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EXPLAINED: Why NRL clubs have issued a vote of no confidence in John Grant

The Independent Commission appears to be ousting John Grant. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Roar Guru
24th November, 2016
16

The NRL clubs have issued a vote of no-confidence in independent commission chairman John Grant, the reasons for this lie in the breakdown of discussions over the apportioning of future NRL funding.

In a stunning turn of events, every single NRL club issued a vote of no-confidence in Independent Commission chairman John Grant on Thursday and called for his immediate resignation.

A letter which is to be sent to NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg apparently details a call for an emergency meeting about Grant and has been signed by the chairmen and women of all 16 NRL clubs.

The predicament is looking grim for Grant, who has been chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission since its inception in 2012, he requires four votes in order to maintain his position.

It is believed a dispute over the NRL’s $1.8 billion TV deal led to the chairmen of four NRL clubs storming out of a meeting at NRL headquarters on Wednesday.

The breakdown of these talks has reportedly led to catastrophic developments with a number of key deals still not agreed upon.

At this point, there is no salary cap figure beyond next year, no future club funding plan, no collective bargaining agreement with players and no participation contracts with any of the clubs beyond 2018.

Essentially, it is believed the NRL clubs are unhappy with the Commission’s use of funds and are worried that they won’t receive as much funding from the windfall of the one billion plus dollar broadcast deal the NRL signed last year.

In December, it was reportedly agreed that from 2018 club funding would be 130 per cent of the salary cap. However, an official deal was never brokered and signed.

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We’re a year down the track, and they still haven’t come to a conclusion despite the signing of this memorandum. This has club bosses frustrated and they believe that Grant is an obstacle standing in the way of getting what they want for their respective clubs.

Basically, we’re at an impasse. The clubs know what they want but Grant apparently doesn’t want to give it to them. By the sounds of it, they’ve got a case if they have this December agreement in writing.

We probably haven’t heard the last of this, considering Grant seems unwilling to stand aside and it doesn’t sound like the clubs are budging.

Practically, in the short term, this shouldn’t really affect anything other than the relationship between the Commission and the NRL clubs. The only real impact will be the inability of players to negotiate contracts considering no one knows what amount the NRL salary cap will be set in 2018 and beyond.

Keep an eye on this one, it could turn nasty.