Super League adversaries unite at last - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Super League adversaries unite at last

David Beniuk 08/07/2011 07:17:26 PM Comments (0)

Old Super League war adversaries have united in their support of the eight figures set to form rugby league's independent commission.

The Australian Rugby League Commission is expected to be unveiled next week after the inaugural eight commissioners were finally approved on Thursday following months of negotiations.

Reports said Queensland indigenous educator Chris Sarra would join league great Wayne Pearce and a host of business leaders on the new body.

The formation of the commission will bring to an end 13 years of an uneasy union between the Australian Rugby League and News Ltd, who fought a bitter battle with rival competitions in the mid-1990s.

But former ARL bosses Ken Arthurson and John Quayle and Super League architect John Ribot have forgotten their differences to welcome the new era.

"I do (feel satisfaction) because I've always said I just don't think any organisation should be in control of sport," former ARL chairman Arthurson told AAP.

"Having said that, I think that News Ltd have done the right thing. They said they'd do what they've done and they've done it.

"What's happened has happened and it's no good us carrying grudges.

"If we all care about the game, and I'm sure we all do, we've just got to put all those past differences behind us and get on with making the game a success."

Arthurson is disappointed his former ARL right-hand man Quayle is not one of the commissioners, as had been touted earlier in the negotiations, but backs the seven men and one woman agreed upon.

"It appears to me they've made a pretty good selection," Arthurson said.

"I'm very disappointed that John Quayle wasn't one of the commissioners because I think he would have been ideal."

Former ARL chief executive Quayle is showing no signs of disappointment but said the job ahead will not be easy.

"It's a great step for the future," he said.

"It will be a more difficult task than people expect for the next coupleof years, with the hard decisions to be made, but I'm sure they'll do a wonderful job."

Ribot, who was the Melbourne Storm's first CEO and later a Queensland Rugby League board member, said the game deserves the independent body.

"It takes the politics out of it so I think now we can move forward," he said.

"I'd like to think all rugby league followers can sit back and know that decisions now will be made in the best interests of the game, not in the best interests of individuals."

On the back of Wednesday night's record-breaking television ratings for State of Origin III, Arthurson and Ribot are also united in what the commission's first priority should be - a massive new broadcast deal.

"It's got to be a lot more lucrative to rugby league than it's been in the past," Arthurson said.

The former chairman said support for grassroots league is another priority.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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