CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The Brisbane Broncos are set to have a little competition heading in the 2020s – with a fully formed team from the city’s mangrove-laden Eastern Suburbs announcing their willingness to take the 17th spot.
The magical men in magenta have enjoyed a 4 million-fan territory in Brisbane as the city’s only NRL club for over three decades, but that could be about to change as the game looks to introduce a new team in 2023.
A number of different rugby league heartlands are throwing their hats in for a new team including the NSW Central Coast, Perth, Central Queensland, New Zealand and even PNG; however, it’s believed a second Brisbane team would be the frontrunner.
A conglomerate of hot-headed Redlands millionaires have proposed a new team called the Bayside Coat Hangers, and already have a management team in place, although exact details about the club are unclear.
It’s the Coat Hangers who are claiming that it would add $200 million to the broadcast rights. This comes as departing Broncos boss Paul White breaks ranks and puts his support behind the idea of a second NRL club.
White is set to leave the Broncos in October after overseeing his 10th NRL season as chief executive. Ahead of his final season, White spoke for the need to dilute the Broncos monopoly in the River City
Over the years, the one-city Broncos have evolved into the NRL’s richest club, boasting 36,000 members and a $27 million club headquarters – putting them miles ahead of the clubs battling it out in a saturated Western Sydney catchment.
Hair and beauty magnate Stefan Ackerie has been earmarked as the chairman for The Coat Hangers board, with former Wynnum Manly icon Wally Lewis pitched as head coach.
“We are looking at creating a team with very little regard for good sportsmanship and the political correctness of modern football” said Wally Lewis, a vocal supporter of the new proposal.
“Coat Hangers by name and nature. Hard football played by hard men.”
The Coat Hangers will assume the Wynnum Manly Seagulls colours of pinkish maroon and bright green, and will train between North Stradbroke Island and the Pinklands Sporting Complex.
Much like the Gold Coast Titans, the Coat Hangers are banking on the NRL allowing them several seasons amnesty from the salary cap restrictions, which would allow them the opportunity to build a match-fit team.
Contract negotiations have begun with the following players for 2023:
Winger – Blake Ferguson (Eels)
Fullback – James Tedesco (Roosters)
Winger – Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
Centre – Latrell Mitchell (Roosters)
Centre – Dane Gagai (Rabbitohs)
Five-Eighth – Jack Wighton (Raiders)
Halfback – Daly Cherry Evans (Manly)
Prop – Payne Haas (Broncos)
Hooker – Cameron Smith (Storm)
Prop – Josh Papalli (Raiders)
Second-row – John Bateman (Raiders)
Second-row – Ryan Matterson (Tigers)
Lock – Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
Interchange – Corey Norman