Central Coast hopes for NRL miracle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Central Coast hopes for NRL miracle

By Steve Jancetic 25/05/2005 08:22:16 PM Comments (0)

Central Coast bid chairman Russell Tate admitted it would be a miracle if his consortium was granted the new licence for the 16th NRL franchise in 2007.

The NRL partnership committee will meet on Friday to discuss a range of issues, including Channel Nine's $40 million bid to retain rugby league's free-to-air TV rights and whether the league should expand to 16 teams.

The Gold Coast consortium, headed by Michael Searle, appears to be the front-runner for the new licence but Tate said he was still hopeful that the Central Coast bid would be considered.

"I haven't been told that it's not, but I'd have to be an extreme optimist (to think Central Coast will get in)", Tate said.

"It looks like we'll need a miracle. We've done over the last 18 months, two years, as much as we possibly can to put forward the case for the Central Coast."

"We still believe the case for the Central Coast is an extremely compelling one (but) there's not much more we can add to the case.

"There's a point at which you can't do any more, you've got to stop beating your head against a brick wall, and if these people (the NRL partnership committee) make a decision then they make a decision."

NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley offered Tate some hope when he said it was far from a fait accompli that Gold Coast would get the new team.

"It's not just a meeting to decide whether the Gold Coast is the 16th team, it's the whole question of (whether to have) 16 teams," Annesley said.

"There are bids from the Central Coast and Wellington as well."

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