Gold Coast Titans sponsor TFH has backflipped on a decision to walk away from the club with a year to run on its deal.
The Construction and Events Hire company came in for heavy criticism after citing captain Ryan James’ stumble at the NRL Grand Final as one of the reasons it was cutting ties with the club.
At the time, TFH labelled James’ gaffe as “embarrassing and offensive”.
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Titans Head of Performance and Culture Mal Meninga described TFH’s move as weak and said it was in poor taste to use James’ unfortunate mistake as a reason.
TFH Hire Services Director Brett Thomas has publicly and personally apologised to James, saying he unfairly became the focus of the company’s issue with the club.
Mr Thomas has also committed to sticking with the Titans next year following frank talks with the Titans.
“I sincerely apologise to Ryan James, and his family, for any hurt my comments caused. It was a stupid thing to say, and it’s not how I think or who I am,” Mr Thomas said.
“During sponsorship negotiations with the Titans, I overreacted and unfairly brought Ryan into a situation that had nothing to do with him.
“I’ve known Ryan for seven years and have a great relationship with him. I’ve spoken with Ryan over the past few days to check on his welfare and to personally apologise to him.”
Mr Thomas says he is grateful that James has accepted his apology.
TFH says it remains committed to the club and the local community in 2020.
“We stand united with the Titans. There are lots of good things happening at the Club, and we are excited for the 2020 season,” Mr Thomas said.
Titans CEO Steve Mitchell has welcomed the decision by TFH.
“We have had some direct, honest and positive two-way conversations with TFH around their commitment to the Club, and the Titans are happy this long-term relationship will continue into the 2020 season,” Mitchell said.
“We are pleased TFH will continue with us, the rest of the Titans’ corporate partners, our Members and fans as we work together towards a positive and productive future on the Gold Coast.”