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NRL rebellion: Rugby league clubs want CEO Dave Smith gone or threaten to leave comp


I'll be very interested to see what happens with News Corp once he does to be honest...

None of his children possess an ounce of his intelligence, drive and low rat cunning. They're tied into dying mediums and I think the only direction is down.


Half the problem is that a lot of these guys are going to have trouble keeping up with this relentless negativity and will probably crack.


Wow. Tallis just got bumped up to less merkiny in my book if that's the case.

I gotta say I've been pretty impressed with Tallis on Triple M over the past couple months on a fair few issues. He's got no qualms whatsoever with calling out bullshit when he hears it and his straight talking is a welcome change on a Triple M that has been crowded by mewling News ltd pissants this past week.


They should bring back shoulder charge and no one punch sin bin, make it all tough again like the yanks did with XFL


First Grade
Why NRL should revisit idea of establishing its own TV channel

Back in 1994, pay television was but a twinkling in Australia's eye. But ARL head honchos John Quayle and Ken Arthurson had an idea: why don't we start our own television channel? The one problem: they had already given the pay-TV rights to Kerry Packer for nothing. NewsCorp came knocking and, voila, the Super League War. The NRL is now completely free of News for the first time since then – and Fox Sports reportedly plans not to speak to the League for another two years. Surely an NRL-owned (and even operated) station should be back on the agenda. Fans would forgive a shortfall in revenue if they got an extra free game a week and didn't have to go through a middle-man for the others. Set of Six has little sympathy for clubs allegedly planning a rebellion. We don't even care if you do slam the door on the way out.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...tv-channel-20150822-gj5jqv.html#ixzz3jbrzfsy4
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

Well said Mascord! Thankfully we have at least him and by default fairfax in our corner.


Tallis has been good. Billy Birmingham just sits there cracking jokes and asking Kent to clarify things. He dead set sounds like a guy with no idea about the game who is intent on asking lame questions so he can learn on the run.


First Grade
I gotta say I've been pretty impressed with Tallis on Triple M over the past couple months on a fair few issues. He's got no qualms whatsoever with calling out bullshit when he hears it and his straight talking is a welcome change on a Triple M that has been crowded by mewling News ltd pissants this past week.

In Gordon's favour, he always expresses his own opinions. Sometimes his opinions are stupid or outdated but at least their his and he's not repeating what others have told him to say

Desert Qlder

First Grade
Rupert Murdoch in all out war with Australian rugby league Big News
Network.comSaturday 22nd August, 2015 rupert-murdoch-in-all-out-war-with-australian-rugby-league

SYDNEY, Australia (Editorial) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has intensified its war on Australian rugby league incensed at having been left out of the bidding for broadcast rights.

Following Mr Murdoch's personal intervention in patching together a hastily agreed, and what is universally regarded as an overly-generous $2.508 billion deal with the AFL, News Corp now wants more revenge and has started a campaign to remove rugby league chief Dave Smith and the league's chairman John Grant.

Rupert Murdoch who plastered the front page of The Sunday Telegraph a week before the last Australian federal election with the words "We need Tony," is used to having people in place that are compliant with his wishes. Now The Sunday Telegraph is being used to promote his corporate interests once more.

The media mogul who has probably not been to a game of rugby league or AFL in decades may well prefer AFL, so be it. But rugby league doesn't deserve a second News Corp bashing. The scars of the Super League War remain and Mr Murdoch would be better off leaving his tantrums for the board room rather than wreaking vengeance on rugby league and using his army of rugby league writers to destabilise the game, and do a hatchet job on people who fall out of favour with their boss.

News Corps The Sunday Telegraph, the largest selling newspaper in Australia has been packed on Sunday with anti-Smith articles, clearly a targeted campaign to do a corporate assassination. The newspaper is fuelling rumours of a breakaway competition, quoting 'club sources' as demanding the pair go, all without disclosing the name of a single source.

The petulant, dummy-spitting performance News Corp has put on public display since the AFL deal was announced (not the NRL deal) is extraordinary. For a public company the size of News Corp to be engaging in this type of vengeance is extraordinary.

James Hooper leads the charge in Sunday's Telegraph with a story titled 'NRL rebellion: Rugby league clubs want CEO Dave Smith gone or threaten to leave competition.'

"The push has been discussed among some of the most influential figures in rugby league who remain furious at a range of NRL decisions, including cutting key stakeholders Fox Sports and Telstra out of the TV negotiations," the Telegraph article states without revealing who has promoted the idea.

"Their anger was intensified after News Corp and the Seven Network partnered to give the AFL a record $2.5 billion television deal," Hooper says. The very notion that News Corp paid hundreds of millions of dollars more for the AFL rights to get square with the NRL is petulance at the extreme, and almost certainly grossly misleading. If not it would be a malicious act, one that you would not expect from any leading corporate citizen, let alone one of Australia's largest.

The article says Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra, Newcastle and Gold Coast would be excluded from the new competition.

Probably the most truthful line in the story is the last one, after all the destabilisation and rumour-mongering. It says: "The breakaway scenario remains highly unlikely but illustrates the current level of discontent with the NRL head office."

Then we have an op-ed from the newspaper's sports editor. The headline is: "Phil Rothfield: Inept duo must go to ensure future of NRL."

Rothfield bores into the NRL taking swipe after swipe over yes, you guessed it, the TV rights deal that his employer is so angry about. He too talks of the mythical breakaway competition, ludicrously suggesting the new 12 man competition would sell broadcast rights to Channel 10 and Fox Sports in a $2 billion deal.

He says the code's sponsor Telstra will not renew its $8 million a year sponsorship deal. Who says they won't? Surely Telstra wouldn't be making a decision this far out, and communicating it to News Corp without making a public announcement. In any event there would probably be a line-up of sponsors prepared to take their place.

"Dave Smith's three-year reign as NRL chief executive is surely about to end. The clubs, the big corporate partners and the fans have all had enough. Crowds are at their lowest for more than a decade," Rothfield writes who on August 10 when the rugby league rights deal was announced was spruicking that the big winners in the deal were rugby league fans.

"Smith's bungling of the television deal is the last straw," the article says. "In four decades covering rugby league, I have never know the administration of the game to be so inept, so clumsy and so much out of their depth. It has become clear that Dave Smith and members of the independent commission have lost the confidence of club power brokers. The anger and the frustration over Smith and chairman John Grant is growing every day. Either they go, or the clubs take matters into their own hands," a fuming Rothfield writes.

The only comment to the story at the time of writing is from 'swagman.' He says in response to the Rothfield article: "What's the matter Phil ? ... a little worried about job security when the tele fills its pages with the southern game as payback for the broadcast rights ..... and when did you take it on yourself to speak on behalf of "us" , the fans ?? ... lots of us are very happy with the developments ... and hope Smith stays for many years to come..."

In another article by Rothfield he talks of rugby league being in 'crisis' and promotes the idea of a former AFL boss to take over and "get the TV deal done properly and set the game up for the future."

Again the Sunday Telegraph sports editor tells of how the administration of the game has never been lower in the four decades he has been covering the game. In the story headlined "NRL crisis can be fixed and former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou is just the man to do it," he continually talks of what he has been hearing, or what one club boss told him. No sources. No sources at all.

Rothfield concludes the story by saying: "The game is in absolute crisis. It's why the Demetriou idea is a good one."

The journalism coming out of News Corp on this subject is nothing more than vitriol. A story a few days ago said Dave Smith was seen leaving a News Corp luncheon "with a smug smile on his face."

Rebecca Wilson lashes out with an article headlined: "NRL bosses Dave Smith and John Grant facing revolt from key stakeholders in wake of TV deal." Proving beyond any doubt that all the Sunday Telegraph journalists have received the same directive she too talks of a breakaway competition. She also talks of Andrew Demetriou as a replacement for Smith, and another couple of contenders including John Quayle.

"The rebellion is very real and, while some will publicly hose it down, the talk has become much more than whispers and rumour," Wilson writes without a skerrick of a single source to back her claims. "Rugby League cannot afford to start the next broadcast contract with a billion dollars less than what was expected," she says
"The disaster for Smith will get worse in coming months- not one of the remaining potential broadcasters wants to have a discussion with him because of his gobsmacking breaches of trust committed in recent weeks." Gobsmacking breaches of trust?

"The fact that Foxtel is now privately claiming they will not look at a deal until close to the deadline of this agreement at the end of 2017 means the code will remain on tenterhooks for a long time to come unless something gives. That something is the departure of Smith and Grant," concludes Wilson in her Sunday Telegraph article.

David Riccio joins the witch-hunt on a different subject. The story comes under two headlines: "National rules lunacy," and "NRL CEO Dave Smith under fire for lack of clarity and vision over rule changes." The story rips into Smith over decisions made by referees and the judiciary neither of which are overseen by Smith, and the numerous rule changes that have been implemented, mostly on the advice of the rules committee which includes Wayne Bennett, Laurie Daley, Todd Greenberg, Trent Robinson and Darren Lockyer. In any event the rigour over clamping down on various aspects of the game which has brought in the rule changes is to improve player safety. At a time when in just a little over 12 months there have been an unprecedented four catastrophic injuries, all career-ending, with three of them life-changing and one life-ending, so there should be the scrutiny that is being applied to get it right. And if there is some misunderstanding along the way, or misinterpretation surely we can live with that, rather than consigning players to their death or a lifetime of full time care for injuries that will never heal.

(Source: Big News Network)