Vlandys: ‘I’m not walking away’
Peter V'landys has revealed he will not walk away from rugby league as the ARL Commission boss prepares to deliver the $2 billion broadcasting deal that will save the NRL from bankruptcy.
V'landys is putting the finishing touches on the broadcast deal over the weekend with the ARL Commission expected to rubberstamp the lucrative arrangement at a board meeting on Tuesday.
V'landys has been buffeted by speculation he will announce his resignation as ARLC chairman when he completes the NRL's crucial TV rights deal with broadcast partners Fox Sports and Channel 9.
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But the NSW Racing chief executive insists he is committed to the NRL, outlining plans to remain in the sport until at least 2022 and oversee the code's financial recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
"I'm not walking away from the game," V'landys told The Courier-Mail.
"What I have said is that I have an attitude that I owe the game a debt for what is has given me in my life. At some point in my time here, I will have repaid the debt, but that debt hasn't been paid yet.
"The talk about me quitting is not accurate.
"I have no interest in being executive chairman or CEO of the NRL, I am happy in this role. There is a view that because I won't become CEO of the NRL, that I don't want to be in rugby league anymore because I am CEO of Racing NSW.
"But I have too much still to achieve in the game. It's only natural when you go through a tumultuous period like this that you assess what you are doing.
"I certainly hope to never go through another period like this.
"There is a lot more for me to do. I want to get the game's cost structure right, we need to stabilise the game. I'm not going anywhere, I am here for the next couple of years at least."
V'landys confirmed the financial component of the NRL's revised broadcast deal is expected to be finalised in the coming days.
Fox and Channel 9 are in the advanced stage of financial discussions with V'landys, with the pay TV giant keen to announce the code's broadcasting deal.
It is understood Channel 9 will maintain their commitment until the end of 2022, while Fox will sign a four or five-year extension in a major coup for the NRL.
"The aim is for the broadcast deal to be largely sorted," V'landys said.
"We won't have all the final details done, but we will have the dollars in place, which is the most important thing for me to begin planning how much money we can distribute to the clubs and the players.
"We're still dealing on the extension side of things, there will be an extension with Fox, definitely.
"I've taken Channel 9 from not wanting to be in the game to being committed for the next three years. It has been a hard slog to be honest with you."
Originally published as Vlandys: 'I'm not walking away'