Independence day getting closer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Independence day getting closer

By Steve Jancetic 30/07/2010 07:40:33 PM Comments (0)

The final stumbling block in the establishment of an independent commission appears to have been removed.

The on-again, off-again saga finally seems headed in a positive direction for the game, with club bosses at Friday's chief executives meeting involving all 16 teams told the Queensland Rugby League had finally resolved its differences with the Australian Rugby League.

Talks on the independent commission had stalled as the QRL sought a greater voice than its proposed one of 26 votes it was offered, but assurances their significance in the game would not be lost appears to have swayed their stance.

"The target of November 1 seems a very realistic one now," Gallop said.

"It's exciting for the game, it's something that we've talked about for a long time.

"My understanding is the parties are at the point where they are all on the one page about most of the issues, so it should be close." ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said the proposed model - with one vote given to each club, the eight commissioners, the QRL and the NSWRL - was the one that would be used going forward, with some minor tweaking.

Queensland officials on Friday met with News Limited - who along with the ARL currently own the game - in a bid to thrash out a resolution.

"(QRL managing director) Ross Livermore this morning was very certain they want it to happen," Carr said.

"They've had some internal political issues, but Ross this morning was very positive about it.

"The issue now is going to be the detail - once there's been full agreement on the model, you've got to re-write the constitution." Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle - who first instigated talk of an independent commission two years ago and has been the driving force behind it ever since - said it was vital no more time was wasted before it became a reality.

"It's important to remember that every delay is actually costing the game money because there are significant savings in the commission model," Searle said.

The meeting of chief executives in Sydney also reached agreement on increased concessions for next year's salary cap, with further talks set down with the Rugby League Professionals Association next week.

The increase isn't at the levels players were requesting, but Gallop said it was the best the game could do ahead of the new television deal due to be negotiated next year and come into effect in 2013.

"We've tried to lift the cap, to expand the concessions, do a range of things that will assist matters, but it does come back to affordability and that will be the point that will be made over the next week when we finalise it," Gallop said.

"Everyone in the game's looking forward to understanding our revenue picture once the television deal is done and I'm sure the players are going to share in the benefits of that as are the clubs."

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