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SBD Global/November 8, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith Outlines Plan To Double Club Membership

National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith "has outlined his plan to double club membership numbers" by '17 as part of what he has called a ''massive cultural shift'' across the code, according to Glenn Jackson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Smith: ''It's the biggest single thing the game's done, in terms of members, ever. And it won't just be a one-off.'' The plan, which has the backing of the 16 clubs, "comes in two parts;" a short-term push for a membership spike in '14, before the longer-term effort; doubling the current number of roughly 220,000 members across the clubs would create, he estimated, about A$50M ($47M). Smith: ''I'm more ambitious than that, but I think that doubling the membership base in three or four years is a big enough task, so that's where we'll start'' (SMH, 11/8). In Brisbane, Peter Badel reported NRL Gold Coast Titans CEO Graham Annesley "has expressed concerns about a transfer window" as momentum gathers for the Australian Rugby League Commission to "introduce a mid-season trading period." NRL Operations Chief Jim Doyle is "presiding over a sweeping salary cap probe, with some NRL stakeholders throwing their support behind a transfer window next season." Under the proposal, clubs "would be able to trade players for a nominated period after round six." The Rugby League PA sees merit in a transfer window. Annesley: "I would have to be convinced. Based on what used to happen around the June 30 rule and the claims of tampering, the biggest problem with that mid-season stuff is it distracts from what we are doing on a week-to-week basis on the field" (COURIER-MAIL, 11/8).
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