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Ex-ACCC boss Samuel to join ARL Commission

Former ACCC boss Graeme Samuel has been appointed to the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC).
Ex-ACCC boss Samuel to join ARL Commission
by AAP

SYDNEY, Sept 20 AAP - Former ACCC boss Graeme Samuel has been appointed to the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC).

Samuel will start his new role in November in place of Gary Pemberton, who is stepping down.

The 67-year-old Samuel was head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for eight years from 2003 but has strong experience in sports administration either side of that tenure.

He is the longest-serving AFL commissioner, spending 19 years from 1985-2002 during a period of rapid growth for the game that included the addition of four teams to the competition in Adelaide and Perth and the merger of Fitzroy with Brisbane.

That experience might be called on soon as NRL chief executive Dave Smith has publicly stated expansion will be back on the table at the end of next year.

In 2011, Samuel became managing director of boutique investment bank Greenhill Australia, where he was last year involved in negotiating the NRL's lucrative media rights deal.

ARLC Chairman John Grant was delighted to add Samuel to the commission.

"Graeme Samuel is one of the most respected figures in the Australian business landscape," Grant said in a statement.

"Through his previous role at Greenhill ... we got to know each other well and feel very comfortable that this, together with his time as an AFL Commissioner, give him a strong understanding of some of the game's key strategic issues and opportunities."

In August last year, Grant announced a new television rights deal with the Nine Network and Fox Sports worth more than $1 billion over five years and Samuel believes the game is poised for further growth.

"The exposure I have had to the game and to the Commission over the last year has demonstrated the extent to which the game is striving towards an even more significant place on the national sporting landscape," said Samuel.

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