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Dream for CQ NRL team not over

IS THE DREAM OVER? CQ NRL Bid Team chairman Geoff Murphy (right) says the push for a CQ team is not over despite NRL shelving NRL plans. Mr Murphy is pictured with Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper with at last month's Callide Dawson launch.
IS THE DREAM OVER? CQ NRL Bid Team chairman Geoff Murphy (right) says the push for a CQ team is not over despite NRL shelving NRL plans. Mr Murphy is pictured with Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper with at last month's Callide Dawson launch.

GEOFF Murphy is not giving up on a Central Queensland team in the National Rugby League (NRL), despite the NRL putting expansion plans on hold.

NRL chief executive David Gallop revealed any plans to introduce teams in new areas were on hold after being advised it was unlikely to receive an increase in television revenue.

''We've done some research during 2009 about expansion and whether we should be expanding to maximise television revenue,'' Gallop was reported as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald late last week.

''The answer that has come back thus far is that the best thing we can do to maximise television revenue is to have an exciting competition, a competition where there are no easy games, where people are genuinely backing their team every week because they think they are a chance of winning.

“Adding teams won't necessarily do that for us,” Gallop, who made the comments at a forum with club members in Sydney last week, said.

Gallop said the issue would be reviewed in 2011 - a year before the NRL's television deals expire.

John Brady, NRL’s director of media and communications, told Central Telegraph the game’s current revenue streams would not support another team but expected new revenue streams available in 2011 as part of the new TV deal.

"You’ve got be in a position to invest and the next time we are, is 2011," Brady said.

Brady said the 2013 date for a new side was not an NRL starting point but a date pushed by others.

Mr Murphy, Chairman of the CQ NRL Bid Team, said the comments would not derail the push for a CQ team.

“We’re continuing to have discussions with the NRL at the highest level,” Mr Murphy told Central Telegraph.

“We remain confident that we can add to the NRL competition as early as 2013 and at the same time, increase the NRL’s capacity to attract more revenue from its broadcasting partners.

“Our CEO [Denis Keeffe] starts work in the New Year and we’ll then be directing our energies towards a submission that will make for compelling reading,” Mr Murphy said.

In October, Mr Keeffe the CEO of the North Queensland Cowboys from 2001 to 2005, was named as the man to steer the CQ NRL Bid into its next chapter.

Mr Keeffe, who lives in Cairns, is currently chief executive officer for leading Queensland Cup side Northern Pride and previously served as CEO of NBL team, Cairns Taipans.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, he was the foundation and long-serving general manager of North Queensland’s first-ever NBL side, the Townsville Crocodiles (formerly Suns).

The Bid held a Callide and Dawson regional launch late last month.


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