THE Australian Rugby League is believed to be under siege with Queensland said to be set to take control of the body and scuttle the planned introduction of an independent commission.
The Sun-Herald has been told by trusted sources that John Ribot, one of the architects of Super League, and Queensland Rugby League boss Ross Livermore are ready to ramp up a plan that would result in a QRL-led ARL assuming control of the game.
A group, which includes Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle, has been working on a project to implement an independent commission. Under the commission, the game would be owned by the 16 NRL clubs and the profits would go back into the game.
The commission has been likened in the past to the one that governs the AFL and it is believed News Ltd would be prepared to walk away from league if the ARL - which, among its duties, looks after Origin and international rugby league - follows its lead.
However, if Livermore and Ribot are successful in their ambitions, the ARL would assume 50 per cent control of the game while the clubs would own the remaining half. It is doubtful News Ltd would step aside if that came to fruition.
It’s understood any QRL-led ARL would argue a competition run by the clubs would result in the demise of international and Origin rugby league because clubs wouldn’t be prepared to compromise their premiership hopes by risking their star players to injury.
It has been suggested Ribot, a former Test winger, would head a QRL-led ARL.
Livermore yesterday denied a takeover plan. “There is nothing going on,” he told The Sun-Herald.
"I don’t know where that is coming from. The ARL is getting together to form a strategic plan for the future, and it includes the QRL, NSWRL and Country Rugby League regarding our boundaries and structure. Brian Canavan [former Sydney Roosters chief executive] is involved as a consultant.
“Someone has put one and three together and got six.”
ARL chairman Colin Love did not return The Sun-Herald’s call.
I wish this guy would leave the game alone, just hearing his name give me shivers.
I think if he gains more power with a QRL based ARL, that could be the death of many Sydney based clubs (Remember his suggestion that we should merge AGAIN to be with the Bulldogs?) and it could be Super League all over again if he continues to become more influential.
Just when you think we’ve heard the last from that bloke.
system last edited by
I hope that turd dies of a long and painfull illness.
The sad thing in all of this is that the QRL have bought him in to run their side of the ego war ruining our game. Colin Love is a wretch as well.
Yossarian last edited by
Yeah I wouldn’t to be involved in anything that disgusting excuse for a man is involved with. Any body connected with the sport should not touch him with a bargepole. And to think Matt Johns is sent into exile at the same time this clown is set to get involved.
senexx last edited by
I can’t think of much worse than a Queensland running the game. Queenslanders get away with more than enough all ready.
However, I thought the NRL and the ARL were by and large separate bodies. ARL for Tests and Origins and NRL the club premierships.
Tigerdave last edited by
ribot makes me sick, wish he’d just go take a long walk off a short pier
Don’t under estimate John Ribbot. He hasn’t become as successful as he is by being stupid.
Which is precisely why I think this is a whole lot of bullshit.
John Ribot accused of NRL sabotage
- By Andrew Webster and Dean Ritchie
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- July 23, 2009 8:46PM
HE WAS the chief architect of Super League - now John Ribot is attempting to dismantle league’s bold march towards an independent commission.
With negotiations between News Limited and the ARL at a precarious stage, Ribot has been identified by key figures as an enormous stumbling block in the establishment of a commission, unless he can find a way on to the new board. His meddling has infuriated powerbrokers desperate for a breakthrough.
“I find it unusual and ridiculous John Ribot would get involved at this very delicate stage of negotiations for something that will be for the betterment of the game,” South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson said last night.
Tension is building in the corridors of power as the push by the ARL and News Limited, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, continues.
It is understood Ribot attacked Titans chief executive Michael Searle - the man charged by the NRL to drive the structural reform - during a meeting also attended by QRL managing director Ross Livermore in Brisbane last Friday.
Searle is pushing for a non-profit model with commissioners appointed by the 16 clubs. The QRL and NSWRL would remain in the game at a second-tier level.
Behind the scenes, Ribot is agitating for a board in which the QRL and NSWRL each appoints two directors.
After earning a seat on the QRL board late last year some believe it is Ribot’s attempt to become one of the new commissioners - something he rejected last night.
“I’ve got no agendas here. I’m not trying to protect blazers or TV rights,” he said.
"I am totally independent. That is my focus and that is what I have been asked to do. The commission would have to represent the game - not the clubs, News Limited, NSWRL or the QRL. The dynamics would be fantastic.
"I have nothing to hide. I am not trying to gain anything from this.
"I just want to protect the clubs and help the game.
"It will have nothing to do with me (when finished). I am just being mentioned because of the past.
"There are a lot of untruths out there but I absolutely agree with an independent commission. That is the way to go.
“It would be a good thing for all parties but we all have to agree on how we get there.”
Senior executives in the game believe the NSWRL and QRL would have to be killed off for the new independent commission to operate.
“The clubs should appoint the commissioners,” one source said.
"If the NSWRL and QRL stayed involved, we would have exactly what we have right now. It would only mean the clubs replace News Ltd. And who wants the biggest media empire in the world out of the game?
“The biggest question will be how the commissioners are chosen independently. It wouldn’t be independent if the NSWRL and QRL were still involved.”
The NSWRL board met yesterday but did not discuss the issue because chairman Colin Love was absent.
So…… When are Wests Tigers going to take home games to China…
Juro last edited by
His best way of helping the game would be to butt out!
His best way of helping the game would be to butt out!
I think everyone besides John Ribot would probably share that opinion.
Why do people turn to this guy? Bugger off.
Quayle attacks ARL over talks
Daniel Lane | July 26, 2009
John Quayle, who spearheaded the establishment’s fight against News Ltd during the Super League war, has warned the Australian Rugby League it’ll be embarrassed if it doesn’t prevent his old foe John Ribot from blocking the advent of an independent commission.
Ribot, in his capacity as a member of the QRL board, is said to be agitating for Queensland to seize control of the ARL and insisting on retaining 50 per cent ownership of the game.
News Ltd would refuse to walk away from the code if Ribot proves successful, scuttling what is generally a well-supported structural change.
“So the person who once thought every official in Queensland was a meathead is working with them now,” said Quayle of Ribot’s QRL role after bitterly opposing them when he ran Super League. “Unbelievable.”
Quayle launched a blistering attack on the very office he once ran, saying it was an “indictment” on those now in charge that Ribot potentially placed at risk the independent commission the league has long craved.
“I can’t believe the ARL has allowed Queensland to even think it’s possible for them [to take control],” Quayle said.
"The responsibility of the ARL is to look after the grassroots and that’s junior football, referees, the state leagues and international game. That can’t be run by the clubs.
“And any [ARL] official has a responsibility to look after the game.”
Negotiations between the ARL and News Ltd - under the proposal, both parties must walk away from the game for the commission to be implemented - are on a knife’s edge.
Gold Coast Titans chief executive Michael Searle, who has been appointed by the NRL to draw up the commission’s blueprint, is believed to favour a non-profit model.
The NSWRL and QRL would remain at a second tier under the plan, but Ribot is demanding the two leagues each have two directors appointed on the board.
Ribot has previously rejected the notion that he has any agenda, insisting he wants to simply ensure the commission represents the game and not just the 16 clubs.
QRL general manager Ross Livermore also refuted rumours of a takeover in last week’s The Sun-Herald. It’s believed one point the QRL has argued is that State of Origin could be at risk if clubs refused to release their players.
“I wonder how they would feel if they did not get the Origin fees,” Quayle said. " They should be told if they don’t like the idea of the game being run by an independent commission they should go elsewhere.
"And if Colin Love [ARL chairman] and Geoff Carr don’t shout it, then the clubs should. And they should keep shouting it. People have been fighting very hard since Super League to unite the game under a commission, not one state, not one club - an independent commission.
"We have an opportunity to gain an independent group, run the interest of the game in the best interests of the game; not a player, not a state. But I’m not surprised by the QRL’s reaction. They didn’t want the Broncos because they had to play in the NSWRL.
“So they haven’t changed - they have stuck solid to their beliefs. There is no doubt Queensland has done well as a state with the building of the new [Suncorp] stadium and the emergence of North Queensland, Gold Coast and Brisbane - they’ve been an outstanding success and that sometimes makes people want more.”