Queensland Rugby League chairman John McDonald remains defiant in the wake of calls for the long-serving administrator to resign.
Queensland Rugby League chairman John McDonald remains defiant in the wake of calls for the long-serving administrator to resign. Dave Noonan

League chief under siege

TOOWOOMBA-based Queensland Rugby League chairman John McDonald remains defiant in the wake of calls for the long-serving administrator to resign.

Queensland Cup clubs this week delivered an ultimatum to McDonald and QRL managing director Ross Livermore to stand down or face a boycott from the 2011 season by all 12 clubs that play in the Intrust Super Cup.

The gauntlet was thrown down by Wynnum-Manly chairman Rick Green at Wednesday’s monthly Q-Cup meeting when he issued the veteran administrators with an open letter reportedly signed by 21 club chairmen, chief executives and board members.

The Q-Cup clubs have demanded a change of leadership at the QRL.

McDonald coached Queensland to victory in the first State of Origin match in 1980 and has served as QRL chairman for 19 years.

Livermore has been managing director of the QRL since 1981. The Q-Cup clubs are reportedly unhappy with the perceived inaction in regards to standing up for rugby league in Queensland on issues regarding the inception of the national under-20s competition in 2008 and dual registration.

McDonald was yesterday not perturbed by the latest calls for his resignation and says he survived previous attempts at overthrowing the QRL bosses.

“They have done that before,” McDonald said in Toowoomba yesterday of the threat issued by Q-Cup clubs.

“We have a meeting each month and they’ve made a few statements in there, they’ve promulgated some stuff that’s not correct.”

McDonald said the QRL fully supported the dual registration of players in the NRL and Q-Cup and added discussions were continuing to see players from New South Wales-based NRL clubs released to play in Queensland when not required at NRL level.

He said the release of players by NRL clubs to play in the Q-Cup when not selected in the national competition will boost the standard of the state-wide competition.

“The whole business down there (in NSW) is that they want them to play in the competition down there and we’re in the process of trying to get them to understand we should have a second-tier competition for the states and we’re looking at doing that,” McDonald said.

“We’re on the same line with this because the NSW clubs, we can’t tell them what to do.

“If they say they don’t want their players to come here, so be it, but we think that is a bit of a selfish approach if they’ve got the players. Because you can only play so many at a time, we think they should play in this competition.”


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