Dave Smith has been gone a while now and we still don’t have a replacement CEO to announce and we are less than a month from the start of the 2016 season.
Self interest (from the clubs) seems to be steering the ship again and there is no doubt in my mind the next CEO will have some type of club affiliation.
David Gyngell seems to be a lay about these days since departing from Nine and although he has links to the Roosters, my money is on him to run the game. He knows the game, has sat on the other side of the negotiating table and is familiar with the strategic goals of Rugby League in Australia. Seems logical but that doesn’t mean it will happen.
It’s hard to think the clubs will unanimously agree on a CEO when they meet in Auckland this weekend but it’s certainly possible but so was my last purchase of a lotto ticket and both have about the same odds of success.
The NRL will never grow beyond it’s current state due to self interest from the clubs and the first order of business for the new CEO should be to get clubs up and running in Perth and Brisbane ASAP, for the good of the game.
Brisbane are hoarding talent and have an unfair advantage over all the other clubs and don’t mind exploiting it. This needs to stop.
Third party agreements need to be revamped with a rise in the salary cap to enable smaller, regional clubs to keep up and coming talent from being pillaged by rich Sydney clubs and the Broncos.
The role of CEO may be a poisoned chalice but someone has to be prepared to be nailed to the cross for the good of the game and it’s most important stakeholder, the fans.
Here’s a laundry list of things to do for the new CEO:
- Tighten player code of conduct
- Expand to Perth and Brisbane II ASAP
- Review/increase salary cap
- Put more emphasis on international rugby league
- Strengthen powers of integrity unit
- Revamp TPA’s
- Invest in grass roots development
- Engage fans to increase crowds
- Introduce draft in conjunction with free agency
- Take more games to the bush
If the new CEO can achieve half these things he/she will be viewed as successful.