Off the Wall

It is just four days to Christmas - if you need reminding - but the one present many rugby league fans want for Christmas won't make it under the tree in time.

Many of us have had high hopes that the Independent Commission - perhaps now the fabled Independent Commission - would be up and running by Christmas delivering on the great challenges facing our great game.

It would seem that it is all too hard - or vested interests won't or can't put the best interests of the game first.

The whole process has become an embarrassment to those supposedly driving it.

Few emerge from the process with much credit.

We were first told the game would be run by a united, independent commission, more than two years ago - and it would be months, not years, before it was up and running.

The failure to deliver on that is shameful...and puts at risk the game's long term viability.

Rugby league really only has one cash cow - television rights. Gate receipts, sponsors, memberships, and pokies all help...but it is what free to air and cable television is prepared to pay is what counts above all else.

The current grossly inferior, embarrassing agreement has one more season to run.

In the meantime the AFL is already dividing up the spoils from an agreement that is about double in value the current rugby league agreement.

In 2012, the AFL will have something like $230 million to hand out from television revenue  - the NRL will have about half that.

Wouldn't you think that those responsible for merging the game's administrations and setting up the IC would realise that this disparity must be addressed...and the sooner it is addressed the better?

Over the Christmas/New Year period more than a few company executives will spend the majority of the holidays working on corporate mergers, takeovers, and sadly, bankruptcies.

The latest reports suggest that won't be happening with those working on the IC.

Could they do the game, and its fans, just one last favour?

Take time out from your holidays, and get the damn thing up and running by 1 January!

And then at least I might get a New Year wish fulfilled!

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