Grant tries to clear up Gallop exit rumours
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Grant tries to clear up Gallop exit rumours

THE public face of the ARL Commission has remained somewhat private since David Gallop's exit. That changed yesterday when John Grant, the man painted as an egomaniac desiring a move into the office of the ousted chief executive, made some clarifications.

Notably, that he had not moved into Gallop's office at Rugby League Central. Nor does he plan to.

ARLC Chairman John Grant at the announcement of David Gallop's retirement.

ARLC Chairman John Grant at the announcement of David Gallop's retirement.Credit:Getty Images

He also rejected any assertion that it was his choice for the vanquished boss to exit the building on the day it was announced he would be leaving - Grant maintained he had wanted to give Gallop a dignified farewell, one befitting a 10-year veteran of the post.

''We didn't ask David to leave that day,'' he said. ''It was appropriate for David to leave, but we didn't ask him to leave that day.''

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Grant not only addressed club chief executives yesterday about Gallop's departure, at the first CEOs meeting since the controversial departure, and the search for a replacement, he also spoke for the first time since his press conference to announce the exit.

On the same day the club bosses formally recognised the contribution of Gallop, the man who sacked him, the managing director of an IT firm, said he had not been in Gallop's office since the decision to cut ties with him, despite suggestions he had

moved in. ''No one has moved into David's office. It's disrespectful to even suggest that - disrespectful to us, but it would [also] be disrespectful for David for that to happen.''

And despite suggestions otherwise, he does not covet the job. ''I have a full-time job running another company,'' Grant said. ''I actually don't have that many hours in the day. It is not the job of the chair or the commission. The job of the commission is to make sure we have the right people in place to run the business.''

On that note, Grant conceded the commission might not have a new CEO in the chair for three months, possibly more. He said the selection process, involving the recruitment firm Spencer Stuart, would take up to two months.

The successful applicant might then need to give notice, which means the game could have an interim boss for most of the remainder of this season. The fact that the search is expected to take so long pours cold water on suggestions the commission had already earmarked a replacement before Gallop's departure.

Speaking at the Women in League launch, Grant said Spencer Stuart would form an initial shortlist, which would then be culled by the recruitment firm. Once the short-list has been culled to five or six candidates, the remuneration committee would conduct interviews and reduce the list to two. The eight-member commission would then decide the game's next leader.

Grant has faced fierce criticism for not allowing Gallop to leave on his own terms. But after the storm of the announcement, the former boss will at least get the chance to be farewelled by his staff at league headquarters as well as the club bosses. Tonight, Gallop will be farewelled by his staff, while the club chief executives will have a formal gathering in the next fortnight.

Grant said it was always his intention to give Gallop an exit ''in the right fashion''. He also said it was Gallop's choice to hold separate press conferences on the day of the announcement.

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''I have asked Shane [Mattiske, the interim CEO] to make sure that David's exit is handled well … there is going to be an appropriate way that David's 10 years is acknowledged,'' he said. ''That's the thing that is missed in this - that we acknowledge David and that there is no reflection in the decision on David's 10 years.

''David took this game from what it was 10 years ago, all over the floor, to be the game that it is today. The point we have made is that that needs different leadership … David is a good man and has done a good job.''

Glenn Jackson is a Rugby League Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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