‘New era’ for Gold Coast Titans, says NRL

THE NRL is now running the Gold Coast Titans, with the club placing itself in voluntary administration after being unable to meet its financial obligations, including staff and player salaries.

The move means the NRL is now in control of two clubs, having taken over the running of the Newcastle Knights from previous owner Nathan Tinkler last June.

NRL chief executive Dave Smith defied the doom and gloom surrounding the Titans in the wake of six present and former players - including State of Origin representatives Greg Bird and Dave Taylor - being charged with supplying cocaine, by saying February 24, 2015 would go down as the start of a great new era for the club.

"This is an exciting day for the club. This will give the fans and the club a long-term future," a defiant Smith said, adding that competition expansion would not take place at the expense of the embattled Titans.

"We are committed to the long-term future of the Titans and the Gold Coast."

Smith also said player contracts would be honoured, and the board and chief executive Graham Annesley would remain.

Annesley said a new training venue had been secured after the club decided it should leave the facility at The Southport School after cocaine supply charges were brought against the players.

Meanwhile, Callum MacCallum, lawyer for four of the five Titans players charged, said the quartet would defend the allegations in court.

"We do know that they have not been supplying to any members of the public, and we do know that none of those players have ever returned a positive cocaine test after being blood tested," he told Fox Sports.

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