The NRL has come under significant fire from the Nine Network in recent weeks for what it claimed was the financial mismanagement of the $1.8 billion TV deal under Greenberg.
Greenberg also had his opponents in clubs, amid fears some could go bust as the game lacked a significant rainy day fund once the coronavirus hit.
Of note had been claims by clubs they hadn’t been paid in full a promised amount by the NRL since the stoppage, forcing chairman Peter V’landys to step in and resolve the issue.
However, on Greenberg’s watch the game’s revenue has increased dramatically, albeit in a time where expenditure has also been significantly on the rise.
But Meninga said any lack of real reserves couldn’t be pinned on Greenberg alone.
“For me if he is to blame, everyone has to be to blame about where the game has gone over the past few years,” Meninga told Fox League Live.
“And in my opinion I think it [the game] is looking really good.
“I know there have been some financial issues at the moment but does that go on Todd?
“It’s like a coach. If a club is not being successful, you can’t look at the administration, you can’t look at the players so you got the coach and he gets the sack.
“Because he’s is the easy one, the easy option for you. I would assume it’s the same with the game.
“There are a lot of people around Todd that make some tough decisions through the year.
“The CFO, the football manager, the executive. And then all of a sudden the head guy falls on his sword.”
Meninga also claimed other heads would have to roll as a result, as the focus now intensifies on the NRL office.
But the rugby league immortal said the game had to be united in its bid to get back on the field, adding to his frustration over Greenberg’s exit.
“I am upset in a way because why do we have to pick on him now?” Meninga said. “We are going through this crisis where we need to be all together.
“We need to sit on the same page and move forward together and instead of bagging people and making some accusations about people.
“Let’s get on the same page and get the game back on the field.”
Todd Greenberg’s big moments as NRL chief executive
2016 Parramatta salary cap scandal: It was discovered Parramatta had systematically breached the NRL salary cap over five years and were $570,000 over the cap that season. Major breaches were uncovered, including illegal third-party payments to players. Greenberg fined the club $1 million and stripped 12 competition points accrued so far that season after nine rounds. He also deregistered five former board officials and stripped the club’s 2016 Auckland Nines title.
2016 The bunker: Before taking over as NRL CEO, Greenberg was working behind the scenes as head of football on the introduction of the state of the art refereeing technology. The 2016 launch of ‘The Bunker’ coincided with his appointment as chief executive and he has spent the past four years defending the system. Although there have been controversies, it has generally provided more accuracy, speed, consistency and transparency to the video refereeing process.
2017 Stand for equality: During the marriage equality debate in Australia, the NRL was one of the leading organisations setting the agenda for a ’yes’ vote. Despite criticism from conservatives, the NRL booked US rapper Macklemore as entertainment for the grand final, allowing him to perform his equality anthem Same Love.
2017 Collective bargaining agreement with RLPA: Arduous negotiations with the Rugby League Players’ Association were lengthy and draw out, dominating headlines for the better part of the 2017 NRL season. Greenberg and RLPA chief executive Ian Prendergrast went head-to-head at the negotiating table as players fought for equal partnership in the game and a 29.5 per cent share of the revenue. It resulted in a historic $980 million deal for NRL players – the biggest in the game’s history – a rise in the salary cap to $9.4 million, an injury hardship fund and a top up of the minimum wage.
2018 A new era for women’s rugby league: After the success of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup in 2017, the NRL launched a historic inaugural women’s premiership in 2018. Greenberg delivered the game-changing news for the women’s game in December of 2017 with a view to provide an elite pathway for female players from grassroots all the way through to the NRLW. He also approved the women’s stand alone State of Origin matches in 2018 to huge success.
2019 No fault stand-down: He labelled it ‘‘the summer from hell’’ and he wasn’t wrong. After multiple off-field accusations, Greenberg and the ARLC acted. In a monumental moment for the NRL, the ‘‘no-fault stand down’’ policy was introduced in March 2019 to give the game powers to automatically stand down players who were charged with offences carrying a jail sentence of 11 years or more. It also gave revolutionary powers to the NRL CEO to stand down players charged with less serious criminal offences to protect the best interests of the game.
2019 Off-field challenges: The weight of public opinion swung against Greenberg. The NRL boss was criticised heavily for providing a ring to Barbara Smith after husband Cameron reached 400 games while his character reference for Greg Inglis after a drink-driving charge was also questioned. Clubs also began to question his job at the top, and as Peter V’landys took charge his leadership appeared shaky.
2020 Coronavirus pandemic: The biggest challenge the game has faced proved to be the end of Greenberg’s reign at NRL HQ as rugby league’s foundation crumbled in a matter of weeks. The season was suspended on March 23 within hours of Greenberg addressing NRL staff to shut down headquarters, where he told staff the season could continue. It started a domino effect in which the NRL’s financial model was lambasted and Greenberg was called out by broadcaster Nine for squandering millions of dollars to leave the game on its knees. The ‘‘bloated head office’’ costs were the final straw for Greenberg after four years in charge.