The Kelly Gang take over the Titans

Discussion in 'Gold Coast Titans' started by DlEHARD, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

    Feb 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Frizelle and Kelly hold off rival bid to secure Titans’ NRL licence

    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.
  2. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

    Feb 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Five things the NRL’s decision to sell the Titans to Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly means for Gold Coast

    WITH reports emerging this morning of Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly’s consortium finally winning the ownership race for the Titans, the Bulletin looks at what it means for NRL on the Gold Coast.


    There had been plenty of conjecture about whether the Gold Coast would be set for a sixth guise as a professional rugby league club when it became apparent the North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Bombers were among the bidders.


    Norths in particular had been vocal about rebranding the club to capture the attention of long-awaiting Bears fans.

    However, Frizelle and Kelly’s appointment means the Titans’ name and colours are safe.

    Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly will ensure the Titans brand lives on. Picture: Luke Marsden.

    It’s a word rarely associated with rugby league on the Gold Coast in the past three decades. Until now.

    Frizelle and Kelly have played central roles in the club in recent years through thick and thin.

    Under their leadership, the club will not have to start completely afresh at a time when they have new coaches and players on-board.

    The Titans had been in a holding pattern for months as they awaited an announcement about who the NRL would sell their licence to.

    Now key decisions can start being made, such as staff structures including replacing departed chief operating officer Tony Mestrov.


    With Frizelle and Kelly at the helm, a direction can also be declared with regards to areas such as potential involvement in the upcoming women’s NRL competition.

    Gold Coast have been operating on one of the tightest budgets in the NRL and that is unlikely to change.

    While the Frizelle/Kelly consortium will bring financial stability, they will not be able to bring the kind of war chest that opposition bidder Stuart McAuliffe could have.

    McAuliffe had offered a $25 million proposition to bankroll the club.

    Whispers continue that Frizelle and Kelly are open to the idea of a membership buy-in down the track.

    Some fans have voiced their interest in such a concept.
    Eelectrica likes this.
  3. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

    Feb 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Stability of Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly set to trump rival’s riches

    THE NRL is set to opt for long-term stability over the sugar-hit of a cash injection by awarding the Gold Coast Titans licence to Darryl Kelly and Rebecca Frizelle.

    While the deal has not yet been finalised, with lawyers understood to be negotiating the details of the contract, fund manager Stuart McAuliffe is out of the running, leaving the Frizelle-Kelly consortium as the last one standing.

    The NRL originally wanted the club off its books by October 31, the end of its financial year.

    But protracted negotiations over the sale price and contract details, as well as a decision to make consortiums present to the ARL commission, blew the timeline out, with the league desperate to wrap the deal up in the coming days.

    Swashbuckling investor McAuliffe, a man with a penchant for pirates, made a substantial upfront offer for the club and promised to pour millions more into the organisation.

    The injection would have been a windfall for the NRL, which was forced to apply for a bank loan earlier this season for club funding agreements.

    The promise of McAuliffe’s riches is understood to have made his bid a frontrunner at stages, even as the field narrowed to the final two consortiums.

    Kelly and Frizelle were not in the same ballpark in terms of cash offered.

    But the stability they offered ultimately won the support of an organisation still scarred by single-ownership models, most recently, Nathan Tinkler’s disastrous time at the helm of the Newcastle Knights.

    The NRL has said several times it is not in the business of owning clubs and will no longer bail out those that get into financial trouble.

    Given that, it is set to opt for the model it believes will present the best chance of survival going forward, something that is not only important for the Gold Coast, but for the NRL’s $1.8b broadcast deal.

    Like the Titans, the Knights had to be taken over by the NRL to ensure they stayed afloat.

    The league eventually offloaded the club to the Wests Group earlier this year.

    That bid won favour in large part because of its community focus and Kelly and Frizelle have the same vision for the Gold Coast, another factor in their favour.

    That investment in the grassroots will be in addition to funds the Kelly and Frizelle families pump into the club to ensure its survival.

    Despite NRL handouts to clubs increasing significantly next year, it will not be enough for the Titans to break even in the short-term, something Kelly and Frizelle both understand and embrace.

    Having saved the club from the brink of extinction once already — Kelly financially and both he and Frizelle with their business and leadership skills as members of the board — the pair is willing to return to the well again.

    Kelly is passionate about rugby league and both he and Frizelle believe having a national league club is a major unifying factor, bringing the city and its people together and giving it a sense of identity.

    But that hasn’t made them covet the ownership for themselves.

    The Bulletin understands if the NRL opts for the Kelly-Frizelle consortium, the club will eventually be passed into the hands of fans under a public ownership model.

    That too will take time, with the pair’s primary focus ensuring a financial bedrock is laid to ensure the long-term survival of the club.
  4. RL The greatest game

    RL The greatest game First Grade

    Dec 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I hope the new owners don't forget the grass roots
    Eelectrica and DlEHARD like this.
  5. Eelectrica

    Eelectrica Coach

    Aug 28, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Just got the email. Great news.
    I feel like the Titans have now responsible owners who won't screw this chance up. They have the financial power to grow the Titans into a competitive force both on and off the field, and they know the GC market better than anyone. Mcauliffe would possibly have been Searle Mk2. Good for a short term, not so much long term.
    It'll take time, but it's a start. Bears would have been a disaster.

    Well I said if they got the license I'd become a member again to support NRL on the GC. Guess it's time to come out of exile and see what membership options are out there.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    DlEHARD and RL The greatest game like this.
  6. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

    Feb 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Gold Coast Titans new ownership confirmed, former Broncos chairman Dennis Watt hired


    THE new owners of the Gold Coast Titans have taken their first step towards long-term sustainability by appointing former Storm and Broncos chairman Dennis Watt to provide the football club expertise they have been so badly lacking.

    The NRL announced on Friday that a local consortium consisting of Darryl Kelly and his wife Joanne and Rebecca Frizelle and her husband Brett had been granted the licence with a view to creating profitability that would one day allow the club to be community owned.

    The NRL turned down larger financial incentives in order to grant the licence to two people who have put countless hours and millions of dollars into the club in recent years but Watt’s input as Gold Coast’s new Executive Chairman will be the key in taking the Titans from good intentions to premiership contention.

    Considered a leading candidate to join the ARL Commission after stepping down from his role as chairman of the Broncos in October, Watt brings with him close to two decades of rugby league expertise, something that Kelly himself acknowledges he cannot match.

    The shambolic way in which the sacking of coach Neil Henry was carried out and subsequent departure of Jarryd Hayne was evidence again that a Titans board stacked with business acumen needed leadership in the ways of running a successful footy club, something Watt can bring in spades.

    Titans CEO Graham Annesley has spent as much time putting out fires as he has plotting the future direction of the club under difficult circumstances since his arrival four years ago and will benefit greatly from having Watt’s influence at board level.

    Having seen the contribution that both Kelly and Frizelle have made to the club surviving into its 10th year in 2017 NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has no doubt that they are the right people to give the Gold Coast the team it deserves.

    “We said all the way through this process that our primary aim was to ensure the Titans become a well-run, profitable and successful club for their fans and the local community,” Greenberg said.

    “And we have no doubt that can best be achieved under the direction of this consortium.

    “It was Rebecca and Darryl who took over the running of the club when the Titans were placed in voluntary administration three years ago.

    “They have restored the club to the position where it has a strong future and there is no reason the Titans, with their strong grassroots base, shouldn’t go on to become a powerhouse of our competition.”

    Kelly reportedly lost more than $5 million that he had personally invested when the NRL placed the club into voluntary administration in 2013 but believes that as owners of the club they can move the Titans into a position of strength.

    “I’ve been involved in this game throughout my life at a regional and grassroots level, and while my time with the Titans has been challenging, I genuinely believe we can make a difference now that the ownership has finally been resolved,” Kelly said.
  7. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

    Feb 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Welcome back mate. I'm sure there are many more like you.

    We can't waste this second chance and all this energy.

    I'm excited to see Dennis Watt become executive chairman, he knows the Broncos and the Brisbane market, which we desperately need to break into. We have gone backwards in Brisbane at an alarming rate.

Share This Page