Fairfax reports that the four clubs excluded from yesterdays discussions would also like to be part of the talks. Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra, Newcastle and Gold Coast were excluded due to a perception of bias in favour of the NRL through directors on the board or emergency funding. Newcaslte Chairman Brian Guigan said
“This is the ridiculous part, we should all be one,” McGuigan said. “We should be together and harmonious. Anyone who tries to put a splinter in that harmony should answer to themselves ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I trying to exclude some other people?’ We don’t always agree on the course of actions you take but you need to talk about issues that are there or might emerge in the future. We have a responsibility to do all in our power to see our code expand and be fully functional and effective. A good personal relationship between us all is very desirable. After all, you get a lot more with honey than vinegar.”
NRL CEO David Smith defended the leagues performance.
“We’ve got $50m under professional funds management,” Smith said. “I’ll give you the chitty though, you can see the interest we have earned on the $50m. We distributed $28m last year – $20m of that was, from memory, to the clubs. Half of the $8m was to welfare and the other half was to other projects. We retained whatever the balance is in the bank account as cash. Those numbers exist.
“The way any business works – we’re a serious not-for-profit – is you have your operating costs. Anything you make above your operating costs – let’s park tax and other things for a minute – is called a surplus. In business it’s called profit, here it is called surplus. Because we are a not-for-profit, every single dollar goes back into the game. So in two years we generated surpluses after operating costs of $100m. Those have been distributed – $50m to the funds, $28m to the clubs and welfare and the residual is cash in the bank. Fact.”