CEO's: Commission on track for November 1

National Rugby League Chief Executives have expressed renewed confidence that the Independent Commission will be established by November 1.

Chairman of the club negotiating committee, Mr Michael Searle, today gave a detailed presentation of recent developments and indicated that significant progress was being made between all parties.

All clubs reiterated the importance of maintaining the momentum and establishing a model based on the appointment of eight fully independent commissioners.

“We’ve kept things deliberately away from the spotlight but it’s fair to say there is a real feeling that we are now breaking through in a number of areas and that all parties, including the ARL, News Limited and the QRL, see November 1 as a very realistic option,” Mr Searle said.

“It’s important to remember that every delay is actually costing the game money because there are significant savings in the commission model.”

Clubs today made it clear that there had not been and would not be any threat made to withhold players from the upcoming Four Nations Tournament to pressure the Commission process.

“It is not something that has ever been discussed,” Dragons Chief Executive, Mr Peter Doust, said today.

“How would I tell a player that I am going to rob him of the chance to play for Australia because we want to establish a Commission,” Cowboys Executive Director, Mr Peter Parr, said today.

All clubs said that they would work together to support the negotiating team in the weeks ahead.

“It is exciting to hear that things are getting closer – it will be a great opportunity given some of the decisions that lie ahead in the next twelve to eighteen months including the upcoming television negotiations and the construction of a central Rugby League administration complex,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

The move towards a Commission comes as clubs have recorded the highest ever membership figures with a net rise of 30,000 members and with 51,000 people taking up membership for the first time.

Importantly, research tabled today shows that across all clubs members feel that there is increasing value in being a member, that they find membership rewarding and that they believe clubs are recognising the contribution members make to each club.

The growth in membership comes as Telstra Premiership crowds continue to grow on 2009 figures.

The NRL confirmed to clubs today that it will continue its investment in Customer Relation Marketing to support clubs in promoting and retaining members.