12 top players ready to sign Redcliffe are prepared to join forces with Van de Velde and Associates to put a team into the Sydney premiership. And Dolphins president, Dick Turner said if his club was successful, they would still maintain their commitments in the Brisbane competition. The eleventh hour call by the New South Wales Rugby League has opened the door for Redcliffe, who already have a list of a ? dozen or so ? players to bolster their ranks. ? At this stage I wouldn?t like to publicly name the players, but you wouldn?t have to be Einstein to work out who they were,? Turner said.
Redcliffe had earlier indicated their keenness to join forces with Van de Velde and Associates, but were not prepared to throw their hat in the ring while it appeared a QRL-backed team would be entered. ? But somewhere along the lines, someone?s wires became crossed. Newspaper reports were that Redcliffe backed off and that was never the case,? Turner said.
? Last Thursday, when we realised the move appeared doomed, we then came forward again, but we were too late. We never dropped out of the race - it was a simple matter of us not wanting to compete with either the QRL or the Brisbane Division.?
The Redcliffe - Van de Velde proposal would have the financial backing of Brisbane businessman John Gibbs, who is prepared to underwrite the entry into Sydney to the extent of $6 million over a three-year period.
And Redcliffe would not require their club name to be retained. ? We would view the side as one representing Brisbane, or Queensland, even though it would be administered by the Redcliffe club and the team?s headquarters would be here,? he said. ? Naturally we?d like some naming link, and I think the Brisbane Dolphins would be more than suitable.?
Turner sees the move to Sydney as a necessary progressive step, something he describes as keeping in in tune with sporting developments of the 80?s. ? And it would have no greater effect on the Brisbane competition than if those dozen or so players went to Sydney,? he said.
The Redcliffe president then added that the proposal by his club also included an involvement by the QRL. ? Naturally, we want their blessing. We would hope , and expect, they would be involved in a very strong way,? he said. ? And I also want it pointed out that right from the beginning, we were involved with Van de Velde and Associates. That was always the way it was going to be with us if we became involved.?
This article is from Rugby League Week in 1986