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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:49 pm    Post subject: Telegraph Article Reply with quote

The Bears ready to take over Gold Coast Titans — and could play footy at North Sydney Oval

DEAN RITCHIE, The Daily Telegraph
August 24, 2017 8:58pm
Subscriber only

THE Bears could play two historic matches at North Sydney Oval next year — one possibly against old foes Manly — if successful in buying the Gold Coast Titans.

The NRL is expected to seek expressions of interest in the sale of Gold Coast as early as next week.

The Bears are ready to pounce and they may bring NRL footy back to North Sydney Oval sooner than you think.

Gold Coast will be kicked out of their home ground at Robina, Cbus Super Stadium, for rounds three to six next season due to the Commonwealth Games.

That equates to two home matches.

FANS SURVEY: Bring back suburban footy

North Sydney Oval could host a classic rivalry again.

If they become the successful bidder, the Gold Coast Bears could relocate those two home games to North Sydney Oval.

And the Bears would likely ask the NRL to play a nostalgic match against Manly at Bear Park.

Should the Bears be trumped, Gold Coast would open talks with the Queensland Government about taking those two games to regional centres.

Gold Coast, who are under pressure after sacking coach Neil Henry this week, are ready to be put up for sale.

The Bears believe they have prepared a convincing bid which they are ready to submit.

They would take one or two games to their spiritual home, North Sydney Oval, each season.

Titans director and businessman Darryl Kelly is also pursuing the Gold Coast licence, while there is reportedly a third consortium showing considerable interest.

The NRL won’t place a financial figure on the club. Consortiums will be asked how they can run and sustain the financially troubled club long-term.

It would take around $10 million to ensure sustained viability.

Norths believe there are 750,000 to one million fans living on Sydney’s north shore and the NSW central coast who would instantly be Gold Coast Bears fans.

Research shows these fans are desperate to reintegrate into a top-flight rugby league club. The Bears’ bid has the necessary finances, history and support.

The Bears believe they are well placed to take over the Gold Coast franchise.

Kelly, a self-made property tycoon, first saved the Titans five years ago by personally investing $5 million.

There would be a concern about changing Gold Coast’s brand again but the red and black of the Bears carries historical clout.

Gold Coast have previously been known as the Seagulls, Giants, Gladiators and Chargers.

The Bears claim to have the cash and resources to make Gold Coast work.

NRL officials hope to have chosen the winning consortium by October 31.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Larson speaks up Reply with quote

Bears officials have spent the past two years eyeing off the Titans licence.

The NRL is prepared to explore Norths’ offer but reiterated their commitment to the code on the Gold Coast.

Former Norths back-rower Larson urged the Titans to jump into bed with the Bears.

The veteran of 24 Origin matches for Queensland believes the Gold Coast can attract a wider fan base by playing home games at Gosford and North Sydney Oval.

“I am speaking from the heart I guess, but I would love to see the Bears back in the NRL,” Larson said.

“The NRL will eventually offload it, whoever has the money to buy the licence ... it should be first in best dressed as far as I’m concerned.

“If the Bears have the funds, it can only help the Gold Coast and they would pick up a generation of fans."
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:38 pm    Post subject: Titans Fans worried - no NRL Tendering.... Reply with quote

Passionate Gold Coast supporters have set up a petition to stop North Sydney from taking over the club.

The NRL have put the Titans up for sale and the Bears are one of a number of prospective buyers considering splashing the cash.

Some fans have expressed their concern that a North Sydney takeover will result in the Bears taking the club away from the Glitter Strip.



NRL not tendering - beginning tom look like a done deal - one way or another....
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northern bear
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling that there has already been a decision made and our bid will have to be really good.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really hard to say Northern, maybe the league are genuinely over another GC business that says they have the $ to fund the team properly.

Last edited by cnbhs on Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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siv
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

northern bear wrote:
I have a feeling that there has already been a decision made and our bid will have to be really good.


Feels like the decision has been made

And it may not matter how good the Bears offer is
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northern bear
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your right on the money!!!
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BLOB
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: DON'T BE SURPRISED Reply with quote

Our biggest enemy is ANUS-ley who has been reaming the Bears for years.

He is the usual source of the anti-bears whinging and you can bet he will be doing everything to keep them out so he can maintain his latest NRL funded sinecure.

However, the so-called Gold Coast saviours appear to be nothing more than hot air while the Bears have a substantial presence up there already and have plenty of cash to fund the take over.

It may well be a done deal but as our experience with Administrators shows - when there is smoke it often means that they are planting it and IIRC the NRL were the ones who originally floated the idea of the Gold Coast Bears.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: GO BILLY Reply with quote

NORTH Sydney stalwart Billy Moore has pleaded with Titans fans to see the long term benefit of the Bears’ plans to buy the Gold Coast franchise.

The North Sydney Bears are among candidates lobbying the NRL to buy the Gold Coast Titans franchise from the NRL, which needs to offload the club by the end of its financial year next month.

If successful, the group would rebrand the franchise the Gold Coast Bears and wear North Sydney’s famous red and black, although the club would remain on the Gold Coast, with plans to take just one game a year to North Sydney Oval.

Moore understands the angst plans to change the club’s emblem and colours could cause Titans fans.

But he believes the Bears buyout is the most sustainable plan for a strong and enduring NRL franchise on the Gold Coast.

“I imagine that is for them, the most difficult step forward because they’ve bought into the (Titans) brand and they believe in it,” Moore said of existing fans’ angst at plans to rebrand the club the Gold Coast Bears.

“What we’re saying is that the brand is the Gold Coast more so than the Titans.

“We’re offering a business model that takes being pragmatic and it takes making a compromise.”

Queensland Origin legend Moore, who played 211 games for the Bears between 1989 and 1999, said there were many more positives than negatives in the Bears plan.

“Besides the IP (intellectual property), the other question I often ask is who loses by bringing the North Sydney Bears back into the competition as a partner with the Gold Coast?

“Other than the IP, where could someone find a negative in the whole equation?

“I know I’m subjective and I hope I’m not blinded by it.

“But I’m trying to work out where there’s a negative because I’ve tried to look at it from everyone’s point of view and been as objective as I can.

“I can’t see how you can find a negative in the whole equation other than the potentially unpalatable thing of going OK, we’re not the Titans anymore, we’re still the Gold Coast, but now we’re the Gold Coast Bears.”

The Bears group has conducted research showing its brand remains incredibly strong despite 17 years out of the NRL and hundreds of thousands of fans are set to come out of hibernation.

“We’re bringing 100,000 fans – those are in the greater southeast that have Bears connections and will obviously be coming to the games – to be married up hopefully with what (the Titans) have already got,” Moore said.

“Then when the Gold Coast play in Sydney, when they play at Cronulla or Parramatta or Penrith, you’re going to get another 4000-5000 Bears fans turn up.

“So the game itself is going to benefit because you’re re-engaging those fans that have been hibernating.

“You’ve got so many people for the last 17 years have been waiting, they’ve been parked there.

“Those people haven’t gone to other clubs.

“They’ve either walked away from the game or they’ve just basically hibernated, so they’d be re-engaged.”

Moore said other bids would likely repeat the mistakes of the past and he was asking fans to take a long-term view for the sustainability of rugby league in an area vital for the growth of the game.

“I fully appreciate that we’d be asking the Gold Coast people to say, we’re brand Gold Coast,” he said.

“Yes, you’d have to be willing to be a merger, so we’d have to meet halfway – the Titans brand would be parked and the Bears brand would come to the fore.

“But hopefully that’s palatable.

“In any merger, in any partnership, both sides have got to win.

“Hopefully they can see – we’re going to lose this, but we get that.

“The upside really does allow me to park the emotion of putting the Titans brand to the side because I can see the long term play here, I can see how we’re going to be a powerful entity going forward with the commitment to stay on the Gold Coast.”
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: BEARS ROAR Reply with quote

How much ownership talk can the Gold Coast Bear?

Alex Roar Rookie

By Alex, 12 Sep 2017 Alex is a Roar Rookie New author!


We are in the midst of finals footy there is a lot of chatter about results, crowd numbers and the refs. But there is one other story that is bubbling away in the background that has piqued the interest of a niche group of rugby league fans – the sale of the Gold Coast Titans.

Of course the Gold Coast locals are watching with interest, with a bumpy ten years behind them, the GC contingent will be hoping for a solid consortium to help steady the ship and ensure a long and prosperous future.

The other group whose ears have pricked up are the old North Sydney faithful. For those that aren’t familiar with the news to date, word is that the Bears, combined with a big financial backing are making a play for the licence.

Now let it be known off the bat that I would love to see the Bears back. Seeing the red and black playing in the top tier would be a dream, and am all for this even though they have stated they are fully committed to the Gold Coast region. As a Sydney-based fan, one home game at NSO versus Manly would be huge, and let’s be honest, with 8-9 ‘away’ games in Sydney anyway, I’d have plenty of opportunities to see them play.

However I’m not writing this to say why the NRL should pick the Bears over the Titans, or why the GC should get behind the team – Billy Moore is doing that already. Why I am writing this is that I’ve noticed a lot of people who oppose the bid define the club by the fact their last premiership was in 1922, or that they were a ‘failed’ club that went broke.

Yes it’s true, 1922 was their last premiership. However there is a lot more to the club than most people realise, or that is even widely published. Which is why despite an almost 20-year exodus people still get fire in the belly when talk of them coming back surfaces.

Whether people like it or not, the Bears form a significant part of the history of rugby league in Australia. While there is debate, many league historians believe that North Sydney was the first club officially registered by NSWRL for the 1908 competition.

When the league was established the majority of clubs adopted the colours of the local rugby union team, North Sydney were the only club to break that trend, rejecting the local union strip and instead opted to don the red and black we are still familiar with.

The Bears lay claim to having the first Australian player ever to score a try against Great Britain in Jimmy Devereaux and may have also been the first club to have an indigenous captain, when they bestowed George Green, the first Indigenous rugby league player, with the captaincy in 1916. Bears stalwart Ken Irvine still to this day holds the league record of 212 tries in his career.

In addition to this the Bears were the first team to ever draw 40,000 spectators against Easts in 1921, and in 1943 they were the first club to draw a 60,000+ crowd figure against Newtown. Even as late as 1991 and 1994, the Bears were Sydney’s most supported team, only trailing behind Brisbane and Newcastle.

They were also the first ever rugby league team to have their match televised in Australia, playing against Balmain.

All significant milestones.

While the Bears still operate a successful junior RL district and team in the Intrust Super Premiership, their 109-year journey hasn’t been without its hurdles. These obstacles started straight from their inception with the Bears having no consistent home ground for the first two years of their existence, with the local council refusing to let them play at North Sydney Oval in order to preference rugby union.

Their catchment area was cut down significantly, twice. Firstly, in 1922, the NSWRL took Ryde, North Ryde, Hunters Hill and Gladesville from the Norths District and gave it to Balmain. Secondly in 1947, the Northern beaches were taken away when Manly-Warringah entered the premiership.

The Bears lost 33 grade players from this split, however it is a testament to the character of the club that they voted in favour of MW having their own team to grow the game, despite it being against their interests.

The growth of Sydney has also given the Bears a number of challenges, after winning two premierships, construction of the Harbour Bridge commenced in 1923 which resulted in 500 working class homes from the area removed. Later in the late ’60s, the development of the Warringah freeway removed further homes and prevented the Bears from building their own purpose built stadium and also prevented the expansion of their Leagues club.

Despite this, the Bears continued to build themselves better and stronger, with their last decade in first grade being one of their best, reaching four prelims and winning four reserve grade premierships in five years.

Hardships aside, the Bears have always gone above to support the community and help grow rugby league as a whole.

During the First World War, attendance for the club was low and the club like many others was struggling, yet an initiative was set up and gate taking were collected and went to the ‘Belgium Fund’ war effort.

In the ’30s during the Great Depression, despite significant decline in finances, they continued to meet all their financial obligations as a club while continuing to fundraise for the districts unemployed. In WW2, again the Bears took a lead in helping fundraise for various donations, and North Sydney Oval was even used by the National Emergency Services.

The Bears also have a history of going outside of their own domain to help grow the game for the greater good. In 1926 North’s Paddy Boland helped expand RL to rural NSW. As mentioned earlier in 1946, Norths voted in favour of their catchment area splitting to set up Manly. In 1994 the Bears also set up a twin club in Fiji that still exists today – the Fiji Army Bears, they provided financial support and kit, as well as provided additional support through coaching equipment and personnel.

A lot of other clubs can also indirectly thank the Bears for their main sources of income. In 1951, North Sydney Member of Parliament and avid Bears supporter Jim Geraghty, spearheaded a royal commission into the liquor industry which resulted in recommendations that sporting and non-sporting clubs should be the recipients of new liquor licenses. This spurned in the birth of Leagues clubs, ensuring increased finances and the growth of rugby league as a whole.

While the Bears haven’t tasted many premierships, the club was not without its successes. The Bears won a number of other titles including City Cups and the Challenge Cup. They remained undefeated at home for three consecutive years in the 60s, between 89-93 they won four reserve grade titles in five years and countless legends and household names have donned the red and black since its inception.

But on-field success doesn’t define the club and Bears fans know that. They stand for so much more. Despite a ‘bear’ trophy cabinet and almost 20 years away from the NRL, those on the North Shore still would rather not follow a team than pull on the maroon and white of their neighbours.

The Bears over their history have made a number of choices, sure they are a club that have always strived for success and survival and their 91 years in the top tier is a testament to that – but it becomes evident that the choices that were made always had an ethical backing, they chose never to trample over others to get that success.

They are a club that always oozed loyalty and character and never sold their soul for a title. The fans knew that and to this day they pay that loyalty back in turn.

They also know deep down that the Bears will not be in hibernation forever. Whether or not that is misguided faith or whether or not it will be on the Gold Coast time will tell.

I do understand that Gold Coast fans have reservations about an outside entity coming in to buy their club. It makes sense, I’d feel the same. But it history is any barometer, then if the Bears are successful, all signs point to the fact they will do everything they can to make rugby league thrive on the Gold Coast.

No club can guarantee on-field success, but what the Gold Coast could expect is a club that embraces the community and a club that any fan can truly be proud of. The Bears mascot has also been part of the GC league community since 1935 in their Burleigh, but whether or not they are ready to see that moniker represent them on the national stage is yet to be seen.

All I know is if it happens, the GC would be lucky to have them.

(IMHO Great argument!)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you say its a great argument.

Unfortunately my mail is that the rather affluent current Titans chair Rebecca Frizelle has done a deal with the NRL to obtain the licence.

The NRL has guaranteed the new owners a ten year tenure.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:01 am    Post subject: White Shoe Brigade - 2 Reply with quote

Always dangerous to assume these spruikers are worth getting into bed with.

The sporting landscape is rife with the corpses of sporting clubs who have been "saved" by these types.

Newcastle Knights, Sydney Kings etc. etc. (to say nothing of Singo saving the Bears!)

The long term viability is clearly with the Bears and I believe the NRL know this - just because a gold coast PR firm is pumping out "leaks" that the deal is done means very little.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the long term viability thoughts, especially with an old fashioned Leagues Club backing, but the NRL aren't renowned for making great decisions.

I'm on the far North Coast so I hope the bid is given the 'green light' as it will take me the same time get to the home games as when I lived in Sydney.

My source, who is close to the Titans, say its a done deal. Lets hope not!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: BEARS STILL FIGHTING Reply with quote

It is an interesting situation and who knows what is really going on.

However, the number of pro-Bears articles even in the Northern press and the complete lack of detail from the WSBers seems to indicate that there is some support for the Bears' bid.

There was a meeting of football club members to detail the proposal which appears encouraging.

I guess it will depend who has been is anointed by the NRL but it seems like a no-brainer to me to give the franchise to the Bears given its leagues club on the Coast, the many repeated failures of the Giants, Titans etc. already (some of which occurred when the latest saviours were directors) and the success of other transplanted organisations such as the Swans.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:44 pm    Post subject: FINANCIAL REVIEW REPORT Reply with quote

While the NRL is in the middle of an exciting finals series on the field, rugby league's governing body will have some crucial meetings off it – starting on Tuesday.

Officials will meet with about half a dozen prospective buyers of the Gold Coast Titans, with a view of selling the franchise back into private hands by October 31.

While the history of rugby league on the Gold Coast is at best vexed – before the Titans came the Giants, Seagulls, Chargers and even, for a very short time, the Gladiators – the league has been pleasantly surprised by how much interest there has been for a franchise that has had a tumultuous time of things and lost plenty of money for various owners.

It either means there are plenty of entrepreneurs who want to burn good money owning a sports club – though there is always that cachet that comes with being at the helm of a team – or there is some value in holding one of only 16 licences in a closed competition.

While the league would love to get a competitive bidding process underway and get a big $5 million to $10 million cheque from the eventual buyer, NRL officials have been telling people they are more worried about finding owners committed for the long term and will prioritise close links to the local community as part of their business plans.

The club certainly has plenty of potential, with more than 600,000 people living within a 30-minute drive of its stadium at Robina, and the local Gold Coast economy growing ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games.

As with the Gold Coast though, nothing is ever simple. Though local business identities and former directors Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kerry are behind one consortium bidding – they have both stepped down from the board in order to make the bid and allay any conflict of interest concerns – others are from elsewhere.

The North Sydney Bears consortium, including the leagues club that backed the former NRL club of the same name, has been the most voluble of the potential buyers. They want to change the club's name to the Gold Coast Bears and play two games per season at North Sydney Oval.

Another bidder that has recently been revealed is the Brisbane Bombers consortium, a group of business people who have long wanted to win a licence to run a second NRL team in Brisbane to compete with the powerful Broncos. They say they would keep the Titans on the Gold Coast, but are still keen on another Brisbane team in the future.

The NRL's governing entity, the Australian Rugby League Commission, has had a data room available to prospective buyers for about the last two weeks and hopes to whittle down the list of contenders to two or three after this week's meetings.

Gold Coast and other clubs have put a dent in the NRL's balance sheet in recent years. It and three other clubs owe the ARLC about $12.2 million in loans according to the league's 2016 financial report.

The clubs and state bodies under the ARLC's control, including the Newcastle Knights and Titans, made a combined loss of $4.3 million in 2016. The Knights have since been sold to the Wests Group of licensed clubs and while the NRL did not reap millions from the deal, the contract came with the proviso that Wests will spend a large sum on a centre of excellence.

Gold Coast is said to have lost about $2 million to $3 million this year, a shortfall the league covers, but the NRL is hoping the funding arrangement it has struck will make the Titans and other teams far more financially viable.

Each club will receive an increased central grant from the NRL next season of $12.5 million per club, up from $8.4 million this year. Then there is the looming cap on football department spending, which would also give an incoming owner some certainly over one of a football club's biggest costs. The ceiling will start at $5.7 million next year, rising to about $6.1 million by 2020 when all clubs have to be beneath the cap.

It being rugby league, there is another intriguing twist with the Titans sale though.

Gold Coast is in the market for a new coach for next season after former boss Neil Henry was sacked in August. It means that Titans management will be running a process to find the next coach at about the same time the NRL is trying to find a new owner.

Whoever is writing the cheques after the transaction would obviously want to have a say in who is in charge of the team that runs out on the park every week, so the NRL will attempt to keep the last couple of prospective buyers on its short list abreast of the coach search.
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