Last- minute push for NRL clubs to get aboard the re­form train

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

THERE has been a late push to get con­sti­tu­tional re­form across the line ahead of to­mor­row’s NRL clubs vote.

While it is un­likely that the re­form will go ahead, that has not stopped late dis­cus­sions be­tween the clubs as they look to work to­wards a po­ten­tial res­o­lu­tion.

It is un­der­stood that South Syd­ney and Mel­bourne pow- er­bro­kers have spent time in Perth try­ing to come to a res­o­lu­tion ahead of the vote.

With Can­ter­bury no chance of chang­ing their stance, the at­ten­tion has shifted to Mel­bourne and the Gold Coast in a last-ditch bid to have club and state voices on the Aus­tralian Rugby League Com­mis­sion.

Thir­teen clubs have agreed to vote to­mor­row but, bar­ring a last-minute change of heart, the re­main­ing three clubs will boy­cott the sched­uled meet­ing.

NRL boss Todd Green­berg, who along with ARLC chair­man Peter Beat­tie, has met with the three dis­sent­ing clubs in re­cent weeks, de­clared “we will make it work” re­gard­less of the out­come.

“If it doesn’t get up the com­mis­sion has a very dili­gent plan,” Green­berg said.

“It is rare in my time in the game that there has been uni­ver­sal agree­ment on many things. Con­sti­tu­tion re­form is a pil­lar of ex­actly one of those.

“It’s a sym­bol of just how dif­fi­cult it is to get a uni­fied po­si­tion on things in­side rugby league. It’s prob­a­bly given the clubs an ex­am­ple of what we ex­pe­ri­ence in head of­fice many times when we take on dif­fi­cult is­sues.”

It is ex­pected that Beat­tie will ap­point Rac­ing NSW chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter V’landys and for­mer Nine Net­work ex­ec­u­tive Amanda Laing as in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion­ers to­mor­row.

Re­gard­less of to­mor­row’s out­come, V’landys will join the com­mis­sion after re­ceiv­ing unan­i­mous sup­port from the clubs to be one of their two rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“We have to get through Mon­day and see what hap­pens,” Green­berg said.

“Peter V’landys’ record speaks for it­self. On top of be­ing un­be­liev­ably well ex­pe­ri­enced in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ar­eas within sports ad­min­is­tra­tion, he also is uni­ver­sally ac­cepted by the 16 clubs and that has very strong merit around the com­mis­sion ta­ble.

“The other can­di­dates be­ing talked about — it is a bit pre­ma­ture un­til such time as they gen­uinely make them­selves avail­able or con­sti­tu­tional re­form is ei­ther up or down.”

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