Gold Coast Titans debts and related issues

On March 23rd, 2012 Fairfax reported that the Titans accountants had uncovered 25 million in debt, that wasnt just limited to the property arm, but implicated the football club.

”We have received reports from our external accountants today that confirm the whole structure at the Titans is under considerable financial stress,” ARLC chief executive David Gallop said in a statement.

”We are working through the options around that but there needs to be an acceptance that the various arms of the group’s business are intertwined in terms of the level of debt and that will have ramifications as future options are explored.

”The game’s clear goal is to maintain a viable football club at the Titans. The issues around the building are creating an alarming diversion from what would otherwise be a successful expansion of our game into an important area.”

However on the same day, News Limited reported that the debts could be as high as $35 million.

As a result of the debts the Centre of Excellence at Robina was sold to Bond University who rented back two floors of the building to the Titans.

On March 28, 2012, it was revealed that Reed Constructions were planning to inititate bankruptcy proceedings against the Titans in order to get up to 1 million owed to them. On April 1, the Federal Court agreed to adjourn proceedings until June 1 in ordeer to give insolvency exsperts, Lord mentha time to go through the books.

On June 1, 2012, the Brisbane Times reported that proposed federal Court proceedings may not proceed after the creditors agreed to a repayment deal.

On February 27th 2013, the Titans announced they had signed a new stadium deal that would save as much as $300.000 in operating costs.

  • The Titans have signed a new tenancy deal with Stadiums Queensland to remain at Robina’s Skilled Park until the end of 2017.
  • The five-year arrangement can be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure hiring costs are palatable.
  • The Titans have hired a US firm that works with NFL clubs to deliver revolutionary structured-pricing deals to fans.
  • Any fan under 18, accompanied by a Titans member, will get free entry in a bid to boost crowds.

On February 2nd,2013 the Courier-Mail confirmed that a consortium was very much interested in buying out Michael Searles shares in the Titans.

“There is renewed interest in helping the Titans,” the consortium spokesman said on Friday. “Several are substantially wealthy individuals with a passion for rugby league, but from a business perspective it would need to be a viable investment.

“I’ve spoken to the consortium of guys. They have been looking at a few NRL clubs and they have indicated they are happy to progress conversations and make a formal approach to the Titans. We will look to do that in the next week.

“The consortium have significant wealth but they are not stupid about business investment. They want to know exactly what they are walking into at the Titans and we’ll look to meet with the club to make an informed decision.”

On August 28, 2013, NSW Sports Minister Graeme Annesley resigns to take over the Titans,.

On July 27th, 2014, the club reported itself to the NRL for salary cap irregularities inherited by the board and management.

In August 8, 2014, it was revealed that a GOLD Coast Titans charity was paying the struggling club rent of almost $750,000 a year at the same time it was receiving $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money.

The rent for space at the Titans’ ill-fated Centre of Excellence peaked at $748,000 in 2011 before dropping to just $88,000 last year – despite Titans 4 Tomorrow increasing its programs tenfold.

T4T maintains it is separate from the club but documents show senior Titans employees were directors.

The Bulletin investigation also reported

  • The organisation sought three loans – one unsecured of $350,000, another secured of $347,359, and one in 2013 from Gold Coast Titans Pty Ltd for $417,392.
  • Received $2.3 million in Federal Government funding in 2013 and $1.35 million in 2012, and generated more than $3.5 million in outside sponsorship for that period.
  • As of October 2013, had more than $1.5 million in liabilities
  • Paid $370,000 and $237,000 in consultancy fees over two years
  • Spent up to $45,000 each for luxury cars.

In September 2014, the ABC reported that the Titans would relocate their training facilities from Robina to a new facility at Coomera, although they expected to train at Southport School until the Coomera facility was finished in time for the Commonwealth games in 2018.

On February 20th, 2015, it was reported that the Titans had abandoned the Southport School facility in the wake of the early 2015 drugs crisis that took over the club briefly.

On February 24th, it was reported that the club was heading to voluntary administration, but the NRL had taken over the club to save it. The NRL would terminate the present license and issue a new one.

“This move will give the club a fresh start with the certainty that the players, staff and fans want,” Smith said

“In very difficult circumstances the Board has made a great contribution and we look forward to continuing to work with them to stabilise the club. The NRL will consider longer term ownership options at an appropriate future point, but, for now, our priority is stabilising the club.”

On March 8th, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported that the Titans would be meeting with up to 70 creditors who are owed up to $3 million. The credtors all voted to continue the current arrangements, and said they were pleased with the NRLs plans.

On March 27th, 2015, it was revealed that the NRL had spent 3.6 million in three months. A report by administrators Rodgers Reidy, released to creditors this week, outlined a number of alarming finance issues, including:

  • The club posted a $4.9m loss for the 12 months to the end of the 2014 season.
  • The NRL issued $2.35m in “emergency funding” between September and December last year and paid two monthly club grants in advance totalling $1.28 million in the same period.
  • The club had $246,403 cash in bank accounts, of which only $68,092 was recovered by administrators due to eight finance leases for motor vehicles.
  • Their greatest asset was “goodwill”, valued at $10.6 million.
  • They owed the Australian Taxation Office $273,671.

On May 12, 2015, It was reported that the Chairman of a proposed Central Queensland bid was wanting to buy the Titans, but the NRL werent quite ready to sell yet.

On October 14th, News Limited reported that the NRL was set to appoint 4 independent board members, while the NRLs cheif financial officer, Peter Brown, would stand down in order to allow the Titans to feel more like their own entity as the club is prepared for sale.

In May 2016, News Limited reported that the NRL was putting the club on the block, but wanted to sell the club to local Gold Coast interests.

In August, The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that former part owner Daryl Kelly remained interested in owning part of the club, but confirmed he needed others to also invest.

In September, Triple M reported that the NRL was asking for $15 million for the clubs license.