RLPA chief Clint Newton has responded to an explosive report that a faction of the NRL’s leading players are considering a coup against Peter V’landys.
In a column published in the Sydney Morning Herald today, veteran league reporter Danny Weidler revealed that a number of the game’s high-profile stars had been left fuming with the league’s crackdown on foul play and were “furious that they were not consulted on a host of recent changes that have altered the way the game is played.”
“Some leading players have expressed their concerns to me, saying they want V’landys to stand down and concentrate on his role as the chief executive of Racing NSW in a full-time capacity,” Weidler wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Appearing on radio, Newton looked to downplay the conviction of the report, assuring players were only seeking to be appropriately involved around decisions that impact the game moving forward.
“I think it’s [the report] an extremely big speculative comment,” Newton told Triple M.
“At the end of the day, I’m not about overthrowing people. The players are not wanting to control the game. We are about securing the best outcomes for the game, players, clubs and fans.
“This isn’t about any one person’s view. It is my job to take forward the collective view and that’s what we plan to do. We need to bring this back into focus.
“This is about working through a process and ensuring we have a genuine and respectful opportunity to have dialogue in advance of any suggestive changes…if there is a chance to communicate and engage with us more respectfully and listen to players.
“The players absolutely appreciate the concern on their health and safety and policy enforcement…but this isn’t about that. So, let’s not misrepresent the situation that this is about the crackdown. It’s not. The players are frustrated at the moment and we’ve made that clear to the NRL.
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“We’ve got an opportunity to improve what is currently going on and allow the players to have a voice and be engaged about what’s going on up front. To be involved in the conversations where decisions are made that impact on them.”
Responding to the direct question, ‘Do the players want V’landys to step down?’, Newton was firm.
“That’s not my understanding. My understanding is that players want change in how things are being worked through,” he said.
“Players want an improved process that allows them to feel properly respected, and that’s what we’re going to work through with the NRL. I’ve spoken to Peter and Andrew about that.”
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