Standing down won’t solve problem: Grant

Beseiged Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant says standing down will not solve anything.

Disgruntled NRL clubs have called an emergency general meeting on December 20 in a bid to oust Grant after the ARLC reneged on a funding agreement last Wednesday.

Clubs require a minimum 14 votes to remove him.

Fourteen clubs – excluding the NRL-owned Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights – signed a letter to the ARLC backing the emergency meeting.

But Grant on Tuesday denied his role had become untenable, instead offering to re-open talks with clubs as early as Thursday.

“Will I step down? That’s not being considered at the moment,” said Grant who has held the position for five years.

“My removal is certainly not going to do anything.

“Forget personalities, all the stuff that has gone on in the media.

“Chairmen have an obligation to their clubs to be sitting at the table talking.

“We are letting football politics get in the way of what we really want to do.

“There is a lot at stake here.”

Grant fell out with clubs after the governing body reneged on an agreement to fund clubs 130 per cent of their salary cap from 2018 at a meeting last Wednesday.

He extended an olive branch on Tuesday, saying the ARLC were open for talks with clubs on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

“We need to stop personalising it and start thinking about the game and our clubs,” he said.

“We have already apologised for the way the meeting went last Wednesday.

“It was not what we should have done. We should have done a better job of that.

“(But) what we need to do is move on.”

Grant declined to comment on whether he had the numbers to survive a vote on his position.

However, he was buoyed on Tuesday by seven fellow ARLC directors offering their support.

“It is highly disappointing that they (clubs) have taken this course of action given John’s unwavering commitment to the game over the last five years,” the commissioners said in a statement.

“John’s appointment as inaugural chair recognised his qualities as a successful business man, who as a former Kangaroo, was ideally suited to take the game forward.

“He has since undertaken his role without bias and with the best interests of the game as his priority at all times.”

While he regretted the way it was delivered, Grant re-iterated his reasons for reneging on the funding model agreed to last year, citing the need to fund the grassroots, women’s game, participation and digital exposure.

“My job is to make sure that this game prospers,” he said.

“Part of that is for the clubs to prosper, but the other part is for us to make sure we get the funds back into the grassroots.”

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