Conversations with the League of Extraordinary Gentleman – Bad Behaviour and who the next NRL CEO should be

If you are regular reader of TGOS you will already know that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is my moniker for any of my friends who would prefer to remain behind the veil of anonymity. From time to time some of the ideas for my posts originate from conversations with the TLOEG and some conversations like the following one bear repeating….verbatim. BTW this is an actual e-mail thread. Not a ‘based on true events’ recollection like Fargo. That doesn’t mean I left the typos in.

TLOEG – Some good stuff for TGOS in here

TGOS – I must say when I saw the article headline yesterday I ignored it because I’m not an Eddie McGuire fan but his ideas are more interesting than I thought. BTW they are very similar to a concept put forward by Bill Simmons a few years back called the ‘Entertaining as Hell Playoffs’.

But I’m getting a bit twitchy not talking about Rugby League. Just saying.

TLOEG – I can’t believe TGOS hasn’t featured anything on the Big Bash…Rugby League will be upon us soon enough. I guess you could talk about lewd acts in Rugby League…

TGOS – Very remiss of me. A blog about Rugby League’s lewd acts would stretch into a 4 part marathon.

TLOEG – The sad thing is, anyone who knows anything about Rugby League will tell you that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lewd acts. The clubs are to blame – they are paying their wages. They allow this kind of disgraceful culture to be harboured among the players, until it gets into the media. Then they rend their garments as though they didn’t know these types of things were happening. It’s a massive double standard.

The Roosters are the ones who should be sanctioned, severely, not just Pearce. They should lose competition points.

TGOS – That’s given me a great idea for a post. Some teams recruit for quality people as well as talent believing that the most talented people with the best character will win against the teams that recruit on talent alone. San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors spring to mind. I’m trying to think of a NRL equivalent but am struggling, mainly because Rugby League does it so badly. In a way it is easier to do in Basketball because the rosters are smaller.

Perhaps the sanctions should be a suspended sentence of loss of competition points. The issue with the NRL is circular. Really the NRL should crack down on the clubs but the clubs revolt any time the NRL does something the clubs don’t like. In reality a sea change is necessary because clubs would need to change their recruitment strategy as well. I think a club like the Titans who probably needs to blow the whole joint up anyway would be a perfect place to start.

TLOEG – Rugby League club culture needs to be turned on its head. I think clubs like Brisbane and Melbourne are making some progress, but in some clubs, the problems are profound, and deeply ingrained. As you’ve rightly pointed out, if a club has a great player and they can keep out of the media spotlight, they can basically do whatever they like.

Maybe a huge fine and a suspended sentence on competition points? Reduction in their salary cap perhaps?

I would have thought that whomever they recruit as the next CEO needs to be given the job of cleaning up the game. That’s why it has to be an ex-footballer who has the support/mandate of the clubs…

TGOS – Brisbane and Melbourne probably have the best record but both records are hardly spotless. Probably why I was so in favour of David Smith. Able to see the game from a purely business perspective for a while. A ‘best for business’ attitude which includes managing reputational risks properly. Salary cap reduction is a great sanction.

Rugby League is so faction driven I like the idea of a non-aligned person coming in.

TLOEG – Unfortunately the non-NRL guys get no respect from the players or the clubs. All of the NRL clubs should put forward their nominations and go from there.

Problem is (re: salary cap sanctions), it flows through later rather than sooner. Something more immediate would be good.

There’s that too (re: factions)…surely there would be someone who would have the support of all the clubs, but strong enough to give them a smack when they needed it…

TGOS – That’s the whole ‘you didn’t play so you don’t know how to run a football business’ thing.

I hope they give it to Jim Doyle.

TLOEG – This is interesting from Ben Ikin…

Jim Doyle would seem to be a popular choice…I can’t think of anyone who would be a standout candidate. I wonder what John Ribot is up to nowadays…

TGOS – It is an interesting article (from Ben Ikin) but I don’t really agree with him. Mrs TGOS saw a documentary which noted that a higher percentage of sociopaths become CEOs than any other profession and I think that is probably about right and while I don’t necessarily think the NRL CEO should be a sociopath, it makes the point. When you look for the best fireman you hire a fireman. When you need a CEO you get the best CEO. Your GMs need to know the industry.

John Ribot was awesome. I think he is an ongoing casualty from the News Limited war.

TLOEG – I think you need both – a proper CEO with a proper RL pedigree.

Surely we’re over that by now (the Superleague war)…

TGOS – It sounds like they are heading that way from the publicised candidates so far, although I think a fair few of those on the short list aren’t public knowledge yet.

TLOEG – There’ll be a few dark horses, but I think the CEO the clubs want will get the nod. Dave Smith was very unpopular…it’s time for a popular CEO…

TGOS – I’m hoping whoever it is invests in the international game.

TLOEG – It will be interesting to see what they come up with…

TGOS – Interesting is one thing the NRL always is. 

What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?

  • Chappell/Hadlee Series. Good to finally see a close series without a million runs scored. Can’t wait for the tests to start.
  • NRL 9s. Nice to see some footy again. As I mentioned above, I was getting a bit twitchy.

 What isn’t? 

  • Still waiting for that big final innings from Brendon McCullum. Cameos might be the order of the day. 

EPL Tips Match Week 26

Swansea City - Photo by Ronnie McDonald - CC-BY-2.0

Swansea City – Photo by Ronnie McDonaldCC-BY-2.0

Sunderland vs Man U – Man U 1-0

Bournemouth vs Stoke – Bournemouth 2-1

Crystal Palace vs Watford – Crystal Palace 2-1

Everton vs West Brom – Everton 3-0

Norwich vs West Ham – Draw 1-1

Swansea vs Southampton – Southampton 2-1

Chelsea vs Newcastle – Chelsea 2-1

Arsenal vs Leicester – Arsenal 2-1

Aston Villa vs Liverpool – Liverpool 2-1

Man City vs Tottenham – Man City 2-1

BTW I’m going head to head with Lawro (Mark Lawrenson of the BBC) again this year. He has gone and changed his scoring system (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth TEN points and picking an exact score FORTY points).

Week 25

Me – 50 (5 from 10 with no perfect scores) and Lawro – 120 (6 from 10 with 2 perfect scores)

Season so far

Me – 1850 and Lawro – 1880 (The Empire Strikes Back….for the thousandth time. Lawro, go away already)

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Sunday, 21 February 2016 titled ‘2016 NRL Preview Part 1 – Over before it starts’


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