CEO's throw their support behind season launch

National Rugby League Club Chief Executives have thrown their support behind the 2010 season launch campaign which has seen the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars game, the Community Carnival, today’s gathering of players on Sydney Harbour and the launch of Harvey Norman Backyard League set the scene for a sensational start to the Telstra Premiership.

The Voices of the Game marketing campaign and a record breaking drive in club membership see all clubs going into Round One with enormous interest building around every game.

“From the players on Sydney Harbour today to the 400 school kids who were at ANZ Stadium for the Harvey Norman Backyard League launch, there seems to be an unprecedented level of excitement building about the year ahead,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“Today’s meeting certainly reflected that sentiment and there is a real sense of opportunity about 2010.

“The growth we are seeing through the NRL club network, from film clips to tipping and dream team competitions, as well as the development of fan-based services through NRL Films are generating major interest in the market place.”

The Chief Executives today committed to a continuation of both the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars and the Community Carnival in 2011.

Gold Coast Chief Executive, Mr Michael Searle, and ARL Chief Executive, Mr Geoff Carr, each provided updates on discussions surrounding a restructure of the game’s various boards through the establishment of a single ‘Commission’.

The Chief Executives were told that all parties were working cooperatively to establish an agreed model and that there was confidence that this could be achieved.

There was support for the progress of the talks and it was agreed that they should be allowed to run their present course.

The clubs discussed the current ‘anti-tampering’ guidelines which state that the NRL will not register a player’s contract with a new club until after Round Thirteen in the final year of that player’s existing contract with his current club. The only exception to this is where the existing club agrees that the new contract should be registered.

There is no rule to prevent clubs talking to players at any time and while it was agreed that this remained less than ideal it was the only practical solution.

“There is too long a history of such dates becoming impossible to police and it was agreed that trading windows are ultimately only enforceable where they are linked to an actual draft which we don’t support,” Mr Gallop said.

“There is an acceptance that nobody likes to see players negotiating with a new team but there is also the reality that players in our game do change clubs and that those discussions can take place over an extended period.

“Rather than introduce ‘discussion deadlines’ that have in the past been shown to be ineffective, we reserve the right not to register the contract and that ensures that the player’s existing club will have a fair chance of retaining its player.”