The ARL Commission has its $1 billion cheque and rugby league's head honchos are going to tell us how they intend to spend it.
The commission is set to announce its long-awaited strategic plan for the game, a document more than six months in the making, at the league headquarters in Sydney tomorrow. The eight commissioners have been working on their blueprint for the game since the formal establishment in February, with the plan to address issues including funding, expansion and grassroots concerns. A new NRL logo is also expected to be unveiled.
''The intent is to provide direction for the game,'' ARLC chairman John Grant said. ''That direction needs to be at the highest level about what we've got to achieve for the game over time, the values what we want the community of rugby league to operate by, those sorts of things. The big thing is that when you have the game, which is a very big organisation from the ARL Commission to Southern Suburbs under 6s at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane - everyone from the lowest level to the highest needs to know in what direction we are going.''
It is expected the ARLC will confirm a $5 million salary cap for next year, while issues including representative eligibility, radio rights and Origin location are close to being finalised. However, it is not clear who will oversee the grand plan as the ARLC continues its search for a chief executive to replace David Gallop. Grant said he was unconcerned about the length of the process, or the prospect of potential candidates being drawn to the vacant CEO role at the Australian Rugby Union. ''They are very different organisations and they would attract different candidates, I would have thought,'' he said.