Peter Beattie expresses concerns about churn of club CEOs


“We’re trying to bring the club CEOs and chairs together to develop the culture across the whole of the game, we don’t just want to operate as 16 clubs.

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“What we can do is encourage the clubs to go out and get the best people, you don’t want to compromise on that, and then keep them for consistency. We need stability in those key positions, otherwise you can’t grow the game.

“If we do that, we get better results. At the moment there is too much change, too much churn.

“You need consistency, corporate knowledge and that leads to professionalism and good decisions. The demands on the game these days as it becomes more professional are very high. I’m not being critical of anyone, but there’s a need for the game to be more consistent.”

Long gone are the days when club bosses held their positions for decades. Former Parramatta powerbroker Denis Fitzgerald ran the club for 30 years before he eventually was ousted during club elections. Another long-serving administrator, former St George Illawarra CEO Peter Doust, finally stepped down last season after 18 years at the helm.

Manly is a club that has gone through more than most having gone through a plethora of powerbrokers including Lyall Gorman, Tim Cleary, Joe Kelly, David Perry, Grant Mayer, Graham Lowe, Pat Wilson, Paul Cummings (twice) and Ian Thomson since the Northern Eagles debacle. It’s understood the Sea Eagles are poised to announce their latest club boss shortly.

Legendary coach Jack Gibson always said that winning starts in the front office, but the churn of CEOs can be as constant of that of players and coaches.

“The relationship between the NRL, the commission and the clubs is probably the best it has been,” Beattie said. “We need to keep working on that and I’m confident we can do this together, but (the turnover) is a challenge.”

Transfer windows have also been placed on the meeting agenda.

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The NRL will put a proposal in front of the club bosses which will explain how windows would impact player movement for all parties.

The proposal has been opposed by the RLPA.

“We’re not supportive of the proposal to introduce trade and transfer windows for a range of reasons,” RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast said. “However, we are open to having ongoing discussions about whether any improvement can be made to the current system.

“Any changes to the contract model that are inconsistent with the contract model we’ve committed to under the CBA would need to be agreed with the RLPA.”

If transfer windows are introduced without the tick of approval from the RLPA, it’s understood the players association will argue the NRL are in breach of the collective bargaining agreement and head down a dispute resolution avenue, as it has already done in the case of no-fault stand downs.”

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