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Dolphins vs Dolphin wannabes ? the battle gains momentum
The Gold Coast NRL consortium has stirred up a hornet?s nest and an online petition as the Redcliffe Dolphins and many league supporters cry foul over their dogged determination to use the name Dolphins despite knowing that the highly successful and respected Redcliffe Club has proudly borne the Dolphin emblem for 36 years.
While the consortium says the Redcliffe Dolphins shouldn?t have a problem with there being two clubs called the Dolphins, according to the Redcliffe Dolphins President, Des Webb, it seems quite clear they haven?t thought it out.
?Where is their commonsense, common decency and desire to foster goodwill in the game? We don?t believe they fully realise what they are tampering with, or the long term repercussions, so we?ve decided it?s time to ensure that everybody is really clear about just what is at stake here.
?The Redcliffe Dolphins has aspirations to join the NRL in the future. If there was already an NRL club called the Dolphins, we would be forced to change our name. There is far too much heritage, history and deserved ownership associating the name Dolphins with the Redcliffe club for a name change to be acceptable in any way,? he stated firmly.
?Apart from the fact that people could easily confuse the two clubs, over time people would begin to confuse the history of the two clubs. It would without question undermine and diminish our history and reputation.?
The Redcliffe Dolphins, in a heartland of league, is one of the most successful and well-known clubs in rugby league. Guided for decades now by a board of substance, it is a solid, reputable, profitable and highly respected club with a wonderful history and a proven success formula for the development of talented players.
The proof is in the club?s remarkable on field success over the last decade, a junior league membership that?s increasing every year, the record number of Redcliffe players currently in the NRL (including that five of the 13 players in the Broncos team in a recent match were former Redcliffe juniors) and the trend that predicts that many more future NRL stars will come out of the club as a result of its outstanding development programs.
?We have earned the right to have other clubs respect what we have achieved and all the history that is associated with the name Dolphins,? said Webb. ?It is beyond belief and unacceptable that the Gold Coast is willing to ride roughshod over this.?
There?s a much broader issue that needs to be seriously considered. Rugby league has had more than its fair share of challenges to overcome this past decade, so it makes no sense for the Gold Coast to dig their toes in over their name choice and alienate a significant number of rugby league supporters. Why create fractures within league circles and beyond that just don?t need to be there?
?The Redcliffe Dolphins are a celebrated club of long standing. Dolphin Oval is hallowed turf. We will not surrender our emblem. We will leave no stone unturned in our fight to preserve all that this means to us as a club, and to league generally,? said Webb.
?We have written to the National Rugby League chief executive officer, we are seeking support from the BRL Division and Queensland Rugby League ? as our immediate governing bodies and our trademark lawyer believes we have a good case. As the Dolphins, the Redcliffe football club has played a major part in our city's history and development and that also will mount a part of our case. Redcliffe City Council is on side and has plans of its own to lobby against it.?
The club has also set up an online petition for the many league supporters and Redcliffe residents who have something to say on the matter and want their vote to be counted ? they can go to http://redcliffe.leagueunlimited.com, click on the petition box on the lower left of the homepage to add their name and comments.
?While the Gold Coast may not be willing or able to see just what is at stake, we trust that common sense will prevail as surely the NRL and its supporters can see what is in the best interests of Rugby League.?