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Andrew Chalmers and Rugby League

  • February 17th, 2009

I’ve now seen the NZ Herald coverage of the Anderson report yesterday and by Peter Jessup this morning.

This morning’s commentary implies that things were running smoothly before 2006, under the chairmanship of Selwyn Pearson.

"From 2001-06 the NZRL, under the direction of Gerald Ryan and then Selwyn Person, lost $133,000, which was a write-off of loans to districts that remained unpaid."

 In 2007 the deficit was $1.708 million.

In fact the huge write-off was largely recognition of losses created on earlier watches. It is completely unfair to blame Andrew Chalmers simply because he ensured the accounts recognised earlier disasters.

I’m surprised by one line from Jessup – "Sir John had found no criminality in the financial dealings."

I suspect that reads too much into a reply to a question. The Review team briefing of our District League left no doubt about what they thought, but the Review team is focussed on the future. It is the job of Police and other prosecutors to go into history looking for criminality, not a team writing a blueprint for next time.

Jessup’s report quite fairly goes on:

"But the Sparc report mentions a culture of "clipping the ticket" at most levels from the top down and found that parties involved with the NZRL and their associates were involved in transactions regarding property or supply of goods with potential for significant personal gain."

 That’s usually criminal.



  • Gabe Giddens
  • February 17th, 2009
  • 12:47 pm

I agree Stephen, unfortunately I think some within NZRL and the Auckland Rugby League were given a free pass, there has always been a stink around certain members of these two boards and certain elements of the media who would have done themselves proud under the “Goebells News agency”(or for that matter Tass) It is of no surprise to me to see these same hacks continue to serve there old masters. However I would have thought better of Jessup.

One fact totally overlooked by all Media in NZ was that Rugby League is the third most watched international sport, yet our numbers rank us about equal with NZ Swimming, by my reckoning that makes us a sport that still overacheives at some levels and I think this falls on the vast army of unpaid voluteers that reguarly go out and keep there sport alive.

The review itself was long overdue, hopefully now the public will see how a small minority in any sport can nearly destroy a sport whilst lining there own pockets. And not the problem being the sport itself. Hopefully it will be a wake up call for all sports can learn from that it is the ordinary people who need to be the watchdogs,

Also I sincerely hope that the police and other relevant authorities will now take criminal action against the people concerned.
However I will not hold my breath as I beleive this went much deeper than the Sport itself and impacted on the doorways of our past political governors in at least two cases…But as I said once before, I once thought that Government was there to protect the people, I now beleive they are there to protect themselves or at least the last one.

For mine while Chalmers actions were at, times frivolous, he did I beleive, mean well for his sport unlike the two morons before him who were plainly out of touch, out of line, and now hopefully out of work.

Tough times ahead for Rugby League I suspect but we are tough people…When we our code is at its worst we are usually at our best.

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