Todd Greenberg is expected to be officially rubber-stamped as the NRL’s new chief executive officer in the coming days, ending a five-month search to replace Dave Smith.
It’s believed respected NRL head of football Greenberg has been given the game’s top job, beating out Accor Hotels boss Simon Grath.
While the NRL is yet to schedule an announcement, Greenberg could be unveiled as early as this week.
Greenberg has been the front-runner for the position since ARL Commission chairman John Grant announced a “global search” for Smith’s successor.
After serving as Canterbury chief executive for five years, he was brought into NRL headquarters by Smith in 2013 because of his footballing nous with a view to grooming him for the role.
Greenberg fulfilled both of the NRL’s criteria for their next chief executive – that he have a corporate background as well as rugby league experience.
And upon Smith’s resignation, Grant hinted Greenberg was at the head of the queue, saying he was encouraging internal candidates to put their hands up.
“We purposefully brought on people in Dave’s tenure as CEO who could potentially be successors to him over the long term,” Grant said at the time.
“That was the plan. In our search for his replacement, it’s an internal and external search and we’re hopeful internal candidates stick their hand up. The end job for the Commission is to get the right person.”
Greenberg’s first order of business will be to clean up the mess engulfing Parramatta, who have been accused of illegally courting third party sponsors for their players.
Under NRL rules, all third party sponsors must be at arm’s length from the club and Parramatta chairman Steve Sharp and his board are now under pressure to stand aside following several reported allegations of improper salary cap dealings.
Greenberg is well respected in league circles and has been the driving force behind several important changes to the game since taking over as head of football, including the introduction of the bunker.
He was also responsible for helping to turn around the Bulldogs, moulding them into a powerhouse both on and off the field.
Unlike Smith, who came under fire for being out of touch with clubs and the game, Greenberg is seen as having his finger on the pulse.