Bids on line as rivals vie for team

Rugby league identity Alan McIndoe accepts the $10,000 cheque on behalf of the four flood-affected Emerald rugby league clubs from the CQ NRL Bid team.
Rugby league identity Alan McIndoe accepts the $10,000 cheque on behalf of the four flood-affected Emerald rugby league clubs from the CQ NRL Bid team.

WHEN you are structuring something as ruthless and cut-throat as a new national rugby franchise, you have got to have a pretty thick skin to match.

CQ Bid chief executive officer Denis Keeffe, chairman Geoff Murphy and his CQ NRL Bid team hit back at what southern media is describing as the “Battle for Brisbane” in the race to become the next franchise in the NRL.

The bid team was in Emerald late last week to present a cheque of $10,000 to Central Highlands rugby league clubs to assist with flood recovery efforts.

Keeffe remained cautious of the challenge of another bid team emerging out of Brisbane.

“They are influential people, they live in a big market, they are very smart businessmen – it’s a call to arms for us,” Keeffe said.

“We’re still very confident but we are conscious of the fact that we’ve got a very, very high profile, influential and strong opposition.”

With two NRL teams already occupying the south-east of the state, Keeffe believes that proper thought has not been adequately invested in their project and that it is unfair to overlook a region still without a team to call their own.

“I think it is insensitive to other fellow Queenslanders,” Keeffe said.

“They have their own rights to do that but we think it’s a bit arrogant and selfish.

“They nominated some people and the very next day they had to go back and retract that so they weren’t even conferring with people before they made announcements.

“That’s rude. We won’t do those sorts of things.

“We’ve got some big plans in our bid process which are very important but we will not announce them until the deal is done.

“They have every right to go ahead with the project and we have every right to comment on their motives.”

CQ Bid chairman Murphy was also sceptical of the new Brisbane bid’s intention to really grow the game like in Central Queensland’s plan.

“I really don’t think Brisbane is a genuine thing, it is about dividing Brisbane,” he said.

“In five to 10 years they might be ready but not now.

“But for us to come from nowhere on the radar to be seen as one of the main candidates is a great thing.

“All we want is to be in the top two.”

Emerald resident and rugby league legend Alan McIndoe was on hand to accept the cheque from Murphy, with the money believed to be shared among the four Emerald senior and junior clubs.

McIndoe said he was proud of Murphy’s efforts.

“This man has done more for rugby league than any man I know,” he told the audience gathered at the McIndoe function centre.

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