NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg admits the game’s governing body mishandled their funding negotiations with clubs after John Grant narrowly avoided the axe.
ARL Commission chairman Grant on Tuesday received an 11th hour reprieve after striking up a peace deal with the clubs who were threatening to revolt after the NRL last month abruptly pulled a funding deal from the table.
Grant’s position appeared untenable but they managed to negotiate a resolution. The NRL would not divulge details of the deal because it was dependent upon how much the salary cap rises by in 2018.
Greenberg admitted they had got it wrong and had badly sold their message to the clubs who had threatened a civil war.
“There’s lots of things that could have changed over time but I think we could have handled ourselves better in some parts,” Greenberg said.
“But these are emotional issues for the game and it’s probably not the first time we’ve debated the distribution of funding and it won’t be the last.”
As part of the peace deal, the clubs agreed to a five-year funding model which will begin in 2018. Greenberg said it would fund each club at an amount above the salary cap.
The NRL will also establish a sinking fund for clubs which run into financial hardship, a proposition clubs had previously baulked at because they didn’t believe it was their duty to prop up rivals who run into hardship.
It was reported that the clubs were pushing for Grant to stand down within the next 12 months but Greenberg said he had not been given an exit date.
“Absolutely he will (stay). John’s in a position where’s he got to put the game’s best interests at heart,” Greenberg said.
“He’s come under some personal criticism but that’s okay, that’s the way the game works.”