The NRL’s decision to takeover the competition’s embattled Gold Coast club could revive their bid to recruit representative halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
The Titans appeared to have fallen out of the running to sign Cherry-Evans as the club lurched into full-blown crisis mode amid the cocaine scandal sweeping through Queensland sport.
The club have had to stand down five players including Cherry-Evans’ State of Origin teammate Dave Taylor and NSW star Greg Bird following revelations the quintet are all facing charges of supplying cocaine.
The shock allegations came a week after Cherry-Evans and wife Vessa had travelled up to the Gold Coast to meet with Titans’ officials and the board.
As the Titans went into meltdown, Cherry-Evans was then spotted visiting Cronulla to have talks with Sharks’ officials, leading to suggestions Gold Coast were out of the running for the off-contract Manly star.
But the NRL’s takeover on Tuesday which has secured the club’s long-term future might be just the good news needed to lure Cherry-Evans back to his home state.
Titans chair Rebecca Frizelle told a Brisbane radio station she was “very hopeful” the club could secure Cherry-Evans after Tuesday’s development.
She said the takeover secured the club’s position on the Gold Coast and showed just how committed to the team the NRL is.
Frizelle added that the community response following the drug scandal breaking showed how much the Gold Coast wants a successful team in the area.
A Twitter campaign has begun with fans pledging their loyalty to the team and it’s been reported the club’s membership numbers are on a par with last year despite the drugs controversy.
“I don’t think you can ever fool the public and on the Gold Coast we’ve seen the Titans reel from one crisis to the next but this time they saw that it had hit rock bottom,” Frizelle told Brisbane’s Triple M Grill Team.
“They were able to see through everything and say `wow, if we don’t get behind this club, there’s every chance we may lose it’.
“The Gold Coast read the temperature of how dire things were and really started to get that groundswell going.”