Mark Levy is the host of 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio show. Tune in from 6pm-7pm, Monday to Thursday!
Plenty of names are being thrown around to replace Todd Greenberg as chief executive of the NRL, but the man for the job is already calling the shots.
Peter V’landys has established a reputation among sporting officials, businessmen and even politicians as a ruthless administrator and a man who’s capable of getting the job done.
He isn’t afraid to step on toes and ruffle a few feathers to get what he wants, so why are we even mentioning some of the possible candidates?
The ARLC chairman has made it clear he’s not interested in the job of running the day to day operations of the National Rugby League, but we desperately need him to work his magic on a game that’s become top heavy and massively over-budget.
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V’landys said on 2GB’s Continuous Call Team: “I would be hypocritical if I became the CEO, because I’ve always said corporate governance-wise the board and the management should be two separate things. You can’t cross over into both, it’s dangerous territory”.
I’m sure there are already people urging V’landys to reconsider, because there’s an office waiting for him at Rugby League Central and no doubt some anxious staff members who can already see the writing on the wall.
When you consider the NRL employs 400 people and the English Premier League has a staff of 140 at head-office, you’re entitled to question some of the roles at Rugby League Central.
The chairman recently said on The Today Show: “This is like a boxing match. You take a few blows to the head, a few body blows, but you save your best punches to the end.” Well, I think we’ve got Muhammad Ali in rugby league’s corner at the moment and it’s time to deliver the knockout blow.
V’landys obviously enjoys a challenge and I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s capable of turning around the NRL’s fortunes and guaranteeing its success for the next 50 years – so how do we put together a petition calling on him to take the job?
The racing industry won’t let him walk away without a fight and nor should they, given he’s transformed the sport in NSW with the introduction of multi-million dollar races like the Everest at Royal Randwick and at the same time, lifted prize money in the bush.
I first came into contact with Peter V’landys when I was working for the TAB at the Harold Park Paceway, where he became the youngest person in Australia to be appointed as chief executive of a major metropolitan race club.
I still remember my first run-in with him, it’s something I’ve never forgotten.
I was 18 at the time and the one and only tote machine in the members area wasn’t working. I was told in no uncertain terms to fix it quickly, which I did and once the problem was rectified, V’landys shook my hand and said, “Well done, son.”
We’ve crossed paths many times over the years, dating back to my employment at the TAB, Sky Racing and now on radio at 2GB and I still regard him as the best administrator I’ve seen in my 18 years covering sport.
While I respect the names being bandied around for the role as chief executive, I don’t think any of them could do a better job than the current ARLC chairman and we need the very best at what’s become a critical time for all of the codes.
If you look at the sporting landscape at the moment, there are huge problems.
Rugby Australia is a basketcase, with 10 former captains taking aim at the hierarchy and forcing Raelene Castle to resign. Cricket Australia is in a similar financial position, with CEO Kevin Roberts declaring he’s got the “full support of the board”; and we know what that means.
I’m starting to see the positives out of the coronavirus shutdown, because it’s forcing these sporting codes to reevaluate their spending and tighten their belts, which is a good thing.
If the National Rugby League is going to prosper into the future, it needs to follow the words of its enduring anthem ‘Simply the Best’.
We need the best running the game and that’s Peter V’landys.