NRL takes control of the Gold Coast Titans as the club goes into voluntary administration

Gold Coast Titans player Greg Bird has been charged. Photo: Getty Images

The fallout from the drugs scandal engulfing the Gold Coast Titans football club has seen the club slide into voluntary administration today, with the National Rugby League (NRL) intervening to seize control of the club.

NRL CEO Dave Smith said terminating the club’s licence and taking over would ensure the Gold Coast stayed in the competition

He said the Titans faced serious financial difficulties.

“This move will give the club a fresh start with the certainty that the players, staff and fans want,” Smith said, adding that the Titans remained part of the NRL’s future plans.

The Board conceded the club could no longer continue to meet its financial obligations, including staff and player salaries, following the cocaine scandal that has seen five players charged with possession and supply offences by police.

Smith said the club would remain on the Gold Coast and it would be business as usual.

Club chair Rebecca Frizelle and directors Darryl Kelly and Paul Donovan remain on the board, with CEO Graham Annesley also remaining in his role.

“In very difficult circumstances the Board has made a great contribution and we look forward to continuing to work with them to stabilise the club,” Smith said.

“The NRL will consider longer term ownership options at an appropriate future point, but, for now, our priority is stabilising the club.”

Last night Gold Coast Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly, who invested $5 million to bail the club out of debt in 2012, said he remained committed to the team, despite reports all existing shareholders will lose everything they put into the club.

“As shareholders we’ve invested for one reason and that was to keep the Titans on the Gold Coast – however it’s got bigger problems than we can manage.

“Like I’ve said previously I am not walking away. I will be working closely with the NRL to reinvest in the Titans.”