JUST under a decade ago, the National Rugby League made it known that a team which relocates could receive up to $11 million from the administration.
The availability of the incentive was a tacit acknowledgement that there were too many teams in Sydney but that saving the history and intellectual property of an existing team was preferable to shutting it down and starting afresh.
Then, out of nowhere, then-CEO David Gallop revealed that there would also be an incentive to stay where you were!
Gallop reckoned that saturation of the Sydney market was important in the face of encroachment from rival codes and the NRL would be willing to help prop up a team that looked likely to fall over.
Relocation, as an option for Sydney teams, was dead.
In recent weeks, we have seen it given pulmonary massage in light of the travails currently being experienced by Cronulla.
The theory is that if the club was to be sued by players who are found guilty of using illegal substances, they would quickly become insolvent. That could also happen if the NRL imposes a Draconian fine on the club in the wake of the ASADA investigation.
It’s one thing to predict the Commission would use the situation as leverage to get the club to move. But does the ARLC even favour relocation?
As things stand, the incentives for staying put are the same as moving. It’s time for the NRL administration to make its position clear on relocation.
Is it a preferred option or not? Please let us know.
THE last two weeks, we’ve been reporting on the back and forth between the two rival bodies trying to start rugby league in Thailand.
While there is currently no league in the kingdom, it’s instructive about the issues and battles which seem to repeat themselves all over the place in our sport.
Shannon Crane, who runs the TRL, sent us a link to the League’s entry on the Thai Department of Business’ registry. He also says the rival Thailand Rugby League’s Facebook page has been closed down and insists he does reside in Thailand, not Brisbane.
We will not be continuing the back-and-forth. Case closed!
COMMENTS time and let’s go back to last week’s column.