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NRL CEO Dave Smith and Buzz. Pt 2

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by mozgrame, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

    +5,118 /51
    BUZZ: Junior rugby league participation numbers are down too, which is disappointing. Again it was part of the strategic plan to grow the junior ranks, which you haven’t achieved.

    SMITH: Yes, we need to do more with grassroots. We’ve really got to focus on it. Whether it be schoolboys or junior clubs, it’s got to be a big focus.

    BUZZ: Do you think Alex McKinnon’s injury has scared mums and dads away?

    SMITH: I think we’ve got an incredibly safe game. We have a requirement for very qualified people in our junior game. You can put us against any sport, we’re safe. We have all the measures in place to ensure that’s the case.

    BUZZ: A lot of people say to me mums won’t let their kids play because your judiciary allows people to get away with so much foul play. Who would let their kids play when they saw what Frank Pritchard and Sam Kasiono did to Gareth Widdop in the semi-final but got away with it.

    What about the night the judiciary let off three players on shoulder charges? The match review committee and the judiciary are not on the same page. Then you’ve got blokes like Aidan Guerra, who admitted he risked a serious neck injury to milk a penalty. How dumb was that?

    SMITH: I actually think we’ve strengthened all our processes with the match review and the judiciary. The judiciary is the point where the entire case is heard. Where a balanced view can be taken with all the evidence. We’ve pushed hard with policy around shoulder charges and dangerous lifting tackles to eradicate all the things we believe are dangerous.

    I think the judiciary by and large has done a good job of getting fair and balanced outcomes. We’ve got a fast and furious game. Maybe next year we’ve got to make the whole process more transparent so the fans get a better understanding of how it works.

    BUZZ: Why didn’t you charge Guerra for bringing the game into disrepute? It was stupid.

    SMITH: The judiciary did what it had to do. I think people were comfortable with the outcome.

    BUZZ: But were you comfortable with Guerra’s behaviour?

    SMITH: I’m not going to get into the specifics.
    BUZZ: I think the Wests Tigers’ treatment of Robbie Farah has been disgraceful. What are your thoughts on a one-club legend being told to move on while he is still under contract or go and play reserve grade?

    SMITH: I think Robbie Farah has given a lot to the game. And he’s a great character. He’s also highly respected and I also think he has some good football ahead of him. Having said that I have nothing to do with the way clubs manage their rosters.

    BUZZ: Surely you have an opinion on it. Imagine if you had a two-year contract and they told you to nick off or play reserve grade. You don’t want players treated like that do you?

    SMITH: Fans love players who stay at one club. We’ve got incentives in the cap to allow that to happen.

    BUZZ: Don’t you, as the boss, want loyalty? I know the fans do.

    SMITH: I think loyalty is very important. At the same time we have a free market system and there is the ability for people to move around. There has to be a balance. You never want to see anyone get disrespected in this game.

    BUZZ: The TV rights deal does not look so good now. Where do you stand on it?

    SMITH: On the contrary, we are in a very strong position. We deliberately went out to the market two-and-a-half years early so we could test the market properly.

    We have already secured more than $900 million from the free-to-air rights — and that is nearly as much as the entire broadcasting rights from the current deal. That deal delivers fans four live and free games a week. And we still have the pay TV rights to come — with more than two years to come to an agreement with a provider.

    BUZZ: How’s your relationship with the clubs? I notice they still haven’t signed their long-term participation agreements.

    SMITH: We’ve got a really strong conversation going with the clubs at the moment. It’s been very constructive. I’ve addressed every single player in the competition. We’ve addressed every board and administration. There has been a very good alignment of thoughts. We’ve discussed all the broader issues. We’ve had chairmans meeting and CEO meetings.

    BUZZ: But they haven’t signed their participation agreements yet.

    SMITH: We’re talking to the clubs about the right terms. It’s all a work in progress. There’s no conflict or a major confrontation. Together we all want to set the game for the future. We have to recognise our differences but increasingly work together. Everything is going in the right direction. Some of this has been misreported.

    BUZZ: Misreported? I don’t believe that’s the case.

    SMITH: OK, that’s the wrong word. There has been much more constructive dialogue than what hasn’t been reported.

    BUZZ: You’ve got a crystal ball — look ahead 10 years. How many teams will we have and where will we be playing out of?

    SMITH: In 10 years time I reckon we’ll have 18 teams. I think we’ll have a strong regional footprint, Pacific Islands in a second tier competition. We’ll have a very strong world club challenge. Instead of 5.8 million fans I think we’ll have eight million that are watching the game. Queensland is definitely worthy of another team and possibly Perth or New Zealand but you can’t do any of this until the 16 teams are strong.

    BUZZ: You owe a lot to Johnathan Thurston for his role in the grand final, which made the entire season. Do you think he should become an immediate Immortal?

    SMITH: That’s not my call but he’s an iconic player and individual. He has been incredible on and off the field all season. He’s an in incredible guy and it was a wonderful fairytale. He does so much for our game and he’s just an amazing player.

  2. HoldenV8

    HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

    +10,492 /173
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Frogz

      Frogz Well-Known Member Premium Member

      +1,931 /43
      How opportune for our Fearless leader to be out flapping his gums just after a grand final...Listening to his sh1t, he alone found Cold Chisel...He alone got the crowd to attend...he alone knows we will all attend games in the city and Parramatta and homesbush because we want big stadiums....he alone would not know sh1t from clay.....Do we hear from him any other time...NO....This guy is a w@nka
    • conanu

      conanu Well-Known Member

      +2,445 /46
      Had to laugh at the robust discussion and disagreement stuff he said about himself and John Grant. Sounds like the same crap that Joe Kelly said about his "Robust" discussions with Toovey earlier in the year. I reckon Smith's days are numbered, Toddy G is probably white anting him big time. Expect to see Todd G as top dog.

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