Independent Commission four years in the making, but worth the wait
It would be a positive start for rugby league’s new Independent Commission if Melbourne and Manly removed their knives from David Gallop’s back.
Today is the day, ending nearly four years of bickering, and territorial in-fighting. The 13-man code has at last regained control of its own game for the first time since 1995.
And sitting in the CEO chair of the commission will be the 46-year-old Gallop, who completed a decade as CEO of the NRL last week.
There’s no argument Gallop is the best man for the job for at least the next four years. In nearly 50 years of dealing with sporting administrators around the world, I rate Gallop right up there among the best.
And it sure hasn’t been an armchair ride. Rugby league has had some awesome downturns, leaving Gallop to pick up the pieces.
Like Melbourne rorting the salary cap, and the aftermath to Manly’s infamous pre-season launch in 2009. Both clubs copped a rightful Gallop backlash. Neither club took its medicine with any grace.
Hopefully Melbourne and Manly can move on as the eight-strong commission moves into top gear for the first time today.
The inaugural chairman is 1972 World Cup and Queensland centre John Grant, an engineer by trade who headed the IT company Data#3.
The seven commissioners:
* Catherine Harris, founder and chairwoman of Harris Park Markets, and a Trustee of the SCG.
* League legend Wayne Pearce – a veteran of 19 Tests, 16 Origins, and 193 games for the Tigers.
* Gary Pemberton, former Qantas and SOCOG chairman, who will be invaluable when the commission starts negotiations on the new TV deal.
* Dr Chris Serra – indigenous education leader.
* Jeremy Sutcliffe – CSR chairman.
* Ian Elliott – brand strategist.
* And Peter Gregg – Leighton Holdings executive director.
It was well worth the near four-year wait to end up with such a quality commission.
Just remove the knives, Melbourne and Manly, to give the commission a flying start.