NRL to develop 'core values' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL to develop 'core values'

By Todd Balym 01/12/2009 08:07:31 PM Comments (0)

The NRL will develop a core set of values for the game after club bosses were told rugby league's new independent commission is progressing but still unlikely to be finalised before the end of the year.

While it had been speculated News Limited and the Australian Rugby League could hand ownership of the game back to one governing body by the end of 2009, it is unlikely to happen so quickly.

Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle, the man charged with uniting the game under one body, told the conference it could be "months" until the negotiations are completed.

"The parties are certainly trying to support the process," said Searle.

"There isn't a firm time-line on it and people may need to be a bit more patient but there are some good signs for what can be achieved in the months ahead.

"(The commission) will hopefully lead to a central funding model and a central decision making process that involves highly skilled and independent people.

"There are still a lot of things to work through and everyone seems to be looking for a way to do so."

The establishment of the new commission was one of many discussion points at a meeting of the NRL board, club CEOs and chairmen in Sydney on Tuesday.

NRL chief executive David Gallop said there was "unanimous" support against expansion as rugby league digs in its heels in preparation for an assault on western Sydney by the AFL.

Along with a new commission, the game recognises it needs to do more to improve its brand after arguably the worst year on record for player behaviour yet one of the best for fan support.

Among the list of initiatives discussed was a "core set of values" for the game, aside from the individual culture established among NRL clubs.

Restoring the game's battered off-field image is a key focus of the NRL as they approach another crucial time in the history of the sport.

If the NRL cannot present a unified body and wholesome image when television rights are sold in 2013, then it would affect their chances of maximising revenue in an increasingly competitive sports market.

Gallop said getting the most bang for their buck to give back to clubs, players and juniors was the main focus and that expanding the competition would not be entertained unless it would guarantee growth in all those areas.

"You can't do those things and invest in expansion," said Gallop.

"And until there is a strong business case for any expansion contributing to the growth of the competition then it will not be part of our immediate plans."

Canterbury chief executive Todd Greenberg believes rugby league is making all the right decisions and plans to fight off AFL's advances.

"There is no doubt the independent commission is an important thing for the game but not necessarily to combat AFL," he said.

"I'm encouraged by what I heard today and it sounds like there's been some good progression."

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