NRL wants to sell Knights before Titans

A new multi-year sponsorship deal and the arrival of superstar Jarryd Hayne won’t rush the NRL into selling Gold Coast.

The governing body wants to off-load struggling Newcastle first.

Gold Coast have been in the league’s hands since entering voluntary administration in March last year.

At the time the club’s existence was under threat, dealing with allegations of cocaine possession against several players, no major sponsor and no training or administration base.

Since then the Titans have transformed themselves on the field, with Hayne’s arrival on a two-year deal the icing on the cake as they close in on a first finals appearance since 2010.

The club have also signed a long-term deal with sponsor Aquis and are preparing to move into a purpose-built facility for the club’s football and administration arms at Parkwood International Golf Course next year.

Despite that rise in stature, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg says getting new ownership sorted for last-placed Newcastle comes first.

“We’ve said from the outset we’re not long-term owners of clubs,” Greenberg said.

“Our first priority at the moment is the Knights, and we’re in the middle of that at the moment, about figuring out the best ownership model.

“Next year into 2017 will be when we really get into the grunt of figuring out what the ownership model of the Titans will look like.”

Greenberg praised the Titans for their turnaround and said the transformation showed the value of a strong off-field leadership.

“Clearly the club is in much better shape,” he said.

“What it does demonstrate to me is that the great old quote from Jack Gibson about needing a strong front office to be able to perform well on the field rings true in the modern day.

“The Titans are a great example of that.”

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