Off the Wall

In a  week in which the credibility of the way our great game is "governed" has taken an absolute hammering - on about half a dozen different fronts - you would have thought there would be a growing consensus that an independent commission to run the game must happen now, not later.

That is why today's  email from the Queensland Rugby League to its "supporters and friends" almost defies comprehension.

The QRL is threatening to try and block the move towards an independent commission to run the game, as part of a strategy to exit News Ltd from its 50 per cent ownership.

This is the same QRL which handled the Israel Folau selection issue hopelessly, to be matched only by the hopeless plan by the ARL/NSWRL CEO to change the Origin eligibility rules mid-competition!

My optimism that the game would be run by a transparent and independent commission by the end of 2010 has diminished significantly.

The vested interests, wanting to protect their positions and privileges, are coming from behind the goal posts...and they threaten to derail the whole process.

The time has surely come for News Ltd and the 16 NRL clubs to take a stand.

The ARL must be forced to sign up now.

The longer this saga drags on the greater the damage is done to the future of the greatest game of all.

The way the independent commission has been proposed to be set up is not perfect - and the way News Limited proposes to exit ownership is not perfect either.

But anything, anything, would surely be better than the administrative rabble we have today.

If the game has a far sighted, competent body running the game we would not be having a debate over whether or not Folau should be playing in Origin Two or Three.

A competent body would have put in place rules that would ensure everyone eligible for Origin selection had signed up to stay with rugby league BEFORE the Origin series began.

The current administrators had plenty of warning as I have written previously.

But the AFL clearly judged the mob running our game were as slow as some of the horses I have been backing lately - and brazenly pulled the same stunt with Folau as it did with Karmicahel Hunt last season.

If our administrators had been more pro-active the QRL would not have had to back flip, and the ARL would not be looking even less competent than usual!

The events of this week - and I include the court case over the Storm's penalties for salary cap rorting among them - surely mean that the status quo, or anything like it, is totally unacceptable.

That the QRL seems to think it is defies comprehension!

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