Todd Greenberg. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Todd Greenberg. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Greenberg hands in resignation to NRL

Todd Greenberg has stood down as the NRL CEO as of today after he and the ARL Commission "mutually agreed" to part ways.

It comes after weeks of speculation and frustration aimed at Greenberg.

He has largely been the face of the NRL's budget blackhole and bloated front office, but has publicly taken a back seat in negotiations with broadcasters as the game deals with the threat of the coronavirus.

In a statement released by the NRL, Greenberg paid tribute to the game.

"It has been my great honour and privilege to be the CEO of the NRL for the last 4 years," the statement read. "Despite the variety of challenges and pressures I have loved every single minute of the journey. Our growth over the last 4 years has been extraordinary and I am very proud of my contribution to the game.

"I am indebted to the game for the variety of opportunities and experiences that have been provided to my family and I, and we leave with many great memories and life long friendships.

"My sincere thanks to all the stakeholders across the game, particularly the fans who are the lifeblood of rugby league. Their unwavering passion for the game is wonderful.

"I remain in awe of the players skill and bravery to play this game week in and week out & I thank all of them, both past and present for their friendship and support.

"My thanks also to the staff and Executive team at the NRL. It has been an absolute honour to lead this team of talented, resilient and hard working professionals."

Todd Greenberg looks on at Peter V’landys.
Todd Greenberg looks on at Peter V’landys.

Speaking on Fox Sports News, former NRL great and Fox League analyst Braith Anasta said "the writing was on the wall".

He said the financial state of the league was one of the biggest reason behind the move as "it's really exposed the game" but while he was surprised by the sudden nature of the move, it wasn't a surprising move.

"To an extent I'm a bit surprised that he's been stood down at this time, I thought that maybe we could get through this, get the players on the field and then it would happen but at the same time it's a chance to wipe the slate clean," he said. "I do hear that there is going to be a major restructure of the NRL and Peter V'landys will be behind that and this is a major step in this direction."

Anasta also pointed to his relationship with players, having backflipped after negotiating a reduction in the players' salaries if the game didn't get back on the field and only volunteering a 25 per cent cut himself.

He backtracked and took the same cut as the players after criticism. But the league's retirement fund mismanagement was also a big moment.

"The fact the NRL hadn't been paying the players into the right fund for these guys when they do retire was mind-boggling," Anasta said. "I couldn't believe that, I'm sure the RLPA couldn't believe that at the time, and Peter V'landys seemed to be doing everything he could to put the fire out."

The social media reaction was swift but positive for Greenberg with many surprised by the swiftness of the move.

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys has left Greenberg behind.
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys has left Greenberg behind.

Anasta took aim over the weekend saying Greenberg had been silenced and Greenberg "will be there no longer".

"We can't believe where the NRL finds itself," Anasta said. "That' why we get to start fresh, Peter V'landys is the right leader to run this business. His relationship with broadcasters is important because the broadcast rights are up in 2022, so there's a lot going on behind the scenes. I think he's doing everything possible to make sure this game of ours is run like a business and we can have some assets moving forward and never find ourselves in position again. It's a real wake up call for the game."

Greenberg's role in the NRL has been under the microscope in the past few weeks with The Australian's Brent Read reporting last week that the game's management team have shared in the best part of $6 million for the past five years, including Greenberg's million dollar salary.

Speaking on Triple M on April 11, Paul Kent also took aim at Greenberg in particular after Channel 9's stunning attack on the league before broadcast negotiations last week.

He labelled Greenberg "totally delusional" to try to weather the storm and lashed the executive for his handling of the issue.

"It's all bullshit in all honesty," Kent said on Triple M Rocks NRL. "To sit down and say 'it's water off a ducks back, I'm not here to be popular' when your game's second biggest funder … to sit there and dismiss the criticism is delusional, totally delusional.

"I don't think there's anywhere for Todd Greenberg to go except for to resign because the fact is Channel 9 have clearly indicated they've got no faith in him, he's already on the outs with News Limited with the way he's handled things in recent times."


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