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Clubs' rebellion threatens future of NRL

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by dowdz, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. dowdz

    dowdz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,079 /12
    RUGBY league's hopes of an independent commission are in tatters after the 16 NRL clubs last night issued a $34 million ransom note to News Ltd and the ARL.

    The Daily Telegraph can reveal the clubs have demanded an extra 55 per cent in funding from next season - a move the NRL said it could not afford.

    The threat came in the form of an email sent from South Sydney chairman Nick Pappas on behalf of the clubs to News Ltd, ARL and NRL powerbrokers at 1.39pm yesterday. It insisted on a staggering increase in the clubs' annual grant from $3.85 million to $6 million from 2012.

    Given that the NRL has only $18 million in cash reserves, it was last night being considered an attempt to sabotage the formation of the independent commission.

    If the demands were met, the new commission would effectively inherit a game drowning in debt.

    "You can only draw the conclusion that they are trying to blow the whole thing up before a commission is formed," said one source close to negotiations.

    'We aren't sure what they are trying to do but it looks like they are holding us to ransom."

    The situation is so sensitive that no key figures were prepared to elaborate on the demand from the clubs when contacted last night. While a News Ltd spokesman refused to comment, it is understood the media organisation is furious at the 11th-hour bid to scuttle the peace process.

    Asked if the cash grab from the clubs was an attempt to hijack negotiations, ARL chief executive Geoff Carr would only say: "You can draw whatever conclusion you want. This is at a delicate stage, so for me to make any comment would be inappropriate."

    The chairman-elect of the new commission John Grant was equally tightlipped.

    "Sorry but I can't offer any comment on your article," he said.

    Clearly, the NRL clubs want a guaranteed slice of the potential $1.4 billion bonanza the game will received from its next television broadcast rights deal, which is up for renewal from 2012 onwards.

    "However, the clubs are not content to defer a revised funding arrangement until that time," Mr Pappas says in the email obtained by The Daily Telegraph.

    As one NRL powerbroker said last night: "We just don't have that amount of money yet."

    It has long been hoped that two years of complex negotiations between News Ltd and the ARL would finally result in an independent commission formed on November 1 this year.

    In recent months, the major sticking point has been a push from the clubs for News Ltd to agree to a non-compete clause, which would prevent it from trying to form a breakaway competition.

    Yet there was no mention about that concern in Mr Pappas's email yesterday and the presumption was it is no longer a condition. In fact, there are fears within News Ltd and the ARL that the clubs could be in negotiations with another entity.

  2. Manly Daly

    Manly Daly Member

    +20 /0
    Is that so they can all make a bid for Foran?
  3. dowdz

    dowdz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,079 /12
    Hahahahahahahah gold.
  4. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

    +45 /0
    You know what I like about this happening?

    We would go down in history as the FINAL winner of the NRL.
  5. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    Well, I'll try and read between the lines. The Daily Telegraph, a News Ltd vehicle for promoting that organisation's view of the world, claims that the clubs are all at fault in an attempt to destroy the IC.

    That would be the same clubs that want the IC more than anything. The same clubs that have been thwarted at every turn by News and the ARL for more than a year in getting it up and running.

    News Ltd wants the IC allowed under their terms only, with their appointed leader of David Gallop, with the ability to control the TV rights negotiations and with the ability to immediately set up a rival comp if they choose. Seems all totally reasonable doesn't it? Ooooh, those bad, bad clubs.

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