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ARLC chairman Peter V'landys

ARLC Chairman Confirms Possibility Of 17th Team Merge

T
he fight to take out the 17th spot in the NRL continues, with ARLC chairman, Peter V’landys, stating this morning that if the Brisbane Firehawks and Brisbane Jets were to merge their bid would become a lot stronger. 

According to a report from The Courier Mail, the Brisbane Firehawks and Brisbane Jets have been discussing a potential merger, in order to raise their net worth and take down the bid of the Redcliffe Dolphins.

Brisbane Firehawks, Brisbane Jets, Redcliffe Dolphins.

Brisbane Firehawks, Brisbane Jets, Redcliffe Dolphins.

The Redcliffe Dolphins have been the frontrunners for selection, with an estimated asset value of up to $100 million, owing to their history as a traditional club.

The merger of the Jets and Firehawks would take their asset value to an estimated $35 million.

Speaking on the Fordham show on 2GB this morning, V’landys spoke out for the first time regarding the potential merger.

V’landys said: “I was aware of it first thing this morning that it might happen.”

“We’ll wait and see if it does happen.

“These merger talks sometimes do fall over, but it will certainly make that bid a lot stronger than what it currently is.

“It’s a smart thing to do – combining to make a more powerful bid – they have much more money behind them,” he said.

V’landys has been transparent that leading the ARLC decision will be heavily dependent on the club’s estimated cash value, and their ability to generate a solid fanbase. 

V’landys said: “One of the assets the Redcliffe offer is the cash they can put into the game and the available assets they have and the membership of a new audience.”

“If we bring in a 17th team it’s got to bring in a new audience and take a casual fan and turn them into a rusted-on rugby league fan.

“There’s no good taking fans from the Broncos or Titans or Dragons.

“They have got to be new fans, with new tribalism and they’ve got to reinvigorate Brisbane rugby league and that’s what we are looking at,” he said.

The NRL is expected to admit a new team for the 2023 or 2034 season, but V’landys says this will be dependent on how much time the new team needs to prepare.