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DISCORD 2011 #6: Release the LEK report, Port Moresby NRL bid & next Dragons coach

APPARENTLY at the start of last season, an international consultancy firm called LEK did an investigation into the NRL administration and, among other things, its prospects for television rights.
DISCORD 2011 #6: Release the LEK report, Port Moresby NRL bid & next Dragons coach
by NRL

APPARENTLY at the start of last season, an international consultancy firm called LEK did an investigation into the NRL administration and, among other things, its prospects for television rights.

The findings were never made public in anything like their entirety. But one recommendation - or rather non-recommendation - which did surface was rather surprising: LEK found that expanding the competition geographically would not significantly add to what the League could ask for TV rights.

It's against the backdrop of this finding that the game is discussing whether to admit two new teams in 2013. Make no mistake, the LEK report gives expansion an element of "charity". "OK, we aren't going to make any money out of this, think the existing clubs, but it might be the 'right' thing to do with regard to sponsorship and general awareness".

Yet here we are, almost 12 months later, and un-named television analysts are saying that the AFL will get $200,000 more because it is a "national competition". I think, at such an important stage in the development of our sport's no.1 competition, constituents such as we deserve to know exactly what LEK said, on what basis, who prepared the report and the extent to which it is influencing negotiations with the television networks.

C'mon, David Gallop - release the LEK report.

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I WROTE in this column last year about the moral issues associated with the Port Moresby NRL bid.

Put simply, tax payers' money in Papua New Guinea is better spent on roads, schools and food than on consultancy fees to Australians who are suppose to lobby the NRL to get a team in a football competition - or on patches on the Brisbane Broncos' shorts. That's what I think.

I can understand the Broncos can't apply a morality test to every sponsor who comes through their door waving cash. I also understand that if they turn down the PNG bid money, that money will just go to someone else.

But Mal Meninga did not quit the PNG Bid Team for no reason. Where else is the bid team's money being spent if they are doing things like sponsoring the shorts of an existing team? I would like to see the accounts of the Bid Team and see where the cash is really going, cash that comes largely from the government of a country that is not part of the developed world.

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THERE is some interesting intrigue surrounding the coaches in the World Club Challenge if you scratch the surface.

If Wayne Bennett moves on in 2012, would Michael Maguire be a candidate to replace him? Or would St George Illawarra want Craig Bellamy to replace Bennett, in which case would Melbourne chase 'Madge' even though he has a year to run at Wigan?

The Dragons would do well to find out before they arrive here in 10 days whether they are in need of a new coach.

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PROBABLY too much feedback last week and not enough new stuff so I'll try and keep the responses down.

Rabby, where are the double standards? Melbourne cheated the rules of the competition and were punished. Going broke is not cheating. It's ... going broke! However you make a very good point regarding the promotion and relegation and expecting the teams jockeying for entry to be solvent.

But surely the next step down this road is finding out if the broke club deliberately mislead the league. If that's the case, they should be out on their ear!

Ferrett, following your logic any news organisation cannot be trusted to honestly follow up a story it breaks - ever! Journalists do not get paid bonuses for getting on the front page or for boosting advertising and circulation from one week to the next. They get raises and bonuses for doing their job properly over a period of time.

The great thing about journalism is that you start again every day. You might have had the best story yesterday but your rival across town can do a better job following up your story than you do ? unless you try just as hard today. I have worked in newspapers and they do no operate the way you think they do.

I am well aware that Ryan Tandy is innocent until proven guilty. I was not specifically referring to him when I pointed out that cases often don't reach court for reasons other than the investigating officers being convinced the suspect is innocent. That comment was intended to refer to match fixing investigations past, present and future.




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