Brisbane CEO Paul White has called for stronger leadership from the league in the wake of NRL boss Dave Smith’s resignation.
White said it was time for powerbrokers to “own the agenda”, admitting he had become frustrated by “the mishandled communication” from the league on expansion in his five years at the Broncos helm.
And White also wanted the league to provide a “three to five year” funding plan for clubs, confirming the collective debt of all 16 clubs was $30 million – an average of $1.875 million per club.
Club chairmen are reportedly seeking a meeting with interim NRL boss John Grant this week over a $137-million funding demand.
White could understand the focus turning to Smith’s replacement but hoped it didn’t distract power brokers from what he believed were the top priorities of finalising the TV broadcast deal, aiding grass roots football and involving the players’ union more in decisions.
White also shot down the possibility of Smith’s November 30 departure fast-tracking expansion, saying the game currently couldn’t afford adding two more teams.
“I think we need to take three deep breaths and understand there a lot of things that are outstanding in the game that should be the major priority,” White said after confirming a four-year Broncos sponsorship deal with National Storage.