NSWRL sets sights on Politis replacement

Scott Bailey |

The NSWRL has moved to replace Sydney Roosters supremo Nick Politis as a director after again defending its handling of last month’s dramatic board elections.

Politis and chairman George Peponis both quit the NSWRL, three weeks ago, prompting an investigation from the ARL Commission and fears of a breakaway at state level.

The main issue continues to centre around Cronulla chief executive Dino Mezzatesta being denied the chance to run as one of two metropolitan directors, over claims of a conflict of interest.

In a lengthy statement on Thursday, remaining NSWRL board members claimed Mezzatesta did not meet all requests for documentation to prove he was an eligible candidate.

Remaining directors also claimed chairman Peponis had the chance to adjourn the meeting to have Mezzatesta’s case heard further, and that the issue was not raised by he or Politis.

“The chairman of the meeting did not adjourn the AGM to a later date, for any purpose relating to Mr Mezzatesta’s candidacy or otherwise, despite the NSWRL Constitution containing a clear power for the chairman to act on their own motion in this respect,” the statement read.

“No member has, since the conclusion of the AGM, sought to make any complaint or submission to the NSWRL board about the AGM, the election of directors at the AGM, or Mr Mezzatesta.”

Remaining directors also claimed they had acted in accordance with the NSWRL constitution throughout, and that the ARLC constitution has the same test for conflicts of interest for directors.

In a clear decision to try to move on from the drama, the NSWRL also called for replacements for Politis to come from NRL clubs boards, which are a separation from paid chief executive roles.

“The board acknowledges that its NRL member clubs form an important component of the metropolitan membership,” the NSWRL said in a statement.

“To that end, the board proposes to fill the current casual vacancy by the appointment of an appropriately qualified NRL club director. 

“The board of NSW Rugby League and seeks nominations from the NRL club NSWRL members for appropriately qualified candidates.”