New commission to benefit all: Gallop
NRL chief executive David Gallop says the historic formation of the new independent commission will have an immediate impact on the game.
Last week the ARL and News Limited finally agreed on a constitution that will see rugby league governed under one officiating body, with Gallop to report to eight commissioners.
Those commissioners are yet to be elected but whomever they are, the NRL chief knows establishing the independent body will help strengthen rugby league, which he believes has had to stretch its resources in recent years.
"This will drive some efficiencies in the game and it will set us up in a way where some of the old accusations where conflicts of interests will be removed and allow everyone to move forward in one direction," Gallop told BigPond Sports Weekend on Saturday.
"I also just think coming out of the mid-1990s, the money has been stretched, trying to make sure that our players are getting paid the type of income they deserve and also investing in junior development programs.
"But I think that this new structure will allow us some efficiencies across the game that will get more money into the grassroots."
Gallop was uncertain if the commission would be finalised by round one of the 2011 NRL season but was sure it would "be a long way down the track by then".
And the flow-on effects of the united front can only benefit the NRL and rugby league at a lower level - and of course at the upper echelon.
With a broadcast rights deal looming, Gallop says ensuring clubs and players are better rewarded is at the top of his priorities.
The NRL is currently in the midst of a six-year, $500 million broadcast deal and that number could skyrocket.
"TV rights are the goose the laid the golden egg for sport and we're no different in that regard," he said.
"The good news is that we've made significant progress over the last couple of years, particularly with the addition of the Titans to the competition [which] has boosted our ratings in Queensland.
"We're strong in New South Wales and Queensland, we're growing in places like Melbourne, New Zealand's been very healthy in recent times, so we're set up for good rights negotiations and I'm sure we'll do a lucrative deal for the game.
"We've definitely got to put more money into the clubs' pockets and the players' pockets.
"For some years now the cap and the grant have had a fairly big gap in between them and it'll be important for the financial viability of all clubs that we close that gap.
"But it's also important that our top players are paid well. We've increased money for not only the club salary cap but rep payments for the 2011 season and we've look to continue to do that over the next few years."