Russell Crowe’s shock NRL CEO push
South Sydney owner Russell Crowe has urged the ARL Commission to go outside its publicised hit list and appoint Shane Richardson as the game's new boss, saying: "There is no better candidate for the job".
Less than 24 hours after Todd Greenberg resigned as NRL CEO, Richardson has been nominated as a shock contender by the Hollywood heavyweight who boasts a strong relationship with ARLC chairman Peter V'landys.
While 'Richo' would be considered a longshot for the vacated CEO role, Crowe told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday night it was time "to put a rugby league man in place".
the Rabbitohs owner also confirmed he and V'landys had spoken earlier in the day, but insisted their conversation had focused on grassroots footy and the wellbeing of players during NRL lockdown.
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Asked about suggestions he had also backed Richardson, who only last month stepped aside as Rabbitohs GM of Football, Crowe said: "Nobody has actually asked me this question, but if they were to I would back Shane absolutely.
"There's no better candidate available for the job.
"None of the other candidates can match his time in the sport.
"His bloodlines go right through the game - NSW and Queensland.
"He's a true rugby league man with massive achievements to his name, and a long, strong history of solid club and man management."
While Richardson had not been considered among the leading candidates for Greenberg's job, the long-time administrator has previously spent a year employed at League HQ.
In 2015, the veteran administrator assumed the role of NRL Head of Strategy and Game Development, with the shift from club land coming after both he and Crowe presided over South Sydney's historic 2014 premiership triumph.
After just 12 months in the role however, Richardson moved back to Souths where he remained until March this year.
"We've tried lawyers, ex-coppers, cricket players … let's put a rugby league man in place this time," Crowe continued of the CEO gig.
"The game is at a crucial juncture.
"What's the old saying? Cometh the hour, cometh the man."
Crowe added that Richardson's experience at the coalface - which includes stints as CEO of Cronulla, Penrith and South Sydney - means he is best positioned to know what clubs need from the NRL.
"Shane understands the legacy work that needs to be done now to make a brighter bolder future for the game," Crowe said.
"The NRL has a high quality commercial team in place, they just need focused direction on how to improve the operation and how they can deliver for fans, players and clubs alike.
"A skill set Shane has displayed over a long period of time.
"If you love the game like Shane does, you have the innate understanding that the decisions that benefit all clubs are the decisions that need to be made."
Richardson caused a stir back in March when, after resigning, he said the one piece of advice he would leave behind for the league was: "Stop the greed".
Originally published as Russell Crowe's shock NRL CEO push