Prospective Gold Coast Titans Owner McAuliffe Promises Long-Term Commitment
Prospective National Rugby League side Gold Coast Titans owner Stuart McAuliffe assured the NRL he is "committed to the club's long-term future," saying that he "will never sell if he formally clinches the Gold Coast licence," according to Badel & Meyn of the Brisbane COURIER-MAIL. The sale of the Titans is "imminent after McAuliffe and the rival Kelly-Frizelle bid completed their final submissions after fronting NRL hierarchy" at Rugby League HQ in Sydney on Wednesday. McAuliffe's A$25M ($19.2M) bid to buy the Titans was "rocked on Wednesday" by the revelation that the Brisbane-based fund manager faced two lawsuits from the Australian Taxation Office. NRL execs "will take no risks" with the Gold Coast license, "mindful of the financial debacle that forced the governing body to rescue the Titans two years ago after former owners racked up" a A$25M debt. McAuliffe has no background in rugby league, but "insists he would never walk away from the Titans and is prepared to sign a long-term contract of commitment with NRL hierarchy." He said, "I will be with the Titans permanently. If I get the license, I would never sell the club. I'm not saying that lightly -- I'm happy to sign a contract on that." McAuliffe "hit back at critics questioning his motives to the buy the club," saying that his reasons for bidding for the Titans license are "multifaceted, with his belief the NRL is on the cusp of a boom." McAuliffe: "The NRL will go the same way as the NFL in terms of profile and income. Twenty years ago, the Dallas Cowboys were sold for $80 million and they are now worth $6-7 billion." Rebecca Frizelle, the former Titans chair, outlined her and Darryl Kelly's "long-term strategy to ensure the Titans prosper on the Gold Coast." Frizelle: "Our motivation for investing in the Titans is genuine and is for all the right reasons" (COURIER-MAIL, 11/9).