Off the Wall

You have to ask - who is really looking after the future of the game at this most critical period?

And you could be excused for thinking that no one is doing so, given just how much the best interests of the game and its future have been woefully neglected in recent weeks.

For the last couple of weeks we have had "Todd Carney" headlines one day and threats to sabotage the establishment of the Independent Commission (IC) the next.

None of it has been positive for the game. Almost four weeks after the positive news surrounding the grand final it has all been downhill ever since.

Mercifully, now that Carney has been signed by the Sharks - after yet another "warning" from David Gallop - he might exit the least for a month or three.

But the issues surrounding the demands from the clubs for an upfront payment even before the post-2011 television deal negotiations even begin won't go away.

The atmosphere seems more poisonous than ever.

The IC is supposed to assume control of the game next Tuesday, That looks to be a forlorn prospect.
The real question may end up being - will it ever take control?

Today the clubs wanting an extra $500,000 each have changed course and are asking why it cannot be given priority over the funding of the new HQ for the NRL, ARL etc.

All of this is delaying the IC taking control of the game.

But perhaps that is the "real" agenda being pushed by some involved?

The complication over the HQ issue is that the federal and NSW governments have already committed around $11 million in funding for the project - and are naturally expecting the NRL/ARL to honour their share of the funding commitment.

It just gets more complicated by the day - and that is just not good for the game.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the future administration of the game one has to hope that ARL and NRL officials have cancelled their business class travel to England for the four nations games - surely their priority must be fixing the current divisions and getting the IC under way?

The future of the game - and all its constituent parts - is not being given the priority its demands.

The game needs leadership here now - Tim Sheens and his not insignificant support team can look after the Kangaroos. What we need is for the ARL and NRL officials to stay here, solve the current problems, and get the IC up and running.