NRL commission sets takeover date - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL commission sets takeover date

By Liam FitzGibbon 23/08/2011 07:44:30 PM Comments (0)

The inaugural chairman of rugby league's independent commission claims November 1 shapes as the logical date for the game's new regime to take control.

While NRL chief executive David Gallop labelled the date as a goal rather than a deadline, commission chairman John Grant said work was well under way to ensure the timetable was met.

"We had a very significant and important meeting yesterday with all of the stakeholders ... and the agreement was we need to be targeting the first of November," Grant said.

"It's a logical handover date. Everything is now focused on doing that."

November 1 represents the turnover of the rugby league calendar, with playing contracts expiring each year on October 31.

Grant joined six of the other eight commissioners in a briefing at NRL headquarters in Sydney on Tuesday, when they were given a rundown of the day-to-day operations.

The new commission will be charged with tackling some of the biggest issues facing the game - with the first cab off the rank likely to be the negotiating of a possible $1 billion broadcasting rights deal.

Grant insisted the commissioners - who were all present on Tuesday bar Leighton Holdings chief financial officer Peter Gregg - would approach the task with the game's best interests at heart.

"Speaking to the other commissioners, they are of the same frame of mind, that it is a very exciting time for rugby league ... we've got a great game, we're very lucky to be in this position," Grant said.

Gallop said he expected the commission's impact to be virtually instant and was confident they would inherit a healthy product.

"We're going to collapse three boards that are currently in place and replace them with one. That's a big step and you'll see an impact from that almost immediately," Gallop said on Tuesday.

"... It's a unique and exciting change for the game. It's been in the pipeline for a long time.

"The good news is that the game is in a position of strength to make that change.

"The key strategies the game has employed over the past decade are producing results but we need to set an overall strategical direction for the game."

Gallop said there were still "about 20 issues" to resolve before the commission could officially take control.

The commission also includes Chris Sarra, a director with the Queensland Government's Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, former Qantas and Billabong chairman Gary Pemberton, former Australian Test forward Wayne Pearce, Harris Farm markets founder Catherine Harris, advertising executive Ian Elliott and CSR director Jeremy Sutcliffe.

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