Sharks’ $1.5m windfall

Great support: Lyall Gorman says NRL officials were surprised and delighted by the turnout of Sharks supporters and the atmosphere they created. Picture: Getty ImagesThe Sharks could receive a boost of up to$1.5 million from Sunday’s grand final.

However, chief executive Lyall Gorman said there were more important benefits that could not be measured in dollars.

Club benefits: Lyall Gorman says the club is back to where it should be in the upper echelon of sporting organisations in Australia,Picture: John Veage

“The grand finalsees our community standing as one and our club beingback to where it should be in the upper echelon of sporting organisations in Australia,” he said.

“It’s about where our club is, where it’s heading, andbeinga benchmark NRL club.”

The financial boost, which Mr Gorman said would be“in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million” will come from NRL prize money, bonuses in some corporate partnerships, merchandise sales and leagues clubtrading.

The grand final winner receives $400,000, and the runner-up, $200,000.

Clubs also receive corporate hospitality and cash incentives for achieving gate and attendance targets.

Mr Gorman said the club had been taking in $100,000 a day in merchandise sales since qualifying for the grand final.

He said said the grand final meant different things for the club’s stakeholders.

“For our footballers, it is the ultimate goal, an incrediblemoment to get to a grand final and especially to win one,” he said.

“There isstill a job to do, but come Sunday they will be very ready.

“From our community perspective we have not been in a real grand final since 1979.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our community to celebrate itscharacter, its football team, it’s pride, passion and parochialism.

“For our club, our members, corporate sponsors, our board that have worked so hard to reshape our club on the back of some challenges a few years ago, it is also a great achievement.”

Mr Gorman said the support shown by Sharks supporters at the preliminary final had surprised and delighted NRL officials.

“Everyone was excited by Friday night…35,000 people, a sea of blue,a cacophony of noise, a wonderful atmosphere,” he said.

Mr Gorman said NRL officials hadadvised him the grand final was on track for a sellout, “and a very largepercentage will be our members, our community”.

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