Dave Smith Resigns As CEO Of NRL

Publish Date
Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 8:33AM
Getty Images

Getty Images

A tumultuous three years in charge of the NRL has come to an end for Dave Smith.

He's quit has chief executive and will finish up at the end of November.

Smith has been credited with improving rugby league's finances but was often at odds with the clubs over the direction of the game and and how revenue is divided up.

His exit is also being linked to a breakdown in negotiations over the pay-TV broadcast rights.

While a significant free-to-air TV deal has been locked in, Smith came under fire for signing that deal before locking in a pay-TV agreement.

Smith said those negotiations are on the right track.

"Commercially confident discussions, but they're very productive and very constructive discussions. I would not be going anywhere if I didn't think the fans of this game are going to get a great outcome from their rights."

Smith believes rugby league is better equipped to deal with off-field issues, as another one arises. 

Bulldogs legend Hazem El-Masri has been charged with serious domestic violence offences over an incident at his home in Sydney.

The charges relate to an attack on the former star's 25-year old wife.

El-Masri is an ambassador for the White Ribbon trust.

Smith said there is no place for domestic violence.

"Abhorrent to us, it's abhorrent to the commission, it's an area that we feel very strongly about stamping that out. I don't know the details of that case but what I can tell you is that any ambassadorial role that he was playing with us, he's been stood down from."

Smith has had numerous scandals to deal with and believes they have set standards that should meet the expectations of the community.

"The competency with which we deal with those issues, the policy and procedures which we're getting stronger and tighter around mean that off field feel there's a strength to the game because ultimately what that means is you get more fans."

ARL Commission chairman John Grant takes over as interim CEO.

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