THE restructure of the Newcastle Rugby League will be a hot topic of conversation at tonight’s board meeting.
Plans are afoot to create a chief executive officer’s position before the end of the year, which would carry an upgrade in salary and responsibilities from the current general manager’s role.
It is understood there is division on the 10-man board about whether the new position is financially viable as the CEO could receive a salary of $85,000.
This is an increase of $33,000 on the general manager’s role.
Some board members have also questioned whether the position is needed as they believe general manager John Fahey has done a quality job in running the competition.
Fahey’s role would be made redundant, creating uncertainty about his future in Newcastle Rugby League, but he has been encouraged to re-apply for the CEO’s role.
Newcastle’s nine clubs have bee contacted in recent weeks about the restructure.
Newcastle league chairman Trevor Crow refused to comment publicly until after tonight’s meeting.
Country Rugby League president Jock Colley said he was aware of the situation, but said it was a decision for the Newcastle board.
‘‘We leave them to their own devices,’’ Colley said.
‘‘I’ve always believed if you’re going to pay someone $53,000 or $52,000 to be a CEO in this day and age it’s certainly not the right salary bracket to get the right person.
‘‘That’s not saying John Fahey isn’t the right person by any stretch of the imagination, but the CRL’s position is if they can do it and get the right bloke there, whether it’s John Fahey or Bill Smith and they can fund it, the CRL will endorse it.’’
Meanwhile, Western Suburbs centre Steve Gordon could have played his last representative match as CRL officials are fuming that he played for the Newcastle Yowies in the Koori Knockout at Raymond Terrace over the long weekend.
Gordon pulled out of the two-match NSW Country tour of South Africa nine days ago citing injury.
However, Gordon played a starring role in the Yowies’ 17-16 golden point victory over the Mindaribba Warriors in the Koori Knockout yesterday.
‘‘It’s been spoken about unofficially, but when we get back from South Africa it’s something we’ll definitely talk about,’’ Colley said.
Colley said one possible sanction for Gordon could be a ban from representative footy with Country and the Newcastle Rebels.
Fahey passed on an email from the CRL to Wests secretary Michael McEntyre last Friday informing Gordon not to play in the Koori Knockout.
McEntyre confirmed Wests had made Gordon aware of the CRL’s directive.
Gordon said yesterday that he picked up an injury to his right nine days ago at a Aboriginal carnival in Dubbo and struggled through the tournament at Raymond Terrace.
‘‘I didn’t wanna go all that way [to South Africa] and not be able to get through the game,’’ Gordon said.
Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final – Western Suburbs players start to celebrate their win over Kurri Kurri.