The Gold Coast Phoenix

The Gold Coast just doesn’t seem to like Rugby League.

Or maybe it is the other way around.

Either way you look at it, the dramatic financial plight of the Gold Coast Titans, has quickly set-off rumours surrounding another potential ‘phoenix’ club rising once again from the sunshine strip.

Since 1988, five Gold Coast teams – Giants, Seagulls, Gladiators, Crushers and Titans – have all tried to establish themselves as a competitive part of the premier Australian Rugby League competition. 

And should the Titans’ estimated AUD$30 million debt be too much for boss Michael Searle to pay back, the most recent of those attempts will be forced to close their doors and start once more. 

It is a process that’s been done and has worked before.

In 2000, the Auckland Warriors finished second last in the NRL and under intense financial pressure, were bought out and forced to rebrand as the New Zealand Warriors.

The following season the new New Zealand Warriors made the finals series for the first time.

The season after that they were Minor Premiers, and losing Grand Finalists.

But despite the quick short-term success from the Warriors rebranding and restructuring, the biggest win has ultimately been their longevity.

The rumour of another fresh start can only be viewed as positive for any lovers of Rugby League on the Gold Coast; however, others around Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea won’t be seeing it that way.

Let’s take multimillionaire advertising guru John Singleton. 

According to him, if anywhere has earned the right to an NRL team, it’s on his beloved Central Coast, under the name Central Coast Bears.

And to be fair, he’s got a point. 

The same bid team was only just pipped by the Titans last time around, but just don’t ask him to explain how.

”All the smart money was on the fact we would get the team and then the Gold Coast would be next, if and when they got some money and a stadium,” he told Fairfax . 

And he isn’t the only one who feels they deserve a shot. 

There are active bid teams preparing themselves in Ipswich, Brisbane, Central Queensland, Perth, Papua New Guinea and Wellington, should the NRL come knocking.

And they undoubtedly will, and you needn’t look very far to see it’s happening either.

Last weekend Brisbane took on Souths at NIB Stadium in the bid hopeful city of Perth. 

Why would they go to so much effort to play a game on a Friday night?

To see if it works.

I just hope they are more thorough this time around, as the people who always seem to loose out in this mess are the fans of Rugby League on the Gold Coast.

So lets just hope that the 2012 Gold Coast Titans jersey isn’t headed to the same memorabilia shop on Cavill Avenue where the last three can also be found on special.

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