Former South Sydney boss Shane Richardson was employed by the NRL earlier this year in a head of strategy role. In the months since he has been working away on a ‘whole of game’ blueprint that will effectively shape the sport moving forward.
The blueprint will tackle contentious issues like the length of the season, State of Origin and test match scheduling, potential expansion and other such strategic plans. It goes without saying that this will be the most important piece of work the game has seen since the end of the Super League war. Chief executive Dave Smith has already begun negotiating with television networks around the next broadcast deal to replace the current deal that ends in 2017.
Richardson has revealed a basic outline of his work to the ARL Commission already and is poised to reveal the full plan later this year.
At such an important crossroads will ALL parties get the opportunity to provide feedback or input into the decision-making? Will clubs, players and most importantly, the fans get a chance to offer their views on the big issues facing the game and will those in the positions of power adhere to that advice? At the end of the day the NRL has nothing if it doesn’t have those groups on board and I fair that their wishes are being largely ignored.
I have a bad feeling Mr Smith and company will simply come up with a plan that generates the greatest amount of revenue possible and disregard the feelings of those that actually matter – the players, clubs and fans.
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