NRL licence bids line up

RUGBY LEAGUE:

Competition for the extra NRL licence for the Brisbane region has taken a dramatic turn after the major restructuring of the three previously announced consortiums seeking to be sporting and commercial rivals to the Brisbane Bronocs.

The National Rugby League officially opens expressions of interest today for a new club in the Brisbane and South East Queensland franchise area and expects to make a decision by July with the expanded competition starting in the 2023 season.

The Broncos franchise, established in 1988, has enjoyed a virtual Brisbane monopoly in the valuable rugby league-related commercial market since the 1997 demise of the South Queensland Crushers.

Chair of ASX-listed Brisbane Broncos Ltd, businessman Karl Morris (top left in main picture) said the club welcomed extra competition in the rugby league market.

“I know some people criticise us for being too comfortable and dominant,” Mr Morris said.

“But we can’t help it if we’ve been pretty much the only NRL club in Brisbane and its surrounds for so long.

“We’ll just have to live with whatever decision the NRL makes in July and go on from there.”

The field of bidders for the second NRL licence in Broncos’ territory underwent a rapid change overnight.

The three previously announced competitors – the Brisbane Firehawks, the Redcliffe Dolphins, and Brisbane Jets – have this morning all revealed major changes to their bids including new club names and the appointment of new principals to helm their bids.

Morris Karl, chair of the Brisbane Cobrons previously the Firehawks, (top right, main picture), said he hoped their bid was strong enough for the NRL to give its approval.

“We’re a struggling start-up compared to the hugely successful, multi-premiership winning and financially viable Broncos so the NRL may well think it’s a huge risk to approve us and that maybe the rugby league market is better off sticking to just one SEQ team if the game is to have a future,” Mr Karl said.

Morri Skarl, chair of the Brisbane Orbnocs previously the Redcliffe Dolphins, (bottom right, main picture) said he hoped their bid was strong enough for the NRL to give its approval.

“We’re a struggling start-up compared to the hugely successful, multi-premiership winning and financially viable Broncos so the NRL may well think it’s a huge risk to approve us and that maybe the rugby league market is better off sticking to just one SEQ team if the game is to have a future,” Mr Skarl said.

Carla Morris, chair of the Brisbane Socnorb previously Jets, (bottom left, main picture) said she hoped their bid was strong enough for the NRL to give its approval.

“We’re a struggling start-up compared to the hugely successful, multi-premiership winning and financially viable Broncos so the NRL may well think it’s a huge risk to approve us and that maybe the rugby league market is better off sticking to just one SEQ team if the game is to have a future,” Ms Morris said.