Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by DUFFMAN, Oct 19, 2009.
Grant will be announced as the AFL's new Western Sydney teams general manager this week.
still cant believe some nuffies infighting meant we lost this guy
Grant Mayer flies out west with AFL
Â Â * EXCLUSIVE by Dean Ritchie
Â Â * From: The Daily Telegraph
Â Â * October 20, 2009
THE AFL has escalated its raid on rugby league ranks with the poaching of one of the game's top administrators - former Manly premiership-winning chief executive Grant Mayer.
Mayer will announce he has become the first senior manager appointed to the AFL's new $200million western Sydney franchise.
Mayer rejected interest from the Queensland Reds (Super 14) and the North Queensland Fury (A-League) to become western Sydney's general manager of commercial, overseeing all finances for the fledging club, including sponsorship, marketing and merchandise.
Factional brawling at Manly forced Mayer to resign in June, with the club still yet to find areplacement.
The AFL shocked rugby league two months ago by signing Brisbane Broncos star Karmichael Hunt - and now it has netted Mayer, one of rugby league's premier officials.
Mayer will be formally announced by the western Sydney club this morning.
All he said yesterday was: "It is very important to me that my next move is the right move.
"I've taken time to consider my future and I will announce something this week, but I will definitely be staying involved in sport.''
The new Sydney franchise - currently known as Team Greater Western Sydney - will be formally born in June next year and based at Blacktown. They will be part of the 2012 AFL season.
The Max Delmege faction of Manly's dysfunctional board wanted Mayer removed: The Penn faction wanted the CEO retained.
The Penns, in the end, didn't have the numbers.
"It's disappointing for the game of rugby league that Grant is ready to go to the other side,'' Manly chairman Scott Penn said.
"He is a professional and certainly helped the Sea Eagles get back on track.
"He will take those significant learnings in football administration to the new AFL franchise and help them lay the foundation to be a competitive force.''
Mayer, who has been dealing with AFL NSW-ACT general manager Dale Holmes will, however, face a difficult job in establishing AFL in Sydney's west, traditional rugby league heartland.
Mayer is expected to start his new job in a fortnight.
He had shown interest in the Reds job but the rugby union franchise kept procrastinating, pushing Mayer to the AFL.
"Grant has a wealth of experience in sports administration and he will definitely understand how competitive the market is that he is entering,'' said NRL chief executive David Gallop.
Manly officials continue to hunt for a replacement CEO and hope to make an announce late next month.
The club has drawn up a shortlist of about 15 candidates.
Western Sydney are due to announce a chief executive shortly.
Mayer has had previous experience starting up a club after helping Catalans establish itself in the English Super League.
Fantastic opportunity for Grant. Best wishes.
I say he will need all he skills and more to make this a success - good luck to him
I also can't believe that the smallmindedness and egos of a small few drove this man from our club. Say what they will, those who have driven him away to shore up their own powerbase have put the club back a few years!!!!
I'm no NRL turncoat, Grant Mayer insists
By Dean Ritchie From: The Daily Telegraph
FORMER Manly chief executive Grant Mayer has shrugged off claims he is a turncoat after jumping codes to join rugby league's fierce rival the AFL.
As exclusively revealed in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, Mayer announced he had become corporate general manager for the proposed western Sydney AFL franchise.
He will start work on November 2 as western Sydney prepare to become the AFL's 18th team in 2012.
Asked was he a turncoat, Mayer said: "No. I have been involved in professional sport for 20 years, 11 years with rugby league.
"I'm not afraid of doing the job. There are professional administrators just like there are professional athletes - changes do happen.
"The opportunity was there to be involved in a professional sport and I was happy to join the AFL. I was really cautious after leaving Manly and I wanted to make sure I took my time.
"Personally I think I have a lot to offer AFL and I also think I can learn a lot from AFL.
"I am sure it will work but I know it will be a hard road ahead.
"As a local resident of [western sydney] for the last 15 years, I know the challenges ahead but I strongly believe in this campaign.
"This region deserves its own identity.''
Mayer will oversee the commercial plan for the club including marketing, sponsorship and merchandise. Yet sceptics still question whether the AFL's $200million surge into western Sydney - rugby league heartland _- will work.
Asked why the franchise would succeed, Mayer said: "The sheer size of western Sydney. Two million people live out here.
"There are more options outside rugby league, rugby union and football [soccer]. We are offering that alternative. I am sure there will be families who want to jump on board. I know it can be a success.
"The fact it is a start-up franchise means there will be no baggage. We have two years to build a culture. That is a good position to be in.''
With Karmichael Hunt defecting to AFL two months ago, the NRL is nervous about its competitor's motives.
The AFL has the money that the NRL craves.
"People in Sydney demand success and I guess it's a matter of measuring what that success is,'' Mayer said.
"There is no doubt people want to come and see a high-calibre, high-quality game.
"Winning is a bonus but I know the way Sydney works so as time goes on I'm sure you'll find there will be a very strong team built.
"This is not a battle of the codes, this is an opportunity for people to get involved with a different sport that I think will prove very popular out here.''
Dale Holmes, NSW-ACT AFL general manager, said Mayer's appointment was a key move by the fledgling franchise. "Grant is one of the top administrators in Australian sport and we are excited that he has come on board.''
CW, thatÃ¢Â€Â™s just normal day to day dealings of business, it happens in any large corporation. It might not be the correct decision in our and that of a many supporters eyes but at the end of the day we can only really judge it on how successful his replacement will be, that is if they ever do select a prospective candidate before years end.
well they hardly did it with a superior replacement in mind did they OEE
Gronk I had mixed emotions about the way it was handled and how petty it was. I won't really comment on it more than that. Maybe come ask me one month before season kick off if we are still searching for a CEO.
It wasn't a smart move but at least the positive is that the infighting has stopped and no leaks are coming from within.
I'm more interested in winning next yearÃ¢Â€Â™s title and setting up a dynasty where we are seen as a powerful club and payers actually coming to want and play for us.
Separate names with a comma.