Independent NRL commission still on ice - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Independent NRL commission still on ice

Laine Clark 07/12/2010 09:10:16 PM Comments (0)

It was billed as 'D-Day' for Australian rugby league.

But in the end, it was more Groundhog Day.

Despite great expectations - yet again - that the historic independent commission would be signed off on Tuesday, another stalled ARL board meeting ensured that won't happen for at least another week.

Some progress was made on Tuesday - John Chalk officially took over from long-serving Colin Love as ARL chairman.

But Chalk said more would be known about the independent commission's fate when the ARL and News Limited meet in Sydney next Tuesday.

Chalk refused to blame much-maligned QRL directors for the delay, claiming the commission would "most certainly" be in place by the 2011 NRL season kick-off.

"Our time frame is sooner rather than later - we haven't set a date," Chalk said.

"But we are meeting next week with all parties.

"And we have to be forceful on that (defining a deadline at next week's meeting) - we have to move on it very quickly."

QRL directors on the ARL board have been accused of stalling the process while NSWRL delegates had reportedly been determined to push through News Limited's amendments to the commission's long-awaited constitution on Tuesday.

The NSWRL approved the constitution's final amendments last week.

It had been hoped the QRL would endorse them on Tuesday so the constitution could be agreed to in principle.

But QRL chairman John McDonald said his organisation still had "some issues" with the constitution's wording.

However, he added: "We do look at next week's meeting to come up with a time frame so we can be definite in what we do.

"We believe it (constitution) just needs finetuning, and I am sure with our lawyers we will come up with a united program that will be in the best interests of the game."

If Chalk was irritated by the most recent delay, he hid it well on Tuesday.

"It has taken time. People have that emotional feel for their own state, but it has come down to where we are quite happy with the outcome," he said.

"The QRL and NSWRL are united - it is in the hands of the lawyers now.

"Once you are in a room with three lots of lawyers you can imagine the negotiations that are going to take place but we don't envisage any problems.

"But we need to get it right for the sake of rugby league - we are only going to get one go at this."

The constitution can't be officially finalised until the eight commissioners are appointed.

Chalk confirmed that a recruitment agency would be employed to supply a shortlist of candidates.

An NRL club representative will be included in the process for transparency.

It was a move endorsed by Love, who stood down as ARL chairman on Tuesday, ending a 20-year association with rugby league.

"He worked extremely hard to put this together and he is very satisfied with the outcome," Chalk said of Love.

Love was expected to become the inaugural commission chairman but was made ineligible after a rule was ushered in that precluded anyone who had been involved with the game or a media organisation in the last three years.

It had been hoped a list of potential candidates would be finalised in the new year with the commission ushered in by February - depending on the outcome of next Tuesday's meeting.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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