Seagulls title winners at a loss after debt revealed

LEAGUE: When Hervey Bay Seagulls broke a 15-year drought to win the 2016 Bundaberg Rugby League premiership, the club was in credit and riding high.

Two years later and the club has been through the wringer.

Earlier this week, officials from the Seagulls, Bundaberg Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League's Central Division met to discuss the proud club's future.

A six-figure debt had been discovered and the Seagulls' participation in the 2019 BRL season was not guaranteed.

Where did it all go wrong?

Life member Terry Lynch, who dedicated decades to the mighty red and green, was at a loss to learn how the club could be so far in the red.

Lynch was on the committee in 2016, the year Tye Ingebrigtsen coached the side to a drought-breaking premiership.

It was the last year Lynch was involved with the club, making it even more difficult to comprehend.

"At the end of the year there was money in the bank and no money owing," Lynch said.

"The club didn't pay any players, I can guarantee it.

"There was one player paid by a private sponsor which the club didn't know about until the last weeks of the season, but the club didn't pay a single player and we finished the year in credit."

Ingebrigtsen, who will next year coach the Whitsunday Brahmans in the Mackay A-grade competition, echoed Lynch's comments.

"It does disappointment me to see what's happened after leaving the club in such a good place," Ingebrigtsen said.

"How can it be like this?"

The Seagulls held an open general meeting at Torquay's Stafford Park last night.

The Chronicle, who was there for every step of the club's three-straight minor premierships from 2015 to 2017 and was on the sideline when the Seagulls broke its 15-year premiership drought, intended to show its support for the sport by attending the meeting.

The club requested media did not attend, but promised to address the issue this morning.

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