Geoff Murphy is upbeat despite some adverse reports.
Geoff Murphy is upbeat despite some adverse reports. CHRIS ISON CI

Murphy unfazed by reticent NRL

GEOFF Murphy can understand why the NRL is embracing a conservative approach to future expansion plans.

But that’s not deterring him.

For the second time this week, Mr Murphy, chairman of the CQ NRL Bid Team, has responded to reports that the NRL isn’t looking to expand into new markets.

Fox Sports yesterday reported a meeting of the 16 NRL club chief executives on Tuesday embraced the conservative approach and agreed instead to focus on consolidation and internal growth in the near future.

Clubs have even been presented with information that suggests expanding the competition in 2013 would not guarantee a better deal when television rights are next negotiated.

Mr Murphy, chairman of the CQ NRL Bid Team, said: “We understand why the NRL wants to tread carefully on the issue of expansion, given what has happened with some clubs in the past.

“Whilst we respect their views, we firmly believe we can still put forward a strong business case for the inclusion of a CQ-based NRL team…a team that could add value to the NRL and its commercial partners.

“Recent southern media coverage in relation to expansion hasn’t been helpful from our viewpoint, but once again, I wish to assure our growing band of supporters, from Bundaberg in the south to Mackay in the north and west to the border, that our CQ NRL Bid Team is pushing on in our endeavours to establish a CQ-based NRL side.”

NRL chief executive David Gallop said until there was a strong business case for any expansion contributing to the growth of the competition then it would not be part of immediate plans.

“There was unanimous support that the game needs to be able to grow the existing ‘pie’ so that we can increase revenue for the existing clubs, increase payments for players and increase the amount we can invest in junior development,” Fox Sports reported Mr Gallop as saying.

“Our competitors are looking to get a foot

hold in areas that we are already in and that we have strategically targeted ahead of them.

“In looking closely at the brand through independent eyes, it comes through pretty strongly that rugby league and its stakeholders need to be more confident about the game’s strengths.

“That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels and we are not.”

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