NRL seeks to calm club chairmen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL seeks to calm club chairmen

12/05/2011 07:25:20 PM Comments (0)

Disgruntled NRL club chairmen have been assured they haven't been asked to sign up for competitions in future years, before the independent commission to manage rugby league is up and running.

Spokesmen for the chairmen David Trodden had questioned why the NRL had circulated new license agreements when the structure of the game was about to be overhauled.

NRL boss David Gallop told club chief executives on Thursday that clubs had not been asked to sign the agreements.

"The NRL has circulated the existing agreements (which remain in force) so that clubs can put forward their views on future templates, but we have not sought to have any agreements signed as has been reported," Gallop said.

Chairmen again recently voiced their anger over delays to the arrival of the commission, saying important issues like a new broadcast deal were suffering.

Reports suggest the delay in the commission has partly been caused by negotiations with half-owner of the league, News Limited, over a guarantee the media company will not start a rival competition like Super League.

Agreement on the eight commissioners is also making slow progress.

The independent commission was discussed at Thursday's CEOs meeting, with the NRL saying the focus was on "the importance of clubs being able to fully understand the legal framework of the new body".

Meanwhile, the promotion of exotic betting options was also discussed in the wake of charges from the investigation into a plunge on the first scoring play in a North Queensland-Canterbury match last year.

"There is still consultation needed with betting operators, but this remains an area that we are looking at very closely," Gallop said.

And clubs backed the continuation of Monday night games, suggesting they should be considered for free-to-air programming in future years.

Crowd averages have grown from 13,500 in 2010 to 18,900 so far in 2011, with a 47 per cent rise in television audiences.

"Monday night has this year provided three of the top 10 rating subscription television programs of all time," a NRL statement said.

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