‘No-brainer’: Joey backs Bears bid
RUGBY league Immortal Andrew Johns has backed the NRL to revive the Central Coast Bears and reaffirmed his belief there are too many Sydney teams in the competition.
Billionaire businessman John Singleton spearheaded a bid for the Bears to become an NRL franchise in Gosford back in 2007, but it was eventually overlooked by the NRL, which breathed life into the Titans instead.
However, with the Titans now struggling to maintain their foothold as the third Queensland team, Johns believes it's time the NRL look to use the fertile rugby league area between Manly and Newcastle.
"We keep talking about Perth, but it's so far away I imagine the costs would be astronomical getting everyone over there and back.
"At the Central Coast they have a stadium up there and they have a huge junior base. There are so many players play up there, so you can get the best kids aspiring to play for the Central Coast.
"I understand they also had a coach in line (in 2007). I think they had $50m in the bank. So for me it's a no-brainer.
"Done right with the right people it could be successful."
Singleton said the Bears had a $50 million bank guarantee, Central Coast Stadium, as well as Warren Ryan as coaching director and David Fairleigh lined up to coach in 2007.
Johns reiterated his belied there was a saturation of Sydney teams in the NRL but maintained the Central Coast as a region was a "must".
"Once again there are too many teams in Sydney, but how do we rationalise that and get it down to say six teams in Sydney? I'm not sure but I think they need a team definitely," he said of the Central Coast.
The topic has again come up for discussion with the Rabbitohs and Storm due to play in Gosford on Sunday in what should be a sell-out game.