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Rugby league’s big city administrators out of touch with grassroots footy

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud has slammed the Australian Rugby League Commission’s (ARLC) decision to withhold financial support from the Western Clydesdales.
Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has been left to help fund the Clydesdales, which compete in the statewide Hostplus Cup competition after the ARLC turned its back on the club, claiming it doesn’t believe the team’s participation is in the best interests of the game.
A patron of the Clydesdales, which is currently a feeder team to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Mr Littleproud said the decision was proof ARLC chairman Peter V’Landys and NRL chief executive officer Andrew Abdo were city administrators, who are becoming ‘out-of- touch’ with the grassroots base of rugby league.
“The heart and soul of rugby league is in the country and this decision is a kick in the guts to all footy lovers in regional Queensland,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Some of league’s greatest players have come through western Queensland, names like: Arthur Beetson, Darren Lockyer, Shane Webcke, Dale Shearer, Chris Close, Kurt Capewell, Adrian Vowles, Ethan Lowe, Wayne Bennett, and it is shameful that this is how they think they can treat the nursery of Australia’s player powerhouse.
“Peter V’Landys is happy to swan around with the President and the King, but this shows just how out of touch he’s become with the grassroots game. Without grassroots country rugby league, there won’t be a game.”
The decision comes after the NRL announced in April this year that national junior participation was up 14 per cent from 2022. Mr Littleproud said he feared decisions like this could not only undo all that good work but could also put the sport on a slippery slope.
“This is a recipe for sending the game down the same road as rugby union,” Mr Littleproud said.
“I implore the ARLC to review its stance and appreciate how important the game of rugby league is to people in western Queensland.”

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