The Australian Rugby League Commission and club representatives today held an historic meeting to form the NRL Council at Rugby League Central, agreeing to develop clear funding models to invest in the game’s future.
The NRL Council will meet quarterly and will be made up of the eight Commissioners, the ARLC Chief Executive and one representative (either the Chairman or Chief Executive) of each of the sixteen NRL Clubs.
In forming the Council today, the Commissioners, the Club Chairman and Chief Executives present acknowledged their joint role to pursue the whole-of-game objectives set out in the ARL Commission Limited’s constitution, their support for the ARLC as the single controlling body of Rugby League and for its constitutional power across the ‘whole of the game’.
The meeting agreed that the charter for the NRL Council would be to: “Maintain a regular and quality dialogue at the highest level to share strategies and objectives, matters that might impact or enhance the Game, and difficulties and concerns.
“This dialogue is primarily intended to be strategic in nature, not operational.
“It is intended that operational matters will be handled by the CEO Forum.
“It is not intended that the Council have any power to make decisions that impinge on the rights or responsibilities of the members.”
A key item of today’s meeting was the development of a game-wide funding model by the Commission.
“It is an area that we have already done a considerable amount of work on and the clubs were supportive of the process and keen to provide input to that,” ARLC Chairman, Mr John Grant, said.
“The first step is a $500,000 grant to each club upon the signing of the broadcasting agreement in the weeks ahead.
“We have agreed to form a sub-committee involving a number of Commissioners, Shane Mattiske, David Trodden, Nick Politis, Peter Doust and Todd Greenberg to further develop that model for the entire game.
“At the same time we also need to be working on the Collective Bargaining process to ensure that the players can benefit appropriately from the investment that has been secured in the game’s future through the broadcasting agreement announced last week.
“The spirit in which everyone approached the day was fantastic and we think the Council will provide real value for the clubs, the Commission and the whole of the game.”
In relation to the appointment of a new NRL Chief Executive, Mr Grant informed the meeting that a decision was not imminent and that the matter was still being reviewed:
“It is important that we get the right person in place and that we take whatever time is necessary to be comfortable that we are in that position.
“This was always going to be a thorough and exacting process and we make no apology for that fact.
“We are delighted with the performance of Shane Mattiske and the management team and that gives us the time to ensure that whatever step we take is the best one for the future of the game.”