Cash no obstacle for NRL bid


Cash is no obstacle for Ipswich’s NRL bid team its consultant Brian Canavan says, despite their group not having a rich tycoon supporting them like the other bid teams.

Mr Canavan said the community- based model he was formulating would see sponsors, both national and regional, funding the bid, plus financial backing from Ipswich City Council, politicians and the public.

He said it was vastly different to the other private ownership-based expansion models being championed to NRL chief executive David Gallop.

Brisbane’s new NRL bid is backed by corporate magnate Craig Davison, while Central Queensland’s bid is helmed by construction tycoon Geoff Murphy.

Canavan said it would cost at least $20 million to establish an NRL club.

He said their model would be able to raise the money required.

“We do not need private funding.

“Our plan does not need giant investment into infrastructure like the other bids,” Canavan said.

“We will be a community-based club open to the public, and the public will share in our facilities.”

“For instance the centre of excellence we want to build in Springfield will be completely open to the public to use like any other gym or training centre.

“That’s how we will afford it, by making it public and have sponsors’ advertisements throughout etc.”

Ipswich NRL bid leader Steven Johnson said once people saw the business plan there would be no doubt as to funding the proposal.

“We have a very sound model that we have put together to show the NRL that we are going to be a club with equity,” Johnson said.

“The thing we’ve got that the other bids haven’t got is (Ipswich Mayor) Paul Pisasale and the Ipswich City Council and what their supporters can do for us.”

“If you talk about monetary power bases, then the alliances that we have there are much stronger than the other power bases that are around.”

The QT understands that the demands of Channel Nine will ensure either Brisbane or Ipswich are granted an NRL licence for 2013.

Channel Nine wants to see a game at Suncorp Stadium each round to maximise ratings on Friday nights.

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