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Rugby League Commission backs Chairman John Grant in battle with clubs
Embattled Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chairman John Grant has received the unanimous support of all seven of the game’s independent commissioners.
The move follows the NRL having received an application from the game’s 14 independently owned clubs calling for an emergency general meeting in a bid to force Grant (pictured) to step down.
The clubs are reportedly unhappy at the ARLC’s management of the game and the retraction of an earlier in-principle agreement to provide 130% of the salary cap in club funding from 2018.
However, Grant’s seven fellow directors have backed him and will hold a general meeting on 20th December with the game’s 26 stakeholders to vote on whether Grant remains as ARLC Chairman.
To remove Grant the clubs would require 14 of the game’s 26 shareholders – the 16 clubs, Queensland Rugby League, New South Wales Rugby League and eight commissioners – to vote in their favour.
In a statement the Commissioners said the clubs were within their rights to call a General Meeting to test support for the Chairman but advised “it is highly disappointing that (the clubs) have taken this course of action given John’s unwavering commitment to the game over the last five years
“The Commission has an obligation to do what is right for the whole of game, not only for the elite game but also for grassroots, the women’s game, participation and our digital future – and that is what we have sought to achieve.
“We unanimously and resolutely support John and believe it is in the best interests of the game for him to remain as Chair.”
The Commissioners said the only way of reaching agreement on club funding was for all parties to reconvene and work out a solution, concluding “we would urge the clubs to accept our invitation to engage in open dialogue at the earliest opportunity.”
The NRL-controlled clubs Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans abstained from calling an EGM.
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