Grant’s head to go on the line

Under-fire ARL Commission chairman John Grant’s job is hanging by a thread and he will learn his fate on Tuesday.

The disgruntled NRL clubs have called an emergency general meeting of the ARLC’s stakeholders for 10am at Rugby League Central where Grant’s job will go on the line.

The clubs are demanding Grant’s resignation following his decision last month to rescind a club funding offer which had been agreed to by both parties.

The deal, which had been agreed to in-principle for 12 months, was set to fund clubs at 130 per cent of the salary cap and deliver an extra $100 million per year into their coffers.

After a meeting of the ARLC on the weekend, the NRL on Monday put forward a revised offer to the clubs in an attempt to come to a resolution.

It’s believed the offer came close to matching the original agreement in terms of money however the NRL will not commit to giving the clubs two chairs on the commission.

AOC president John Coates is conducting a review into constitutional reform of the ARLC and the NRL is not willing to commit to any change until it is complete.

If the clubs do press ahead with plans to axe Grant on Tuesday, it’s believed they have the numbers.

The NRL-owned clubs Gold Coast and Newcastle will not vote to oust Grant however the other clubs, who have the support of the NSWRL, appear to have the requisite 14 of 26 votes.

In explaining his decision to pull the club funding offer, Grant argued that the NRL could no longer afford it with a number of issues taking precedence including grassroots funding, taking over the NRL’s digital arm from Telstra in 2018 and a sinking fund to support struggling clubs.

“Things have changed,” Grant said last month.

“We had an agreement struck in December 2015 on a compacted funding. It was roughly $100 million extra to clubs per year and $100 million to grassroots.

“And the intervening years, the digital world’s interrupting normal broadcast, we’ve got participation issues that need to be addressed today.

“I’d be very surprised if they (the clubs) don’t understand what we’re dealing with and we don’t get to an outcome that is appropriate for all parties.”

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