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Financial viability is what Papua New Guinea needs to have in order to join the top tier rugby league competition, the National Rugby League in Australia.
In an exclusive correspondence through email with NRL chief executive officer Todd Greenberg, he stressed the importance of on and off the field performance.
“PNG has done remarkably well in its short time in the Intrust Cup, expansion is not imminent but ultimately we will be looking to ensure we have competitive teams and financially viable clubs,” Greenberg said.
The main concern Greenberg has is for teams looking to come through to the top flight competition to have what he spelt out as “bona fides” in the State Cup competition.
This loosely means they must have evidence showing that they are and legitimately capable of performing at a state level whether it is in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup or the New South Wales Intrust Super Premiership, and prove they are financially viable.
Greenberg also added that no official criteria were set for teams getting into the competition but at the moment the recent talks of a possible Cairns and PNG bid is still in its infancy.
“We have not yet set a criteria but a joint bid between Cairns and PNG would be feasible, we have met with Cairns Regional Mayor Bob Manning but it is still early days,” Greenberg said.
“Having said that the first step for any club interested in becoming part of the NRL is to show their bona fides in the State Cup competition and prove they are financially viable.
“At this stage, the Australian Rugby League Commission has recognised that we need to expand but it will not happen in the short term. But certainly we would need to be sure that any new club in the NRL is competitive on the field and viable off the field.
In February heading into the next five-year broadcast cycle from 2018-2022, Greenberg stressed to teams that the NRL despite having cut down on losses in 2017 and increasing funding to NRL clubs the league would no longer be in a position to aid cash-stricken clubs like they have recently done with the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans.
“It won’t happen and the reason it won’t happen is because it can’t happen,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said when asked by NRL reporters about the potential of the governing body helping keep clubs afloat.
“Because we don’t have money put aside to prop a club up … If you look at the numbers, what the numbers tell you is that they’ve now got enough money to sustain themselves. So if they run smart, effective and efficient business models, we should have 16 strong clubs.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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