NRL chairmen demand commission action - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL chairmen demand commission action

Steve Jancetic 29/04/2011 05:06:47 PM Comments (0)

NRL clubs have given News Limited and the ARL seven days to resolve their differences delaying the formation of rugby league's independent commission.

Tired of squabbles between the current co-owners holding back the process, NRL club chairmen on Friday put out a statement claiming the immediate establishment of a new governing body was critical to the game's progress.

The chairmen met in Sydney on Thursday night when they were briefed on negotiations, their frustrations clearly evident ahead of yet another unrealised deadline, with News Limited having indicated it hoped to have relinquished its interest in the game by April 30.

The two issues holding up proceedings involve the Queensland Rugby League's insistence that its sovereignty over rugby league in that state be enshrined, while News Limited is yet to provide a commitment that it will not start a Super-League style venture in direct competition with the NRL.

"It is a matter of considerable concern to the chairmen that the formation of the Independent Commission, designed to free rugby league once and for all of vested interests, is being delayed by such issues," the statement issued by the chairmen said.

"The NRL clubs call on the ARL and News Limited to finalise all outstanding agreements to allow the formation of the Independent Commission within the next seven days for the benefit of everyone in the game, and to respect the time frames for the formation of the commission, which they, themselves, have set."

No doubt heightening the clubs' call for urgency was the AFL securing a stunning $1.235 broadcast rights agreement on Thursday, with the NRL set to begin its negotiations on a new deal as soon as the independent commission is established.

Central to any new television deal is a decision on possible expansion, which would affect the NRL's position at the bargaining table.

"The formation of the Independent Commission has always been of fundamental importance to thefuture of the game," the chairmen's statement said.

"With the commencement of negotiations for the new media rights deal now overdue, with the AFL apparently having now negotiated a lucrative media rights deal, and with the licences of all NRL clubs expiring at the end of this season, the immediate formation of the Independent Commission has now become critical."

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