Could the Sharks relocate?
Could the Sharks relocate?

Freddy backs new Cronulla home amid axe reports

ARLC chairman Peter Beattie insists no decision has been made on the future footprint of the NRL after the Nine Network pushed for one team to be axed to make way for a second Brisbane side.

Nine director of sport Tom Malone said the network wanted to see a second side to rival the Broncos to be introduced in time for the next broadcasting deal which will begin in 2023.

He put the existing clubs under pressure when he said that his preference was for one club to be cut in order to make way.

It places uncertainty on the crowded Sydney market and the likes of Cronulla, Manly and the Wests Tigers as well as the Gold Coast, who have struggled for consistency since entering the competition.

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Beattie said that no decision would be made before December when NRL will hand down a report on possible future expansion.


Could the Sharks move?
Could the Sharks move?

"The ARLC has made no decision on the future footprint of the game," Beattie said.

"The ARLC asked the NRL to work on a footprint strategy and report back by December 2019.

"That work involved stakeholder consultation. No club will be forced to move.

"Clubs will have a chance to voice their views on September 12."

NSW coach Brad Fittler said he supported a Sydney team being moved to Brisbane but still retaining part of its identity, pointing to the success the AFL had in moving South Melbourne to Sydney and Fitzroy to Brisbane.

"There's a lot of narrow-mindedness about how it should be done and who it should be," Fittler told the Sunday Footy Show.

"If we look at the AFL model and how that's worked with the Sydney Swans and the Brisbane Lions.

"The Swans came up from South Melbourne so their history doesn't start in (1982), it goes back to South Melbourne.

"Every time we have this discussion there's an adamant view we have to start a new club.

"I'm thinking the Cronulla Sharks could go to Perth and have this history and play some games at Cronulla and some in Perth."


Or could it be the Sea Eagles?
Or could it be the Sea Eagles?

Meanwhile, Broncos director Darren Lockyer said it was only a matter of time before a second Brisbane side was introduced into the NRL.

"I think it's inevitable it will come. It's just a matter of when," Lockyer told Sports Sunday.

"The Broncos have always sat in the boardroom and talked about a second Brisbane team.

"Brisbane's a growing city. The Broncos have it to themselves and I think a lot of the Sydney clubs think that's an advantage for the Broncos.

"If you talk about commercial outcomes, Brisbane makes sense.

"I think the NRL doesn't want to go anymore than 16 (teams) so I think that means they've got to wait for a club to fall over and then relocate it to Brisbane."