Perth in expanded NRL: Brisbane bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Perth in expanded NRL: Brisbane bid

David Beniuk 05/06/2011 05:42:52 PM Comments (0)

The bid team for a second NRL club in Brisbane believe a Perth side is a certainty, but league boss David Gallop has cast the biggest doubts yet on any expansion from 2013.

Spokesman for the consortium seeking to set up a new side in Brisbane, Craig Davison, said his team would be competing for the second spot if the NRL expanded by two teams, with a Western Australian side a certainty to take the first.

"The TV rights being negotiated will, I believe, be pushing a lot for two more teams," Davison told ABC radio on Sunday.

"I believe one of them is looking very likely to be WA and the other one I believe should be Brisbane.

"I believe that WA is a lay down misere, they're in.

"So the issue for us is who's going to get the second gig."

Gallop refuted the claim, adding delays to the formation of an independent commission to run the game could make it difficult to expand as soon as 2013.

"I'm not sure where Craig got that one from," Gallop said.

"At the core of (expansion) is knowing what our revenue is.

"Affordability is the key to expansion and making sure that our existing clubs and our existing players get more money is the starting point.

"It's not impossible for 2013 at this stage, but certainly as the commission continues to take some time, it's difficult to see that.

"But I'm not closing the door on it at this stage."

Expansion will go hand in hand with the NRL's new broadcast deal after the current arrangement ends at the end of next year.

Broadcasters are thought to be keen on the WA time zone for live telecasts, and on more games featuring Queensland sides.

As well as from Brisbane and WA, bids are expected from the NSW Central Coast, Ipswich in Queensland, central Queensland, Papua New Guinea and Wellington in New Zealand.

The commission would complete negotiations for the new broadcast deal and, despite its formation dragging on longer than expected, Davison said there was still time for new clubs to be ready in time for a 2013 kickoff.

"I can see the commission coming on board in the next four or five weeks," he said.

"I can see a decision being made (calling) tenders some time in August and the winners being announced late October.

"We believe the eight commissioners who have been chosen and are about to be announced must be pretty smart guys and can make business decisions reasonably quickly in a matter of weeks, based on getting some understanding of the game from the people around them."

The eight commissioners were expected to be named as early as this week, and Gallop admitted a major announcement was imminent.

"I think there's a possibility there'll be some announcements fairly shortly," he said.

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