Bennett not convinced by NRL commission - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett not convinced by NRL commission

By Steve Jancetic 15/03/2010 09:55:52 AM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett says fans and officials need more transparency in the setting-up of the National Rugby League commission that all hope will give the sport a clean slate from which to move forward.

Speaking extensively on the issue for the first time, one of the NRL's elder statesman said he even had a list of names for the eight member commission he would be more than happy to pass on - not that he was holding his breath.

"Absolutely, I'd love them to ring me up and ask me but they won't do that," Bennett told ABC Radio of those responsible for the setting up of the commission, which received in-principle support last week when the ARL backed the exit strategy proposed by the co-owners of the NRL - News Limited.

"They won't ring because that's not the way they operate.

"I've been pleasantly surprised about three or four people that are very well-credentialled people that I know that have expressed an interest to me.

Both the ARL and News Limited will propose four members of the commission and NRL chief executive David Gallop said he would be happy to hear Bennett's thoughts.

"If we wants to throw up some names to me, I'd be willing to hear them," Gallop said.

The veteran St George Illawarra coach said it was vital not to ignore the grassroots in the set-up and transparency was required to help those involved with the game to make informed decisions.

"I think the game's extremely well managed, I think it's very poorly led. We need real leadership and we need it at the top," Bennett said.

"I'm a long way from being convinced that the formula's right and like most of the people in the game ... (we) have very little information about the make-up of this.

"If it's more of what we already had dressed up in another outfit, then I'd prefer to be with the devil that we know than the devil we don't know."

Bennett also question the cost of the "baggage from the people that are exiting the game whether it's the ARL or News Corp."

"Why do they want to exit the game? What's the price we've got to pay for that? Nobody knows that right now, with the exception of one or two people."

Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle, who is a key protagonist behind the push for the commission, hit out at Bennett's call for transparency.

"We provided (information to) all coaches, captains and officials at a meeting on January 18 about the Independent Commission - Wayne chose not to turn up to it."

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