Why the Gold Coast Titans are better equipped to deal with the NRL shutdown than the Broncos
The Titans have long been the paupers of the NRL - but now that weakness becomes a strength, with the Gold Coast far better placed to deal with the shutdown than the Broncos.
The Gold Coast Titans’ biggest weakness has turned into the club’s strength in the fight to stay alive during the NRL’s coronavirus crisis.
The Titans’ owners have vowed to keep the battling NRL franchise afloat following the league’s decision to indefinitely suspend the 2020 season.
The NRL’s 16 clubs have already started cost-cutting measures, slashing staff and budgets given the competition will not resume before June at the earliest.
The Titans have long been the NRL’s paupers, operating on a shoestring budget in comparison to glamour clubs like the Brisbane Broncos, who generated $52 million in revenue last year.
The Titans employ about 50 staff, less than half of the Broncos, and their shrewd spending has been viewed as the club’s achilles heel in the yearly arms race to win the NRL premiership.
But with most clubs now relying on handouts from the NRL to survive, the Titans are well-placed to emerge from the game’s biggest financial crisis intact.
“Because the business has had to run lean for some time, this situation works in your favour,” Titans CEO Steve Mitchell said.
“We’ve been running very close to what’s a baseline resourcing expectation around an NRL club.
“We don’t have the geared-up resourcing the bigger clubs like the Broncos would have to deliver their programs right across Brisbane. We won’t have to make the same amount of deep cuts that the Broncos might have to make.
“We’re lucky we’ve got two wonderful owners in the Frizelle (Brett and Rebecca) and Kelly (Darryl and Jo) families. They’re great custodians of the club.
“We’re in constant dialogue and they’re steadfast in their belief in the organisation and it’s sustainability going forward.
“That helps greatly. Armed with that, we’re confident we’ll work our way through this and the club won’t be going anywhere.”
The Titans have started the process of asking staff to take leave and Mitchell said yesterday morning they had yet to lay-off any employees.
But with little membership, corporate and game-day revenue coming into the business, it is likely the club will be forced to cut staff until the competition resumes.
“We’re lucky in the fact we are flexible, we’re not as resourced as some of the really big clubs that have to make dramatic changes,” Mitchell said.
“We’ll definitely need to make sacrifices. That’s everybody. We’ll adjust to our needs so we can get through. We’re seeing that across the country.
“We want to be here at the back of this. We know there is a finite period of time this will go on for. We want to come out the other end of this while we’ve got our people intact so we can get back to work.
“We want to keep all of our people. We’ve got wonderful people who are passionate about the club.
“We don’t want to lose them. They’re part of our family. We’ve got to do our best to retain them.
“We’re going to work our way towards holding on to these guys as best as we can.
“We’re all going to take a hit at some point, but we want them here so when we get through we can get back to business as quickly as possible.”
The Titans’ players have been given days off yesterday and today as the club plots its plans for a season with no games.