Off the Wall

The NRL clubs are right to be concerned about David Gallop's comment that it will take twelve months to have the independent commission running the game.

In fact they ought to be alarmed, not just concerned.

The process leading to the establishment of the independent commission to run the game is in danger of becoming a complete farce.

It was supposed to be "up and running" by late 2010, then most definitely before the start of the 2011 season.  Now it may be "three months away", and not fully operational for a year.

The key  factor we need  to be kept in mind centres around the television rights agreement for 2013 onwards.  In David Gallop's own words, this needs to completed this year, and ideally by mid-year.

The clubs rightly insisted during the negotiations on the formation of the commission last year that  television rights post 2012 must be overseen by the independent commission, and not by the current News Limited/ARL administration.

The clubs must insist News and the ARL stick to that.

The snail's pace we have endured stands in total contrast to how a quite dramatic restructuring in another sporting code is being delivered.

After years of being virtually at war, and resisting the very idea of a merger, the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club will merge completely by the end of next week!

The process really only gained impetus late last year, yet it is about to be delivered.

The merger of rugby league's administrations may be more complex, but it has been under discussion for something like 18 months.

The game faces many challenges, challenges that need a competent administration to address...and a transparent one.

The clubs must put maximum pressure on the ARL, and News, to deliver an independent commission - and deliver it before the premiership gets under way in six weeks time.

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