Rugby League: Embattled ARL chairman won't stand down

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman John Grant speaks to the media during an NRL press conference. Photo / Getty Images
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman John Grant speaks to the media during an NRL press conference. Photo / Getty Images

Embattled Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant has ruled out standing down over this deteriorating relationship with NRL clubs.

Disgruntled clubs have called an emergency general meeting in a bid to oust Grant amid failed discussions on their disputed funding.

An emergency general meeting pencilled in for December 20 will test the support of the chairman, with clubs requiring a minimum 14 votes to remove him.

Grant on Tuesday denied his position was untenable, indicating he would stay in the position ahead of the meeting as he attempts to bring the 16 clubs back to negotiation table.

"Will I step down? It's not being considered at the moment," Grant told reporters on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

Grant's seven fellow directors have unanimously thrown their support behind their boss.

He re-iterated his reasons for reneging on a funding model agreed to last year, citing the need to fund the grassroots, women's game, participation and digital exposure.

"My job is to make sure that this game prospers," he said.

"Part of that is for the clubs to prosper, but the other part is for us to make sure we get the funds back into the grassroots."

Grant was confident clubs would accept his position. They return to the negotiating table sometime this week.

"We have all the information. We're able to see a position that we think they will see as well," he said.

"We all need to focus on the future. We need to stop personalising it.

"We need to start thinking about the game and our clubs. In fact, there's an obligation with the chairs of clubs to do the right thing by their clubs.

"Funding is short."

Grant declined to comment on whether he could get the numbers to survive a vote on his position, something that appears unlikely currently despite seven fellow ARLC directors offering their support on Tuesday.

"It is highly disappointing that they (clubs) have taken this course of action given John's unwavering commitment to the game over the last five years," the commissioners said.

"John's appointment as inaugural chair recognised his qualities as a successful business man, who as a former Kangaroo, was ideally suited to take the game forward.

"He has since undertaken his role without bias and with the best interests of the game as his priority at all times."

- AAP

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