CQ’s Bid is Given Stamp of Approval - Todd Balym (Courier Mail)

A comprehensive financial stress test from the world’s largest accountancy firm has the Central Queensland bid team confident they have nailed the crucial vialbility criteria for potential NRL inclusion.

Promising the NRL a “no risk in the heartland” future, CQ has completed a detailed business plan over nine months and received an endorsement from Pricewaterhouse Coopers following a six-month independent analysis.

“We’ve completed a very detailed financial plan.  That is what our emphasis has been on,” CQ bid Chief Executive Denis Keeffe said yesterday.  “We’ve has that stress-tested by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and that was a very expensive exercise.

“Now we have a stamp that says very achievable and some parts they said it was quite conservative in our estimates.

“The main criteria they will judge bidders on is the viability process and we think we have that nailed acutally.”

While other bid teams such as Perth claim to offer the NRL a new frontier and market expansion, Keeffe said investing in true rugby league communities posed “no risk”.  With the struggles of the NRL’s newest club, Gold Coast Titans, the CQ bid believe their strong financial position and “high-end”economic model offers a secure future.

“Without being disrespectful to the Titans because they’re my mates, they (ARLC) don’t want that (financial hardship) to happen,” Keeffe said.  “There is no risk in the heartland and that is what….we can deliver to them.”

Keeffe said he expected the NRL to address possible expansion in September.  If bidders are sought, CQ would be ready for a full presentation to the ARLC by October and if awarded a licence by the end of the year they would be ready to enter the NRL by 2015.

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