Rugby league commission 'won't divide' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby league commission 'won't divide'

By Laine Clark 08/12/2009 06:02:29 PM Comments (0)

Fears of an Origin-like brawl erupting over the introduction of a new independent rugby league commission have been dismissed by ARL CEO Geoff Carr.

The ARL emerged from a board meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday pledging their "ongoing support" for the creation of an independent body to oversee all aspects of the code.

But there was no deadline given for its introduction.

The news came after reports that interstate rivalries threatened to be stoked over the issue.

The QRL had insisted ahead of the meeting that they had not seen a formal proposal for an independent commission - yet NSW-based board members Carr and chairman Colin Love had reportedly been in possession of it for months.

However, Carr said the lack of a deadline for the commission's introduction did not mean NSW and Queensland ARL delegates were butting heads over the issue.

"Time isn't the issue. Getting it right is the issue," he told AAP.

Asked if talks were amicable, Carr said: "I am not going down that path.

"The board saw the proposal today from News Ltd, we had a discussion on it and it was agreed that it required further talks with its NRL partner News Ltd.

"There's no question though that the board believes that the right structure could be an important step in the game's future development."

Love also dismissed any suggestion that the ARL were dragging their heels over the issue.

"There is general acceptance that the current structure could be improved and any suggestion that the ARL is somehow trying to block change is simply incorrect," Love said.

"It is in everyone's interest that we invest the necessary time to get the process right." Under the new model, the ARL and News Ltd would hand over control of the game to the commission.

It had initially been hoped that it would be up and running by as early as Christmas or early 2010.

But it seems the commission's formation won't be any time soon with QRL boss Ross Livermore confirming that his body would seek meetings with the NSWRL, the NSW Country Rugby League and their own state bodies before signing off on any new model.

Livermore has been vocal in his view that grassroots development must be at the centre of any new structure for the game.

An ARL statement released on Tuesday also suggested that the commission's introduction would be later rather than sooner.

"Given the far reaching nature of any decision the board has today reinforced the need to properly consider all implications of such a change including the ongoing protection of the game's grass roots and representative competitions and the interaction between NRL clubs and the wider sport," it said.

The next ARL meeting is not scheduled until mid-January.

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