The Gold Coast Titans have slammed the Queensland Sports Minister after he told our local clubs to stop complaining about stadium costs and focus on winning.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni yesterday took a swipe at both the Titans and the Gold Coast Suns after they threatened to walk away from Metricon and Cbus Super Stadium due to massive hiring fees imposed by Stadiums Queensland.
De Brenni told the Courier Mail the two teams needed to worry more about winning on the field and less about State Government fees.
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“Ultimately each club is responsible for their own destiny. It is up to the clubs to develop a strong following through marketing … and on-field performances,” Mr de Brenni told the Courier Mail.
“Clubs with a winning formula can make a strong profit utilising our stadiums.”
The Gold Coast Titans released a statement on Friday saying they are ‘disappointed’ with the Minister’s comments.
“The Sports Minister’s reported public comments are disappointing and are indifferent to the value and contribution of sport to local communities and the overall fabric of society,” the statement read.
“The inference that only winning clubs have a right to survive goes against every accepted national trait we try to instil in young Australians encouraging participation, sportsmanship, and continuously striving to improve regardless of results.”
The Titans also went on to clarify what they say are a number of ‘inaccuracies and false assertions’ circulating about hiring arrangements at Cbus Super Stadium.
“The Titans have never sought Government assistance to underwrite the operating costs of our business as has been insinuated. Our only objective throughout discussions with Government stretching over the past 3½ years, has been to reach a long-term agreement on fair commercial terms similar to those in place for NRL clubs hiring Government owned venues in other states.
“The difference between Government charges currently imposed on the Titans and those in place for very similar facilities in NSW is approaching $500k per annum.”
The NRL club said the only people who would feel the effects of those costs are the local fans.
“The inevitable consequence of this type of inequality is that further upward pressure is placed on ticket prices for our loyal members and fans who are also taxpayers contributing to the Government for the provision of sporting facilities and other essential infrastructure.”
The Titans said the recent success of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games shows the profound influence sports can have to bring the local community together and they remain hopeful a new deal can be sorted out with the Queensland Government.
“The Government invested heavily in bringing the Games to the Gold Coast to derive the long-term economic and social benefits that will last long into the future by way of legacy.
“There is now a great opportunity for the momentum generated by the Games to be carried forward by local sporting codes and organisations that provide similar community inspiration and healthy lifestyle benefits on a constant basis.”