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NRL's growth mindset points to 18th team. And it ain't Perth.

Colk

Bench
Messages
4,116
So they accepted their licenses knowing they would be broke a few weeks later lmao

don’t think so

I don’t think they were aware when they were actually given the licence. I remember hearing an interview with the Reds guy and he stated that whilst they had accepted (begrudgingly) to pay for flights and accomodation of a travelling first grade team, they were then blindsided by the fact that they had to run two other sides and pay for reserve grade and jersey flegg accomodation and travel as well. That’s a massive cost that they wouldn’t have budgeted for and this is pre grants and massive TV deals
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,854
I don’t think they were aware when they were actually given the licence. I remember hearing an interview with the Reds guy and he stated that whilst they had accepted (begrudgingly) to pay for flights and accomodation of a travelling first grade team, they were then blindsided by the fact that they had to run two other sides and pay for reserve grade and jersey flegg accomodation and travel as well. That’s a massive cost that they wouldn’t have budgeted for and this is pre grants and massive TV deals
Nearly but not quite. when the agreements were signed it was for first grade and reserve grade. Reds business case had this covered. ARL then forced them to include jersey fleg at last minute which wasn’t budgeted for and added an additional $500k to expenses which wasn’t budgeted for.
$500k back in 1995 was a lot of money for a club!

News ltd then offered a massive sponsorship deal to take over from cash convertors if they gave board control to news ltd, eventually leading to them joining SL. The Reds board was apparently massively split on which way to go with eventually them going with the news ltd offer. Ended up,destroying the game here. We went from 10k registered players in 1993 to less than 1k by 1999 as people walked away from the game.
I got this from someone who was a Reds board member at the time.
 

Wb1234

Bench
Messages
4,095
I don’t think they were aware when they were actually given the licence. I remember hearing an interview with the Reds guy and he stated that whilst they had accepted (begrudgingly) to pay for flights and accomodation of a travelling first grade team, they were then blindsided by the fact that they had to run two other sides and pay for reserve grade and jersey flegg accomodation and travel as well. That’s a massive cost that they wouldn’t have budgeted for and this is pre grants and massive TV deals
So if the broncos didn’t come up with the idea of super league what would’ve happened ?

clubs just make up bs after to justify taking the millions Rupert paid each super league club
 

Colk

Bench
Messages
4,116
So if the broncos didn’t come up with the idea of super league what would’ve happened ?

clubs just make up bs after to justify taking the millions Rupert paid each super league club

Who knows it’s all hypothetical now anyway. I remember reading somewhere that the same happened with fumbleball initially but the expansion teams eventually got a better deal. Maybe the ARL might have relented after a while
 
Messages
7,087
20 YEARS IN THE SADDLE NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS 1995-2014 by Neil Cadigan, details how the Cowboys got their licence and why they signed with Super League.

Here's a snippet from page 41.

"An agreement, as requested by the NSWRL after pressure from other clubs, to pay not only for the travel of the Cowboys to away games but also visiting clubs to Townsville, a prohibitive cost estimated at about $800,000 a year."​

Here's some snippets from pages 44-45.

Revised applications from the three aspirating clubs (North Queensland, Brisbane and Perth) were due to be lodged by 31 October 1993, to be viewed initially by the premiership policy committee of Peter Moore (chairman, from the Canterbury club), Quayle, John Ribot (Brisbane Broncos), Bob Millward (Illawarra) Denis Fitzgerald (Parramatta), Paul Cross and Paul Harrison (both independent), before going to the directors Arthurson, Quayle, Bellew, Moore, Terry Parker (South Sydney), Laurie Doust, and independent businessmen George Gaines and Graham Lovett. With the league demanding confirmation of a lease agreement in writing by 31 October, the Cowboys had mere weeks to pull off a coup with an agreement between the Townsville and Thuringowa councils to enter a joint venture with the state government and Top End to fund and develop The Willows, finally confirming the Cowboys' ability to provide a Winfield Cup-standard stadium.

The premiership policy committee had recommended only one of the three teams be admitted to join the Warriors, even though all applications passed their inspection. On 30 November, the board met and the media gathered outside the league's headquarters at 61 Phillip Street, Sydney, waiting for word. After each had provided their final presentations, seated throughout the bars downstairs waiting for one of the game's most momentous decisions were Boustead, McLean and mayor of Townsville Tony Mooney; Crushers chairman Dick Turner; and Perth Pumas chairman Laurie Puddy and CEO-elect Gordon Allen.

The Crushers were the media favourites, the Cowboys ranked outsiders and the Pumas the wild card, with it known that the television rights holder, Kerry Packer's Channel 9, was keen to exploit the extra TV programming the west coast time zone would provide.

No one outside the meeting room that day had any inkling about what would happen next: all three teams were admitted, giving the game a 20-team competition. It was a massive shock.

Quayle provides an insight into what occurred. "Ken rang me early the morning the board was going to make a decision and he said, 'Mate, would there be any reason why we couldn't go now with four teams rather than two? Would they be ready now?' I'd suggested to him that plans were always to go to 20 teams over a period of time, but the premiership policy committee had said to admit two and in two years' time we'd look at it again. I said as far as I'm concerned there's no problem in bringing forward that decision. We'd looked at all three applications, and you couldn't split them as far as enthusiasm and the main issues. Perth wasn't a league area but we were looking to the future and had just started to play some games in Perth with good results. We knew what Brisbane was like, we were wary about New Zealand but had admitted them on the strength of their application; we'd made the decision we wanted to expand for television and exposure of the game in New Zealand.

"It was a unanimous decision to admit all three. It was the end of the Winfield sponsorship, but we were in the throes of good television revenue, we knew Channel 9 would support Perth. Initially, we were favouring Auckland and the Crushers and not Perth and North Queensland. It was a very big decision for the league, and a very big decision for North Queensland."​

Here's a snippet from page 100.

"It was essentially a business battle that was all about accessing rugby league as a "product" to gain pay-television subscribers. It split the sport in two in such a bitter way that thousands of dedicated fans walked away. Its repercussions were felt far away, and certainly in North Queensland, where the biggest casualty was the Cowboys' favourite son, Kerry Boustead.

Yet both sides of the "Super League war" concede that without the club's board siding with News Limited's Super League campaign, the Cowboys may not have survived. Even the league's boss at the time, John Quayle, who will never forgive the Cowboys directors' lack of loyalty by walking away after he had so supportively facilitated their entry into the Winfield Cup, will now admit that, as a financial decision, he understood why it was made.​

Another snippet from page 104.

There was speculation that Boustead was prompted by the ARL to resign and was financially induced. Subsequent to his resignation he was asked by the ARL to promote rugby league in North Queensland and was asked to investigate establishing a rival to a Super League Cowboys out of Cairns. The ARL continued to pay his existing wage until he found alternate employment.

"John Quayle asked me what I wanted and I said I just want to keep my own wage until I could get something else, probably just a few months," said Boustead. "At first he said, 'Go to Cairns and look into starting a side up there,' but it wasn't going to work; Townsville was the right place in North Queensland."

...

The Cowboys, through McLean and Taylor, negotiated News Limited to become a 50 per cent shareholder in the club, and to pay off its existing debts and $5 million to further development of the stadium.​

Snippets from page 105.

Bell and a handful of players were recruited the weekend of the round four clash with Canberra In Townsville, the infamous "April Fools' weekend" during which News unleashed its raid and signed the Raiders in bulk while in Townsville for the round four clash. Most other Cowboys players signed alluring deals during a visit by Super League boss John Ribot and recruiter Michael O'Connor the following weekend when the Brisbane Broncos were in town.

On the first weekend, News negotiator David Smith travelled to Townsville to essentially sign up the Raiders at the same time that other News appointees, with almost military precision, were despatched around the country on a secret signing mission to capture players from Cronulla and Reds (in Perth), Broncos (in Brisbane), Canterbury and Auckland (Sydney) and Canberra (Townsville). Newcastle Knights players were to follow. It would become known as the April Fools' weekend blitzkrieg.

...

Bell said he was told Tim Sheens had recommended him to News and he had to sign before he left the room if he wanted to join Super League, and they handed him a $10,000 cheque as an incentive. But he refused to sign and called his father and told them he wanted to discuss it with him and his accountant, Michael Searle (later founding managing director of Gold Coast Titans), and think about it overnight. Despite the intimidation, Bell focussed on that night's game against the Raiders but signed the next day.

He said Smith told him that News wanted to get the Cowboys but it wasn't crucial, and if the club did not align itself with Super League News would set up a franchise in Cairns. However, they wanted to sign four or five Cowboys players and asked who he recommended. Bell's memory is a little vague but the five players who signed that weekend were reputed to be Dean Schifilliti, Jason Martin, Adrian Vowles, Ian Russell and Wayne Sing, who would end up being the highest paid Super League defectors.

Bell says he never cashed the incentive cheque of $10,000 and still has it. He couldn't fully explain why he instinctively did so (obviously once he cashed it, it could be argued the deal was legally binding) but for him it was about doing the right thing for the Cowboys and following the opportunity Super League provided, rather than financial incentive.

"The decision was very much about making sure the club stayed; we had great beliefs about the club," said Bell.

Snippets from page 107.

"When News couldn't get numbers they then courted the Cowboys," said Quayle. "Ron McLean and Barry Taylor were the two who led them to switch very quickly.

"I thought it was a done deal because of Ron McLean's relationship with News. It was a hard thing to swallow and we were so shattered in the basis that we'd spent three or four years of my time and doing some pretty hard work to bring them in, and they didn't give us a chance. Ken said in the end, 'Fight for the ones who are going to be loyal,' but it was tough no matter what

"There is no doubt that the Cowboys were struggling for money, and if News went to them and said, 'Don't worry, we'll underwrite the costs,' then in many cases it was a very easy decision for them in that situation. But they would never have got in without us and the support we gave them, and how we stuck with them, and that's what annoyed me.

...

"Their association with News kept them going [after the NRL was formed at the end of 1997]. Perth were brushed quickly, and then Adelaide. Would the Cowboys have stayed alive without News? Well, a lot of clubs wouldn't have. Once the Raiders, Cowboys and Broncos were funded by News, it kept them going as they were guaranteed $5 million a year for five years. There can't be criticism of News from the Cowboys' point of view because they certainly could not have survived in a two-tier competition without that backing, and they were headed for the second tier in the initial News proposal." said Quayle.
 
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parrawentyfan

Juniors
Messages
697
Fascinating reading.

Surprised to see News thought about setting up a team in Cairns. May have been an idle threat.

As someone not familiar with the area what makes Townsville work and Cairns not?

Population seems only marginally different (about 170,000 vs 190,000). Cairns is more of a tourist hub whereas i assume Townsville is a bit more 'capital/business' like.

I always thought they might work one day in the future. Would be a great rivalry with the Cowboys. Not the stupid Pride name though..
 

Colk

Bench
Messages
4,116
Fascinating reading.

Surprised to see News thought about setting up a team in Cairns. May have been an idle threat.

As someone not familiar with the area what makes Townsville work and Cairns not?

Population seems only marginally different (about 170,000 vs 190,000). Cairns is more of a tourist hub whereas i assume Townsville is a bit more 'capital/business' like.

I always thought they might work one day in the future. Would be a great rivalry with the Cowboys. Not the stupid Pride name though..

Don’t see why you would put teams in two small places like that. It’s either one or the other I feel with the goal of trying to grab support from the other
 
Messages
7,087
Fascinating reading.

Surprised to see News thought about setting up a team in Cairns. May have been an idle threat.

As someone not familiar with the area what makes Townsville work and Cairns not?

Population seems only marginally different (about 170,000 vs 190,000). Cairns is more of a tourist hub whereas i assume Townsville is a bit more 'capital/business' like.

I always thought they might work one day in the future. Would be a great rivalry with the Cowboys. Not the stupid Pride name though..
ARL was the most serious about setting up a team in Cairns after Cowboys signed with News. They asked Boustead to investigate the feasibility of a Cairns-based team while paying him money until he found alternative employment.

News used the threat of setting up a Cairns-based team if Cowboys didn't sign with them.

The annual grant back in those days was $500k. The income from broadcasting rights was $10 per annum and all of it went to the clubs. The NSWRL and its clubs condemned the Cowboys to death when they demanded the club fund their travel and accommodation, plus their own. It cost the Cowboys $800k per annum to fly and accommodate all visiting clubs. The committee that oversaw expansion was made up of personal from the Sydney clubs and Broncos to ensure their best interests. On top of this, Cowboys had to fund their own stadium and it crippled them with debt before they played a game. It was terrible administration from the NSWRL and it gave the Cowboys no choice but to sign with News or fold as they didn't have enough money to pay their players beyond June 1995.
 

Wb1234

Bench
Messages
4,095
Fascinating reading.

Surprised to see News thought about setting up a team in Cairns. May have been an idle threat.

As someone not familiar with the area what makes Townsville work and Cairns not?

Population seems only marginally different (about 170,000 vs 190,000). Cairns is more of a tourist hub whereas i assume Townsville is a bit more 'capital/business' like.

I always thought they might work one day in the future. Would be a great rivalry with the Cowboys. Not the stupid Pride name though..
It’s cowboys territory

but a joint bid with png has been mentioned

Afl should’ve put a team there instead of Gold Coast
 
Messages
7,087
The main takeaways from all of this is Ch9 wanted a team in Perth. It was News Ltd who culled Adelaide and Perth.

The Sydney clubs controlled the expansion process and set the Cowboys and Reds up to fail.

The QRL favoured the Crushers and did everything they could to prevent the Cowboys from getting in. I didn't quote the section that delved into this, but it's in the book for anyone who wants a copy.

Rabiyeh Krayem became Cowboys CEO after Boustead resigned. He went to Quayle and said the club would stay loyal if the ARL matched News Ltd's offer. Quayle refused as the ARL had no money left on the table. Quayle and Arthurson didn't have a clue and caused more harm than good. They forced the expansion clubs to spend way more money than any of the Sydney clubs had to spend. They even forced Cowboys and Reds to give money to the Sydney clubs. The salary cap was $1.6m back then and teams had to use their own money to pay their players.
 
Messages
7,087
I’m loving these conspiracy theories
It's all been documented in Neil Cadigan's book. Cadigan went to the trouble to quote your hero John Quayle on the topic.

The only conspiracy theorist on here is you with your refusal to accept that AwFuL is getting about $160m per annum more than us from their broadcast deal between 2025 and 2028.
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,854
It's all been documented in Neil Cadigan's book. The only conspiracy theorist on here is you with you refusal to accept that AwFuL is getting about $160m per annum than us from their broadcast deals between 2025 and 2028.
much more than that:
$402mill tv and radio v $593mill tv and radio. That's a $191mill difference!
23/24 it will be $402mill v $433mill

total as it stands difference of $635mill over 5 years!!

Imagine what new market growth NRL could achieve with that much more money!!
 
Messages
7,087
much more than that:
$402mill tv and radio v $593mill tv and radio. That's a $191mill difference!
23/24 it will be $402mill v $433mill

total as it stands difference of $635mill over 5 years!!

Imagine what new market growth NRL could achieve with that much more money!!
We now know Ch9 wanted the Western Reds in the 90s. That means it's probably News Ltd standing in the way of the Pirates. We really need to get away from News Ltd if we want to expand the game. There's options now available via streaming that didn't exist 30 years ago.
 

Vee

Bench
Messages
4,409
He also said if any Sydney club goes broke they won’t receive any more handouts

I mean the sharks have gone on to win a premiership and have hundreds of millions in assets now maybe it was the right decision not to cut them
I see what you did there. The premiership came two years before this report.
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,854
We now know Ch9 wanted the Western Reds in the 90s. That means it's probably News Ltd standing in the way of the Pirates. We really need to get away from News Ltd if we want to expand the game. There's options now available via streaming that didn't exist 30 years ago.
That was a long time ago! We know fox aren’t happy with the WA subscription rate for afl and tried to change the fta coverage to drive more subscribers. They failed in that despite paying massive money. Maybe making RL popualr again in the west will help their subscription rates instead?
 
Messages
7,087
That was a long time ago! We know fox aren’t happy with the WA subscription rate for afl and tried to change the fta coverage to drive more subscribers. They failed in that despite paying massive money. Maybe making RL popualr again in the west will help their subscription rates instead?
News Ltd seem to be anti-expansion.
 
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