NRL clubs must end Grant stoush: QRL

Queensland Rugby League (QRL) boss Peter Betros believes common sense will prevail and NRL clubs will abandon plans to oust Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman John Grant.

Betros revealed had had rung NRL clubs, campaigning for Grant’s retention and been encouraged by the response ahead of a December 20 emergency general meeting (EGM).

“I hope that meeting is cancelled and I believe it will be,” Betros told AAP.

“I believe common sense will prevail.

“I am encouraging the warring parties to sit down and settle their differences and find some amicable agreement and not tear ourselves apart.

“Chopping John’s head off doesn’t solve any problems – simple as that.”

The EGM was called after the ARLC fell out with clubs when it recently reneged on a 12-month-old funding agreement.

Clubs require a minimum 14 votes from the game’s 26 shareholders – the 16 clubs, NSWRL, eight commissioners and the QRL represented by Betros – to remove Grant at the EGM.

Fourteen clubs, excluding the NRL-owned Gold Coast and Newcastle, signed a letter to the ARLC backing the EGM.

Betros said NRL clubs had been perceived as “greedy” at grassroots level over their stance.

“I don’t know if it is personal,” Betros said.

“I just think this desire to control the money is clouding some clubs’ view.

“I think the clubs are just looking for someone who is more attuned to their desires.

“It’s the club ideology of ‘us first and everyone else comes later’.

“I mix in league circles a lot below the NRL level and there is a great perception that the clubs are being very greedy and selfish.”

Betros believed the most-important people in the game had been overlooked in the disgruntled NRL clubs’ stoush wiht Grant – grassroots footy.

Grant withdrew a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which pledged an extra $100 million per year to clubs from 2018 in a bid to renew a grassroots footy focus after citing a decline in participation.

“There is more to rugby league than the NRL competition,” Betros said.

“I acknowledge that the NRL brings in the funding for the game but there is an enormous amount of grassroots football that comes underneath.

“That has to be looked after to ensure a future.

“It is responsible for the next players coming through – it’s got to be protected.”

Grant, who has the support of his seven fellow ARLC directors, has denied his position is untenable.

He indicated he would stay on ahead of the EGM as he attempted to bring the clubs back to the table after MOU talks last week were postponed indefinitely.

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