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NRL: Expansion back on the cards

Discussion in 'News' started by Jethro, Feb 25, 2014.

By Jethro on Feb 25, 2014 at 1:08 AM
  1. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13
    Expansion is firmly back on the agenda after the NRL announced plans to invest more than $200 million to make rugby league the No.1 code in Australia within four years.

    Bolstered by a $49.4 million[​IMG] profit in his first year in the job, NRL chief executive Dave Smith declared the game was now a big business - and would behave like one - as it searched for new opportunities.

    ''Rugby league is poised for growth in a way that it never has before and we will consider growth, and we will make rugby league even stronger and healthier than it is today,'' Smith told the annual general meeting of the game's stakeholders at Darling Harbour on Monday.

    With four years of the $1.2 billion broadcast deal to run, no new teams are expected to be admitted to the NRL until 2018 but Smith confirmed expansion would be carefully considered at the end of the season and he hinted that franchises may be invited to join a national second-tier competition before then.

    While there are several bid teams already established, including the Central Coast Bears, West Coast Pirates, Papua New Guinea Hunters and private consortiums in Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Wellington, Fairfax Media understands that Smith won't call for applications. Instead, he will commission studies on the benefits of expansion and what areas would offer the most value to the NRL if a team was established there. The NRL may even use some of the $80 million being put aside in a ''sustainability fund'' to help with start up costs.

    ''I am looking at it from top to bottom,'' he said. ''We will look at the premiership and we will look at the competition structures and we will look at what works and what doesn't work and we will look at what creates value and what doesn't create value. This year we will take all of it into consideration and we will think very carefully about what is the right thing to do given where the game is.''

    For anyone in the room when Smith joked after watching footage of his first 12 months as NRL chief that he was ''slightly older now, definitely slightly fatter and I think my skin is probably thicker as well'', there could be no doubt the game now has ambitions that it had never previously been in a position to even contemplate. Broadcast revenue last year was worth $221.3 million and Smith said he wanted the game's other revenue sources to equal that figure by 2018.

    To do so, the NRL is aiming to increase sponsorship income from $20.6 million last year to $36 million in 2017 and gate receipts earnings from $32 million to $62 million over the same period. A target of doubling NRL club members to 400,000 by 2017 would also bring an additional $50 million in.

    ''We've got a good story to tell about rugby league and it is a story we think sits as well in the business section as the sports pages,'' Smith said. ''Many of you have heard before that rugby league is a big enterprise so we need to think big.''

    While Smith stopped short of declaring war on the AFL and other rival codes, he said: ''Wind the clock forward five years and we will be the biggest sporting community in Australia, we will have hopefully gone through the next [broadcast] rights deal and seen a big uptake in the value of our rights and we will have more people playing the game, more fans watching the game and better stadiums.''

    Besides the $80 million sustainability fund, the NRL will put $120 million over the next four years into a ''growth fund'' to invest directly on football and participation, fans and members and the financial sustainability and governance of clubs.

    Smith said $11 million would be spent on bring the NSW and Queensland Cups under the NRL banner to establish a national second-tier competition, with the winners of both competitions to play off on grand final day at ANZ Stadium.

    A salary cap review is also nearing competition and NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle gave a further indication of the innovative way the game was now run when he confirmed a number of radical proposals were under consideration.

    ''We thought, let's engage with all the stakeholders and let's put on the table all the options,'' Doyle said.

    ''We have landed on nine different topics and all of those nine topics are still being discussed, and within them there are either one solution or multiple solutions.''

    In the money: Highlights of the results

    *   Central revenues of $314 million with increases across both broadcast (up 118 per cent) and central operations (up 16 per cent). Led by 25 per cent increase in sponsorship and 14per cent in major game revenue.
    *   A higher yield from major events and sponsorship to give the NRL a better quality income stream.
    *   More than $241m invested in game.
    *   $2.2m investment in new governance measures, including the integrity unit, to deliver a state-of-the-art drug testing regime, policing the rules, and managing the salary cap.
    *   Increase in club funding from $76m to almost $120m (up 57 per cent), ensuring that for the first time club funding is greater than the agreed salary cap.
    *   Increase in funding for state leagues and affiliates to about $17m (up 18 per cent).
    *   More than $22m allocated to support grassroots competitions and Rugby League school based activities.
    *   Stable operating costs achieved despite revenue growth with a 2 per cent increase in administration costs to $15.7m plus an extra $2m in competition, player education and welfare and community costs.

    Source: ARLC

    Brad Walter



Discussion in 'News' started by Jethro, Feb 25, 2014.

    1. Jethro

      Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +2,307 /13
      Expansion is firmly back on the agenda after the NRL announced plans to invest more than $200 million to make rugby league the No.1 code in Australia within four years.

      Bolstered by a $49.4 million profit in his first year in the job, NRL chief executive Dave Smith declared the game was now a big business - and would behave like one - as it searched for new opportunities.

      Read More
    2. The Who

      The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

      +7,258 /173
      Put another six clubs in from Brisbane. Let the Qld clubs plus Melbourne play among themselves and spare us from the Friday Bonco-fest. NSW and Auckland can then have a decent competition, with the NSW-based winner playing the Qld-Victorian winner.
    3. mozgrame

      mozgrame Well-Known Member

      +5,134 /51
      I wonder if that would work? I assume after 7 or 8 years of Qld dominating the end result, many of the NSW fans would consider it a dead concept and say it should be done away with. It could be a way of maintaining all the decent Qld players stay in Qld, however this would dilute the quality of footy in NSW dramatically. LOL
    4. ManlyArmy

      ManlyArmy Well-Known Member

      +997 /26
      I wouldn't mind a WA team. If the NRL want to invest in more supporters, then WA is the way to go. Huge market over there, and with the growing WA economy, plenty of sponsors and corporates come with it.
      • Like Like x 3
      • Daddycool08

        Daddycool08 Well-Known Member

        +372 /4
        I agree with expansion of the NRL.

        I suggest as follows:

        Adjust the Youth League from under 20's over the next few years to under 23's. This would be a staged approach that could effectively be a suitable reserve grade team that could be used to plug holes in the NRL if needed. Also it would allow teams to groom their players for the NRL over a longer time period.

        While doing that get some certainty into the expansion. For example, the expansion should be staged and managed.

        Increase the NRL by two teams in 2017. These I would suggest would be Adelaide and Perth. Thus from 16 teams to 18 teams in a real national competition.

        The stakeholders would now have certainty.

        There is no denying that as the NRL is expanded the level of talent could be eroded as there may need to be a few more players to play in the league at the top level. This could be "funded" by reducing the number of first-tier contracts from 25 to 24.

        That would immediately have another 16 players on the market. Or almost another full squad. I would suggest that these teams would then have three years to develop and buy a squad.

        Then I would suggest another two teams, making the NRL 18 to 20 teams where it should sit for the foreseeable future. This should be done in 2020.

        I would suggest that another Brisbane team, the Central Coast or PNG would fill those remaining positions. Again the positions could be "funded" by reducing the top squad from 24 to 23. Thus 18 players would be on the market for the next phase of the expansion. Further with the 20's expanding to 23's there would be more talent or fringe players just waiting for a chance to impress and further enhance the expansion.

        The problem with expanding 'all-at-once' would considerably erode the talent and put undue pressure on contract payments.

        If the expansion is in one instance, the level of certainty would also be reduced and may be subject to failure. If it is managed in a staged approach it would have a much better chance of succeeding.

        THE NRL should bring a draft paper with the teams that are going to be let into the NRL out now rather than wait until the last minute.
      • Manly To Win!

        Manly To Win! Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +190 /2
        Good, would love to see Central Queensland, Perth and Adelaide in the NRL.
      • God

        God Well-Known Member

        +487 /12
        I'd like to see a team from xmas island, surely with all the money being thrown around up there they could support a franchise.

        I'm thinking the Vikings would be a good name.
        • Like Like x 1
        • Eagle Rock

          Eagle Rock Active Member

          +82 /0
          I think they should get rid of the NSW Cup and just call it Reserve Grade. The NSW Cup do not get the same crowds compare to the Holden Cup leading onto 1st grade. I would love to see all clubs have all their grades from Harold Matts right through play at the one ground for some of the draw as well. It would provide great football enjoyment to fans as well as promoting the Junior aspect for families who are thinking of having their boys play, its good PR for the NRL.
        • Moondog

          Moondog What's up Darth? Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +5,287 /51
          Soon as they ran out on the field they'd piss off through the exits.
          I presume you'd want your young bloke coaching the Christmas Island team (for obvious reasons).
        • eagles2win

          eagles2win Well-Known Member

          +494 /0
          Should do this :
          Name 2 teams to come in 2017 - 2nd Brisbane team and WA

          Then another 2 in 2019 - 2nd NZ team and Adelaide
        • mozgrame

          mozgrame Well-Known Member

          +5,134 /51
          The Bronco's will move Heaven and Earth to block another team ever setting up in Brisbane.
        • Kager

          Kager Member

          +22 /0
          Well they already did with the Crushers..... Adelaide is a team graveyard already, but maybe Perth, another QLD team and Kiwi team creating a bye for 3 teams over represented in Origin
        • Jethro

          Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +2,307 /13
          Does anyone know what sort of interest the NT has on league? It may be another option over SA [​IMG]
        • Jono

          Jono Well-Known Member

          +176 /5
          I say the following:

          2 teams in 2017 ready for the next tv deal: This has to be Brisbane version 2 and Perth. Reasons?

          1. 9th TV time slot
          2. A new LIVE time slot (games in Perth can be live at 930pm on a Firday or Saturday, 630 on a Sunday)
          3. 2nd Brisbane team on Friday to even it out to 6 or 7 Friday games each...maybe less if Perth gets the 2nd timeslot for the night

          Then, 2 teams 5 years later for the next TV deal, 2022: I would choose a 2nd NZ team, like Wellington, and Either Central Queensland or the Central Coast. I hate the Bears but it will mean we don't have to play at that ****hole anymore.

          I'd have Perth, Wellington and CC join NSW Cup, and the 2nd Brisbane team joins QLD Cup. Once they are started in 2017 they can use a current team as their feeder club, and Wyong and North Sydney can be the Bears feeder

          In saying all of this, I would have the Expansion teams decided on by half way through 2015 and 2020. This then allows them to have teams in the NSW/QLD Cups for 2016, setting up the basis for them to then have a backing for the superstars they sign for the 2017 season.
          • Like Like x 1
          • mozgrame

            mozgrame Well-Known Member

            +5,134 /51
            PNG have a team in the Q-cup this year. A CQ side would simply incorporate the CQ Capra's as their feeder club. Both would have large areas of talent to draw from (granted - no club can exist with local talent alone, and these 2 areas would have to be successful right off the bat to attract existing stars).

            Corporate sponsorship for both these potential new sides would be huge and ongoing due to there being no immediate competition for sponsorship dollars.

            I wonder if the fact that CQ has a Q-cup team already, and PNG has one this year will give them any preference over Perth?

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