QRL says it's unfazed by NRL threats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

QRL says it's unfazed by NRL threats

By Wayne Heming and David Beniuk 23/06/2010 08:02:31 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Rugby League boss Ross Livermore says they'll enter Friday's highly anticipated ARL board meeting in a "friendly" manner despite threats by NRL clubs to cut funds unless it supports its independent commission plan.

Furious NRL clubs canvassed the option of cutting funds to the QRL at Tuesday's chief executives conference, accusing them of stalling the move towards the introduction of an independent body to govern the game.

"We'll be friendly at the start," said Livermore on Wednesday.

"To have the clubs telling us you won't get funding or you won't get this or that if you don't put it through, that's bullshit.

"They've got no control whatsoever over that.

"We've been painted as the ones holding this meeting up but we've been pushing for it."

NSWRL general manager Geoff Carr remains hopeful of resolving an impasse at Friday's ARL board meeting in Brisbane.

"That (withholding funding) was the clubs' reaction, they feel so strongly about the fact that it hasn't progressed quickly," Carr told reporters on Wednesday.

"They feel that there's got to be something drastic done.

"We're hopeful we can resolve that on Friday without the necessity to go down that path."

Livermore said their main problem was the ARL's decision to dramatically reduce the QRL's current 50 per cent interest under the new model.

"The ARL has made a decision, we're challenging if that's the right decision, both constitutionally and in the interests of everyone concerned," Livermore told AAP.

"We haven't started any legal action but we've got a legal opinion from a leading Sydney QC (Bret Walker) who does High Court work."

NRL boss David Gallop confirmed impatient club CEOs had raised the prospect of cutting the money supply to Queensland, who've proposed a commission model they say better safeguards the grassroots of the game.

"People want to see the commission in place and they want to see progress on the talks so they upped the ante in some respects by suggesting that was an option and I'm sure that will be taken on board," Gallop said.

"There are meetings due between the NSWRL and the QRL representatives over the next couple of days, let's see how they go."

Asked if Friday was now a deadline for agreement, Gallop said: "It's not necessarily a deadline but there's obviously a move to get that issue and that impasse between NSW and Qld solved over the next few days."

Livermore said the QRL were trying to fast-track rather than stall the process.

He said the QRL wrote a detailed letter to each director of the NSWRL on the ARL board last month outlining their legal advice and a structure on how they saw the model working.

"They said they would get an opinion on it and we'd have a board meeting the day after the second Origin game in Brisbane," Livermore said.

"But (ARL Chairman) Colin Love asked that the meeting be re-scheduled (this Friday)."

Asked what would happen if the QRL didn't budge, Carr said: "The ARL have already made the decision.

"The only thing that can happen is court action, which I don't think will happen.

"The ARL's absolutely determined to get the commission up in the time frame that has been set.

"We're going up there on Friday and hoping to sort that out but the timetable is the timetable."

He said the delay in moving forward had been because of the QRL's threat of going to court.

"They haven't taken legal action but they've presented their legal advice which we'll be discussing on Friday," he said.

"To Queensland's credit, they want change, they want a commission but it's how it's made up is the issue."

Meanwhile, Carr said it was unlikely he would succeed in banning Israel Folau from State of origin III, another source of tension between the governing bodies.

"We got a letter off the QRL today which suggested I butt out but I would like to have that debate on Friday," Carr said.

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