Sharks plan for Gosford 'a money grab' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks plan for Gosford 'a money grab'

By David Beniuk 06/05/2009 04:48:00 PM Comments (0)

Bears boss Greg Florimo has warned Cronulla that Central Coast residents will view the Sharks' proposal to play five NRL games at Bluetongue Stadium from next year as nothing more than a money grab.

Florimo, who heads former NRL club North Sydney's bid to be reinstated as the Coast's representative in the competition from 2013, said the Bears faced no threat from a move north by Cronulla.

"I don't feel that it's a threat to what we're trying to do," Florimo told AAP on Wednesday.

"It certainly won't affect our bid and what we're doing on a day-to-day basis. In fact having a couple of extra games on the Central Coast will probably be nice to see."

Asked if he was concerned potential Bears supporters could be snapped up by the Sharks in the years before 2013, Florimo said: "I'm not, simply because they've made the statement themselves that they'll be playing all their good home games down at Shark Park.

"It's purely about revenue raising, it's not about engaging the community and we're in the process of doing that.

"Central Coast people will see through what they are trying to do and it's all about raising money short term for them."

Florimo conceded the move would probably work for the Sharks because of guaranteed revenue of reportedly $100,000 offered for each match played at Bluetongue,

"But I don't know if it will mean they'll get more people to Bluetongue than they will to Shark Park," he added.

"In fact it may even have the reverse effect, particularly with their own supporters down in Cronulla.

"I think everyone agrees up there that we want our own team and we deserve our own team, we can certainly sustain our own team and anything that isn't our own team I don't think will be looked upon favourably."

Florimo's comments came as Sharks CEO Tony Zappia said he would present a final proposal to the NRL by the end of the week.

Zappia said a full-blown relocation to Gosford would be difficult for any club, despite the NRL offering $8 million for the move.

"You're looking at a $15 million investment as well as relocation and establishment costs," he told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"It's a catch 22 ... we feel that the Central Coast deserves a team to be playing more than one or two games there a year.

"We feel that's the first, best, initial steps to service that area as well at the same time maintaining the presence of the Sharks within the Shire."

Asked whether the Sharks, who needed a bank loan of $500,000 to pay players at the end of 2008, could survive if the proposal failed, Zappia said: "I'd certainly like to think so but it's certainly something that would need to be reviewed because at this point in time financially it's been well documented we are struggling."

Bluetongue Stadium managing director Monique Marks said the move would be successful because Cronulla were not pretending to be the Central Coast's team.

"They're not saying we're relocating ... it's just like (fans) saying will they support the Roosters bringing two game here or Manly bringing two games here," she told AAP.

"There's a lot of Sharks fans up here that will support the games."

Marks said she had been in negotiations with Cronulla but no deal had been finalised, including the guaranteed match fee.

She said other teams would still be able to bring games to Bluetongue.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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