 years

Cost: $3.5 million

Possible entry: In 2022

Hopes: Sky high

DESPITE the challenges and setbacks, Geoff Murphy remains determined to secure CQ their own NRL team.

A respected local businessman and chairman of the CQ NRL bid, Mr Murphy has been part of the furniture in CQ since 1961.

Since he launched CQ's bid to join NRL over 10 years ago, he has ploughed $3.5 million of his own money and countless hours of his time trying to get the bid over the try line.

With the current chairman ARL commissioner John Grant due to step down from the role next month, the man touted to be his replacement, Peter Beattie, has left the door open for a possible NRL expansion beyond the current 16 teams.

Mr Murphy has a revived sense of confidence about CQ's bid after the former Queensland premier made clear that the competition could grow, most likely in 2022, to coincide with the new broadcast deal.

"Expansion has to be on the table. The game can't be complacent. We have to grow. If we stagnate, we die. And that is why I want to see it back on the table. It's time," Mr Beattie said.

"We need to be strategic about it and think long term.

"There is so much other entertainment and other sports people are interested in. We can't sit on our bums. The quality of the game is great but we've got to ensure it has a future.

"That's why expansion is so important."

By the time the next TV deal comes around at 2022, Mr Beattie said the NRL would need to have a product that represented an attractive package for the networks.

"Are we going to have another Queensland team? Or is it Papua New Guinea? Is it Perth or country New South Wales?" he said.

"The new State cups will provide an opportunity for everyone to demonstrate they deserve a place in the NRL. Not just through their on-field performance but the way they run their club and their business. …

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