If the Titans celebrate in Cbus Stadium, do they make a sound? (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
If the Titans celebrate in Cbus Stadium, do they make a sound? (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Titans won’t survive at this price

GOLD Coast saviour Darryl Kelly has warned the Titans will fold again if the club does not secure a $500,000 stadium discount.

On Monday, The Courier-Mail revealed the Titans are considering shifting their Round 17 derby against the Broncos to Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium.

The Titans are also yet to reach an agreement to hire Cbus Super Stadium for the club's next home game against the Rabbitohs on June 8.

 

The Titans have been locked in a stoush with Stadiums Queensland for more than three years over the exorbitant costs to hire the Robina venue.

The club pays $1.3 million annually - about $110,000-a-game - to play at the 27,500-seat stadium.

The Titans were taken over by the NRL in 2015 after folding under crippling debts when Kelly had already tipped in more than $5 million.

Kelly, who lost his initial $5 million investment, bought the club again late last year in partnership with former chair Rebecca Frizelle.

But Kelly said the Titans could not flourish long-term without a better stadium deal.

"Our aim has always been to stay at Cbus, but we also aim to have a successful team on the Gold Coast and we can't do it while we're paying $500,000-a-year more than what we should be paying," he told The Courier-Mail.

Darryl Kelly has striven to make the Titans work. (Glenn Hampson)
Darryl Kelly has striven to make the Titans work. (Glenn Hampson)

"That is robbing us of the chance to have another good footballer in our NRL squad, or money to expand our junior development programs.

"Both of those are extremely important to the short and long-term success of the club.

"We'll have the fight. We've had fights before and made hard decisions and we'll do it again because it's all about the long-term.

"There is no use having a club that's going to last a few years and fold again. We're building a club that's sustainable moving forward.

"It (folding) won't happen in the short term because we've said we'll support it, but in the long-term we all get sick of dipping into our back pockets."

The club will get used to playing in the likes of Toowoomba. (AAP Image/Darren England)
The club will get used to playing in the likes of Toowoomba. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Kelly's warning should sound alarm bells for the Queensland Government and NRL.

The Titans operate on one of the leanest budgets in the league, yet still ran at a significant loss last year.

The Kelly and Frizelle consortium will absorb the operating deficit in the short-term, however Kelly said the stadium deal was not sustainable.

"We've got a single purpose to make the club successful," he said.

"It (stadium deal) has been a priority for the last three-and-a-half years. The NRL were going like crazy trying to get it resolved.

"They identified the major issues when they did the assessment of the club, which was six months before they took it over. This was something they identified because they knew it was out of kilter with everybody else.

"We're not asking for anything more than the going rate everywhere else. If we can get that, we're more than happy."

The Titans took games to Toowoomba and Gladstone earlier this season because of the Commonwealth Games and Kelly said it was unlikely the club would ever play 12 matches-a-year at Cbus again.

 

Gladstone’s Marley Brown Oval also hosted the Titans. (AAP Image/Paul Beutel)
Gladstone’s Marley Brown Oval also hosted the Titans. (AAP Image/Paul Beutel)

"There is already the likelihood of a maximum of 11 games anyway because of the (Magic Weekend at Suncorp Stadium) round including all the clubs," he said.

"It's a fact of life. The NRL has pushed to take more games to the country. I don't think we'll be playing 12 games there ever again.

"I'd ask all our members, supporters, sponsors and partners to have some faith that those making the decisions are making them for the right reasons.

"There is no benefit to any of us in the management or ownership structure personally. There is nothing there for us to get out of it

"We're doing it for the sole reason that we think it's the right reason for the Gold Coast Titans."

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