canberra-raiders-green-machine-defeat-st-george-illawarra-win-stadium-nrl-round-18-2008.jpgI have been following the game for decades, from the early days at Belmore supporting the Berries to current days supporting the Bulldogs. It is a game, which I love, and game, which I have grown up with. Having the pleasure of seeing the greats play thru the years, players such as Beetson, Langlands, Brass, Price, Kenny, Sterling, Lamb the Hughes boys and the Mortimber boys and of late Steve Price and Sonny Bill Williams. The days of yesteryear is when we as supporters owned and loved the game, which they called rugby league, RUGBY LEAGUE was a game built around a club along with its members and most importantly its juniors. The game was never about the mighty dollar creating wealth it was about the foundation, the grass roots, and the juniors. The juniors bring to the club its true wealth; all clubs had their juniors, which developed the bases of the 1st grade team. If you were to ask the true supporters of the game what is lacking in the game today, and most would say loyalty, that is loyalty at the grass roots.

The salary cap unfortunately does not offer the loyalty for both the player and the clubs; in fact it puts commercial restraints on both. The salary cap is a product of the NRL. Who is the NRL? Who owns the NRL? Who pays the wages of the NRL? I am sick of the NRL! I want my game back! It does not belong to the NRL! The game is mine and all supporters alike! I want it back!

Do away with the NRL and the salary cap and bring back rugby league! Bring back the rules of old; Make the scrums competitive, the play the ball competitive and get rid of the strip rule not mention the video referee, bring back the big hits! Reduce the cost to the clubs, such as travel, accommodation, the day-to-day running, and its overheads. Reduce the cost of game entry fees, making it affordable to all; we need make our game commercially attractive to bring back the corporate dollar.

Take the game back to its strong hold areas such NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG.

          Start a new competition, which promotes and encourages loyalty and has juniors as its foundation employing sustainable growth.

          Employ an import rule, which caps the amount of imports allowed to any club. (Any player other than a junior or scholarship player)

          Have NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG run its own competition; say 8 teams each over 16 weeks, plus the finals;

          Then the grand finalist from NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG enter into a Super competition; bringing together  8 elite teams to formulate the strongest competition equal to the State of Origin of old status.

          Introduce a transfer rule similar to that of the Premier League in England football. Compensate the clubs for their development of their juniors of equal value of the signed contract to the alien club.

          Employ a governing body, which has the interest of Rugby League, its clubs, its players, its sponsors, its growth and most importantly its fans; NOT media juggernaut!

          Expand the game in time; develop the game in the other cities and countries thru the implantation of junior development within a plan over 5 -15 years.

In summary, what the game is experiencing now is not about Sonny Bill Williams it is about a game, which has been lost to the media dollar. In time I believe that we will be thanking the likes Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Gasnier for brining the current problems of the game to a head.

It is about time we stop the bleeding before it is too late, if it is not already too late.  I WANT MY GAME BACK!

By ricky

8 thoughts on “FanTalk: I want NRL back”
  1. Thats exactly that we the fans have being screaming for . I would love to see the local grounds back,the bulldogs to play at belmore,not the rubbish ANZ stadium,not central coast,its the fans who make the game,not greed .no fans no game,

  2. Hi guys,

    I totally agree with the comments in the article above (well spoken). The sooner we change & implement such changes the better our game will become otherwise RUGBY LEAGUE may face a slow and agonising DEATH.

    Save our game!!!!

    Love my game……NICK D

  3. About time somebody stopped whinging and came up with a well thought out plan without any bias to any one particular organisation… hats off t you Steve. Has anyone got access to a free billboard… especially one around NRL’s headquarters, cos that’s where we need to put this message.

  4. The article titled “Fantalk: I want my NRL back”, published below in your latest issue, seems a bit dumb to me though. It reads like a fan having a rant about the world in general, wishing everything would just go back the way it once was. It showed a lack of understanding not only of how rugby league in the modern era must operate, but also why it must operate that way to remain competitive. Rugby league has to operate in our country’s economy, the global economy, and it has to compete with other sports for the fans’ dollars. You can’t just say “drop the prices of accommodation” and everything else, any more than the goverment can just print more money to make the country richer.

    There are a few good items in the guy’s wishlist, but they’re surrounded by poorly-thought-out ones, and wishful thinking. The whole article’s a bit of a muddle.

  5. What a great article! My thoughts exactly, who the bloody hell gave the NRL the right to systematically destroy all the good things about OUR (the fans) game to make it commercially viable as they put it. News Limited’s involvement has destroyed the game and turned it into a TV circus not worth watching at all. And they make the money from it! Certain Referees hate certain Clubs and penalise them out of contention week in week out , It’s so obvious we can all see it but not the powers that be in charge of running (or RUINING )the game. It’s time to tell News Limited where to go, pay them out and get back to what made the game the most popular sport in Australia, then charge them heaps to televise games, that way at least all clubs will make money. Where else in the world do we have the governing body of a sport owning a number of Clubs that participate in that competition, ridiculous setup! Wake up you guys before it’s too late.

  6. Good article. I agree something has to be done. Back to Rugby League roots. I have more fun remembering past eras of the 80’s and most of the 90’s then watching matches these days. And Im only 37. Why? Because I dont enjoy the game today. Something has to change in Rugby League, this is a well thought out idea from a devoted fan of Rugby League.

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