Plenty of hard work ahead – Tonner
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have welcomed today’s funding agreement which will help secure the future of the game at every level.
But the club’s CEO Greg Tonner said continued further support from sponsors, and the corporate and community sectors, was essential for the club to remain competitive.
From 2018, the deal will deliver more than $100 million extra per year to the 16 clubs until 2022 and around $100 million more will be invested to grow the game from the grassroots to the elite competitions each year.
Mr Tonner said the funding agreement would allow the Cowboys to position themselves for growth. But he added that the club was responsible for its own future success.
“We’ve won a maiden premiership, which means we’re the No.1 team after the 2015 season. Our membership level, though, was outside the top 8 at over 14,000 members,” he said.
“Our great challenge is to convert as many of those 150,000 fans in North Queensland into members.
"We also need to do everything we can to get those home game attendance numbers back up into the mid-20,000 range like they were a decade before.
“The money is great for the game, great for the clubs, but there’s still plenty of hard work ahead.
"Improving in the two areas I have mentioned – membership and home-game attendance – are essential to long-term success.
“This funding hasn’t solved the challenges facing NRL clubs but it has improved our position and we’ll be working to lift our performance.”