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'It's not a popularity contest': Greenberg proud of time as NRL CEO

Todd Greenberg was philosophical about the end of his term as NRL CEO and said he was proud of his achievements in his first public appearance since stepping down on Monday.

Greenberg held an impromptu media conference at his home in Sydney on Wednesday morning, telling reporters it had been a wild ride and rugby league is brutal on and off the field but he still loves the game he's adored since he was a child.

The ARL Commission announced on Monday that he would be stepping down from the role he had held since March, 2016.

"There's a lot of things I'm proud of, certainly it's been a great privilege and honour to work in the game and serve as the CEO for as long as I have," he said.

"Certainly when I reflect on it, the advent of the women's game and the growth we've had with the NRLW, I hope to see that prosper in the years to come.

"Sitting at the 2017 grand final and watching Macklemore perform and I suppose see the inclusiveness of the sport portrayed was fantastic.

Macklemore at the 2017 grand final.
Macklemore at the 2017 grand final. ©NRL Photos

"In more recent times I think the what the game has done around concussion protocols with players has been world class."

When asked about his critics, Greenberg said "my personal view is in a role like this, you always take criticism".

"I've said this on a number of occasions it's not a popularity contest and I understand that," he said.

"It's been a helluva journey, we've loved it, my family and I, we've made lifelong friendships. My wife and I have travelled the world and met people we'd never think we'd meet.

"The number of messages I've received in the last 48 hours has just been mind blowing. It's been a great journey but ultimately sport is a tough industry and rugby league is no different.

"I've said it before it's brutal on the field and more brutal off it. But that's OK, I've had a great a ride."

He was adamant he had always been up front about how the NRL operated under his watch.

"You can't look through the prism of hindsight, you do what you think is best at the time," he said.

"Everyone is human and going to make mistakes sometimes but one thing everyone knew about me was I was always up front and direct.

I walk away a great fan of rugby league and that will always continue.

Todd Greenberg

"I was always honest and prepared to front the media in good and bad times.

"There were a lot of difficult moments in my tenure, that's not to say we got them all right but we were always upfront about it. I always did things with the game's best interests at heart.

"That always comes with criticism but that's OK because I'm a realist."

As for the future, he joked he would "re-introduce myself to my family".

"They'll start to see my sense of humour return as well. And really just recharge and re-engage," he said

"There's another chapter waiting for me but I'll have a rest and have a think about that. I love the game, I've loved the game since I was a little boy. I'll continue to be its greatest fan as will my family, we've loved it.

"I walk away a great fan of rugby league and that will always continue."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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