Geoff Carr urges News Ltd to stick behind stricken NRL
Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr is hopeful Melbourne Storm owners News Ltd will stick behind the disgraced NRL club, as the league’s co-owners continue negotiations on an independent commission.
The ARL and News, co-owners of the NRL since the Super League truce in 1998, are in ongoing talks about exiting the game and replacing its management structure with a commission.
Funding the loss-making Storm has been one of the major sticking points, with News demanding $30 million be made available over the next six years to ensure the club’s survival.
“News Ltd … are obviously not happy but they are a pretty big corporation, they know the importance of Melbourne, it’s their franchise,” Carr told Sky Sports radio.
“I would hope that they continue to stay strongly behind them as they have in the past.”
Carr said an NRL club in the AFL heartland of Melbourne was still vitally important for the game.
“Regardless of what’s happened yesterday, the Storm still is strategically a very important property for rugby league, we do need a presence in Melbourne,” he said.
“This certainly is going to take a while to think through but I think in the overall strategy in the game we need to be in Melbourne and we need to be strong in Melbourne.
“We’re just coming from a long way back now.
“It’s certainly going to be tough down there for them but rugby league has shown its resilience in the past.
“There’s going to be a lot of work needs to be done by a lot of people but hopefully when we’re talking this time next year the Storm have bounced back with a clean balance sheet and they’re starting to get their fans back because of the way that they play the game.”© AAP 2013