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Opinion

No matter what went wrong, it's totally not Peter V'landys' fault

Peter V’landys (Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Editor
4th May, 2020
86
1947 Reads

Look, fair play, at least Paul Kent admitted it.

“It is hard not to write about V’landys without sounding like a paid up member of his fan club,” the Daily Telegraph journo wrote this week, in yet another fawning piece about how the National Rugby League Commission chairman isn’t the best thing since sliced bread, he is sliced bread.

And by all reports – like, seriously, all reports – V’landys is crushing it in his role as the de facto boss of the NRL. As I wrote last week, both Buzz and Gus fall over themselves to talk the chair up.

V’landys has fans at Nine and Fox. Labor and Liberal. Vegans and carnivores.

And if you wanted evidence of how good a job he’s doing, you need only look to the coverage in the days after the latest instalment of ‘NRL presents: idiots being idiots on social media’.

Todd Greenberg got the boot after a committed media campaign, which painted the NRL CEO as a schoolboy compared to his grown-up chairman.

Peter V’landys

ARLC Chairman Peter ‘The Messiah’ V’landys. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Everything that was wrong with the game of rugby league was Greenberg’s fault and anything that was half-decent was because of V’landys. It really was that simple.

So with Greenberg now eyeing off a job with the A-League – because that’s just what ex-NRL CEOs do – surely there was only one person who could be left responsible for the debacle that was the lettuce-leaf slap that Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Tyronne Roberts-Davis received.

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Someone did a shit job at the NRL. It’s Peter’s fault, right?

Yeah, nah.

“This was interim chief executive Andrew Abdo’s first big test since replacing Todd Greenberg as NRL chief executive just last week to show a strong hand,” Andrew Webster wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Abdo failed miserably.”

But Webster wasn’t done – not only was it Abdo’s fault, V’landys actually deserved praise.

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“When the coronavirus pandemic finally subsides, and normal transmission of rugby league resumes, they will probably make a musical about V’landys,” Webster wrote.

“He’s been a true force of nature, the war-time leader the game has needed, blazing ahead with shirt partly untucked and tie askew as he saves rugby league with one hand while keeping racing ticking along with the other.”

Rupert Murdoch’s crew got in on it too, with Phil Rothfield taking aim at the NRL’s interim boss.

“It’s been a round one failure for the stand-in chief executive Andrew Abdo,” Rothfield said last week.

“He is the CEO and all these decisions stop with the CEO.”

All these decisions stop with the CEO? I mean yeah, Abdo had a decent chance to act the strongman and put his stamp on proceedings, but how long do we say that everything that goes wrong is the CEO’s fault but any time things are going well it’s because of Uncle Pete?

I don’t doubt the game’s chair is a sharp operator, but maybe if we’re going to pump up his tyres when things go well, we should also ask him some questions when things head west.

But according to the media, when the NRL copped a black eye at the most inopportune of times, that was Abdo’s fault. As for getting the game back on the airwaves come May 28, that’s all V’landys.

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I’m not here to shit on the chairman, just to ask for some consistency.

Because how long can one person be responsible for everything that’s right in the world, yet be completely absolved when the shit hits the fan?