Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie will stand down from his position in February and is expected to be replaced by NSW racing supremo Peter V’landys.
Beattie told the ARL Commission on Wednesday that he would not seek reappointment when his term expires early next year, AAP understands.
He is expected to make a public announcement as early as Thursday.
The former Queensland premier has backed Racing NSW chief executive V’landys to take over and he now appears the clear frontrunner for the post.
Beattie has been a highly-controversial figure in the game since taking up the job in February last year.
He was widely pilloried for a series of gaffes including his failure to name the Cronulla Sharks when asked which team played out of the Sutherland Shire by league identity Phil Gould during an interview last year.
However he has also spearheaded important reforms, including the introduction of the “no-fault” stand down rule.
After a summer marked by ugly headlines, Beattie pushed through the rule - which allows for players charged with a crime which carries a jail sentence of 11 years or more - to be stood down while their legal case runs its course.
V’landys received a ringing endorsement from Beattie when he met with his fellow commissioners and he is the odds-on favourite to become his successor next year.
It’s believed Beattie’s decision to stand down is linked with his determination to push through constitutional reform as the commission seeks a replacement for Mark Coyne.
Beattie is seeking to scrap the rule which prevents any person from being elected to the ARLC if they have been involved with a club in the last three year.
It’s understood Beattie believes the decision will make him unpopular and the game needs a fresh start.
V’landys, who was elected to the independent commission earlier in the year, this week said that if he took on the job, he would be capable of staying on as Racing NSW CEO.
He has been credited with revitalising racing in the state and was the brains trust behind the introduction of The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf.