League boss Gallop is the man for a crisis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League boss Gallop is the man for a crisis

Joe Barton 30/08/2011 06:59:01 PM Comments (0)

When you think about people qualified to talk on the subject of crisis management, few spring to mind faster than NRL chief executive David Gallop.

Gallop, of course, is in charge of a code that seemingly lurches from one controversy to another - even outside the conventional eight-month season - while interest in the game continues to grow.

And so when the NRL boss readied himself at the Australian Institute of Company Directors luncheon on Tuesday to talk about leadership and "managing reputations when the stakes are high", it's fair to say he had the room's attention.

This is the man who in almost 10 years as NRL boss has had to deal with two serious salary cap breaches, numerous alcohol-related indiscretions and a perception that rugby league doesn't respect women.

Gallop must dread opening up the paper each morning for fear of what atrocity may be revealed to him.

Put simply - there's not much out there that he hasn't had to deal with.

"Often people come up to me with a sympathetic look on their face (saying) 'oh poor you, you're dealing with another issue'," Gallop explained on Thursday.

"Sometimes people look at rugby league as an exercise in crisis management ... (but) it's really important that the same focus goes into our positive PR as goes into the so-called crises that happen."

After so long in rugby league's top job, Gallop understands that because he makes the tough decisions, he will occasionally put people offside - as has been the case for two sets of fans in particular with both Melbourne and Manly supporters calling for his head at various times over the past three years.

But he believes every hard call he makes has the code's best interests in mind as he seeks to make rugby league the biggest sport it can be.

Gallop sees America's National Football League as a benchmark sport - except for one area.

"Fortunately, we haven't had (player behavioural) issues quite as serious as some of the ones where I go back to the NFL," Gallop continued.

"I think a few years ago, they suspended a player (New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress) who shot himself in the leg in a nightclub.

"At least the gun issue hasn't arisen in our sport."

Not yet, anyway.

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