ARL Commission vote postponed

The vote on the new-look ARL Commission was postponed on Wednesday after three clubs - the Gold Coast Titans, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm - refused to support the proposed reforms.

The vote has been postponed until March 12 after the 16 clubs met on Wednesday morning and could not agree to provide unanimous support for the proposed changes to the board which were set to introduce four new commissioners - NSWRL chairman George Peponis, QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher, Racing NSW boss Peter V'landys and Sydney lawyer Glen Selikowitz.

Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie has been voted in to be the new ARL Commission chairman, replacing John Grant.

Because the clubs did not support the proposed changes, the vote was not held at the ARL Commission's AGM.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and Beattie fronted the media to outline their plan to resolve the impasse.

Beattie said he would personally address the boards of the three clubs against the proposal.

"This is the real issue - how the new constitution would work," Beattie said.

"That's the most accurate way I could describe it."

I want to see us have a national footprint. We want to maintain our existing footprint but we also want to build on it.

Peter Beattie

Beattie spoke about the priorities for the new-look commission moving forward, which were headlined by game expansion, a greater role for women and greater focus on grass roots.

"Of course the game needs to expand," Beattie said.

"We're in a very competitive environment for entertainment… You've got to be flexible and you've got to have a strategy.

"I want to see us have a national footprint. We want to maintain our existing footprint but we also want to build on it."

That tied into a greater focus on grassroots rugby league, with Beattie making a point of an upcoming visit to the Gold Coast-based Burleigh Bears.

"The first formal event I will attend is this Friday night going to the Burleigh Bears on the Gold Coast, they're a grass roots club," he said.

"From there [it's about] supporting juniors, there's money in the program for that. This is about growing the game, valuing rugby league at a grassroots level, recruiting people into the game.

"The elite part [of the game] we all love [but] you don’t have an elite game without juniors."

Beattie was very strong on the need for greater involvement of women in the game, particularly on the commission.

"I want to see an increasing role for women in the game. Regardless of what happens with the constitutional changes one of next people appointed to the commission will be a woman," he said.

"The next person from the Independents will be a woman. The commission only has one woman on it at the moment… it's not good enough to have one so next person that comes from the Independents will be a woman and we'll work with the clubs and NSW and Queensland to increase the number of women [involved]."