The $250,000 lifeline that saved the Capras
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Queensland Rugby League has committed $250,000 towards the CQ Capras survival. Now, community support is needed, more than ever.
Without it, the struggling club could cease to exist.
The grave but very real warning came from the QRL chairman Peter Betros this morning, urging the community to help keep their club alive.
Six weeks ago, the QRL became aware that the Capras were unable to meet their financial obligations. They stepped in and put up $250,000 to sustain the club.
"We were in danger of losing the side out of the competition," Mr Betros revealed.
"The model was unsustainable and in bringing forward a new governance model, that became obvious."
Capras chairman, Mr Geoff Murphy has chosen to step down.
"We think that the governance model didn't have enough input coming in from a business point of view. There wasn't enough community involvement from the junior and senior leagues but we are here to address that," Mr Betros added.
"We have put up funds but we can't continue with a broken model.
"The only way it will succeed here is for the community to get behind the Capras and get behind the new structure."
That new structure began immediately, with former Deputy Premier and current QRL director Mr Terry Mackenroth coming on board as interim chairman.
It is his job to help appoint a new board and drag the club out of the doldrums. It is a role he took on with the Northern Pride earlier this year with great success.
"My job here is do re-structure and work with the community to find a new board," Mr Mackenroth said.
"It costs a million dollars a year to run a team in this competition and while the QRL sponsors subsidises some of the cost, you need to raise money from the local community.
"I was the director of the Australian Rugby League and part of the group that put together the commission. We also negotiated the constitution and we want all our QRL clubs to move to this model."
Given the sheer size of the CQ catchment and its history of producing players of NRL calibre, the call to save the Capras was a must.
"The league nursery in CQ has always been great and we don't want to lose it. We can't afford to lose it," Mr Betros said.
"Rugby league is the DNA of Queenslanders here and you just have to look at the number of NRL and Origin players currently playing. We have to maintain that. It is a vital region for us.
"Hopefully we see a big improvement from the whole club and under the coaching of Kim Williams, on field too. We think there is a really bright future ahead but we can't do it alone."
Without the Capras, players like Corey Oates and Cameron Munster could be lost to the game.
Mr Betros said he had already received plenty of interest from locals about positions on the board and said the whole process would take about three months.
Added to the club's blossoming outlook was the upcoming announcement of an NRL club affiliation
He confirmed that clubs have expressed interest but could only hint that the announcement was days away.