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Joel Parkinson loses $599k in Rugby League investment

Story by Lucas Townsend

It couldn’t be more poorly-timed. Two days from the start of the Quiksilver Pro and the 2015 World Tour, The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that Joel Parkinson will lose a $599k investment in rugby league team, the Gold Coast Titans.


The Gold Coast Titans Pty Ltd was placed into voluntary administration yesterday and the sport’s governing body has stepped in as the sole shareholder. The club’s had years of financial struggles, but any hope of turning it around ended this week, following the news that five Titans players have received notices to appear in court over drug supply allegations.


Wait, wait, wait. Joel Parkinson owns a rugby league team? Yeah. See, Joel’s manager is a gent named Michael Searle, a renowned businessman. Searle was the founder of the Titans in 2007 and had a 39 percent share in the club. Joel was his silent partner. Well, not-so-silent now.


On Monday, Searle told The Courier-Mail that investors had spent $22 million since 2005 trying to get the club off the ground and keep its doors open, particularly in hard times during 2012. But, you can’t just draw dollar bills. And cash-flow has dried up.


If there’s any Missoni cushion in this story, it’s that few on tour could handle both a financial and mental hit of this size like Joel will. He earned a $1m bonus after his world title win in 2012 and made $1.8m from sponsorship and endorsements last year – which doesn’t make a loss like this alright, but, uh, it isn’t gonna ruin him. And let’s not forget the 13 years he’s been one of the finest and most consistent surfers on tour. He knows all about disappointment, and more importantly, how to handle it. And, come back from it.


But, the timing is, without a shade of doubt, fucking horrible. Having kinda won the Quiksilver Pro last year (whoops), all he should have on his radar right now is getting back at Gabriel Medina and whether the sand will return behind the rock. Not sifting through balance sheets and screening media calls.


Joel will weather this storm and probably make another Snapper final – but this time, win back some of what he’s just lost.

And now, let's concentrate on this. Froggies, on a fabulous day in March last year. Photo: Simon Muirhead And now, let's concentrate on this. Froggies, on a fabulous day in March last year. Photo: Simon Muirhead

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