On the Nine Network’s coverage of the opening NRL game of 2012, Phil Gould introduced the season as a pivotal moment for rugby league, as the NRL Commission takes control of the game.
Phil Gould again restated the commission as “independent” – the claim could not be further from the truth.
As the new boss of the Penrith Panthers, Phil Gould now has the same degree of control of the game in the voting structure of the NRL Commission as the NSWRL or the QRL despite these league bodies representing the other thousands of clubs.
The Independent Commission has stolen the game from the grass roots and given control to the 16 NRL clubs, with Gould a direct beneficiary. With just 14 clubs being able to remove any given commissioner irrespective of the views of the NSWRL and QRL, independence is not a term that describes the ARL Commission in its current form.
Gould’s erroneous claims show that intention of presenting the reality of the situation to the public on Channel 9.
The fact that the individual commissioners can be removed by the votes of just 14 NRL clubs is surely not lost on the new shepherds of the game. As reported in the Telegraph, Gould has wasted no time pressuring individual Commissioners for more support for the Panthers under the guise of protecting Sydney’s heartland from the AFL. (link: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/NRL/panthers-may-be-dead-in-10-years/story-e6frexnr-1226274646552)
Phil Gould has proven himself to be a master manipulator. He is presented by Channel 9 as an expert commentator of the game’s status. In western Sydney, he is regarded a guardian of rugby league.
The truth is, however, that he has hidden the deficiencies of the NRL Commission’s structure from the public while benefitting from its introduction.
He continues this campaign of misinformation as a commentator in 2012, with absolutely no disclosure that his position with the Panthers could make his commentary on the ‘independence’ of the NRL Commission a conflict-of-interest. This is a blatant sign of his contempt for the public.
Channel 9, also, must be wary of this situation – especially if any legal challenge to the NRL Commission’s voting structure is pursued.
No no no no no, Mr Gould.