Seagulls take the first steps on road back

LEAGUE: The SOS call was answered as more than 50 players, parents, sponsors and supporters packed into the top floor of the Stafford Park clubhouse to listen to past and present committee members of embattled rugby league club the Hervey Bay Seagulls.

The emergency meeting was called after the Chronicle revealed the sad and sorry state of the Seagulls' financial woes.

A six-figure debt has crippled the proud club, which has been home to some of the biggest names in rugby league.

The future of the Seagulls' junior and senior teams is still uncertain despite what president Jim Russell described as a positive emergency meeting.

Russell said no final decision was made in regards to the club's participation in junior or senior competitions next year, and the Seagulls would seek further professional advice.

"Let me assure everyone that it is the Seagulls' aim to have both junior and senior teams playing in their respective competitions next year," he told the Chronicle.

Life member Terry Lynch, who dedicated decades to the Seagulls and was on the committee in 2016, could not believe how seriously bad - and how quickly - the club's fortunes had turned.

Grand final-winning coach Tye Ingebrigtsen, who will coach in Mackay next year, was similarly disappointed.

The emergency meeting turned into a loud rally cry for supporters of the club to help determine the future of the Seagulls, which has been thrown into question after a tumultuous year. An apology addressed to members, players, parents and sponsors was posted on the club's Facebook page on Wednesday, a message that included a call-to-arms for Seagulls supporters.

On Tuesday, the Chronicle revealed officials from the Seagulls, BRL and QRL's Central Division met at Seagulls headquarters on Monday to hold crisis talks.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour, council CEO Ken Diehm and Cr Stuart Taylor, who is currently the Football Queensland Wide Bay president and sitting Division 9 councillor, also attended.

Cr Seymour called on the community to support the Seagulls, through participation as footballers, members, volunteers and sponsors.

"The Hervey Bay Seagulls are an iconic team with a wonderful history and now is the time for the community to rally behind them," he said.

"The fact the Seagulls are in danger of not fielding teams in 2019 is extremely concerning, and we as a community can't allow this to happen."



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