Frizelle and Kelly hold off rival bid to secure Titans’ NRL licence http://www.couriermail.com.au/ LONG-SERVING Titans duo Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly have staved off an audacious $25 million rival bid to win the Gold Coast licence. The Courier-Mail can reveal the battle to buy the Titans is over with the NRL awarding the licence to the Frizelle-Kelly consortium, which trumped a big-money bid from Brisbane-based fund manager Stuart McAuliffe. The NRL is expected to formally announce the sale tomorrow. Frizelle and Kelly are working with NRL lawyers today to finalise terms and conditions of their ownership model. The NRL has carefully managed the sale of the club with the victorious Frizelle-Kelly bid viewed as the last chance to ensure the success of the Titans on the Gold Coast. Three rugby league clubs have died in the region since the birth of the Gold Coast Giants in 1988, with the Seagulls and Chargers also going bust. McAuliffe has been notified of the NRL’s decision. He spent two years working on his bid, with the little-known multi-millionaire putting together a formidable proposal, including $15 million up-front in cash with a further $10m plan for grassroots investment. But the NRL opted for the alliance of Frizelle and Kelly, who have worked tirelessly over the last five years to ensure the long-term survival of the Titans in the difficult Gold Coast market. Up to five consortia expressed interest in the Titans licence — but it became a race in two when the Brisbane Bombers and the North Sydney Bears dropped out of the running last month. For Kelly, the stability of the Titans has become a passionate pursuit. The property tycoon first invested in the club in 2012, only to lose a staggering $5 million when the club went bust in 2014, prompting the NRL to take control of the licence. Respected Gold Coast businesswoman Frizelle was appointed the code’s first chair to help resurrect the club, a position she recently relinquished to formally join Kelly in a fresh bid to buy the club. The NRL was mindful of the $30 million mess created by club founder Michael Searle and believed the Frizelle-Kelly proposal can offer the club greater long-term security. The duo, whose combined personal wealth is estimated at more than $100 million, have devised a business model that involves other cashflow streams to help bankroll the Titans.