NRL boss Todd Greenberg
NRL boss Todd Greenberg

Greenberg won’t make Coyne call

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said Mark Coyne's drunken behaviour in Singapore "surprised" him, but wouldn't reveal whether he would offer his support for the embattled NRL commissioner.

Greenberg broke his silence on the Coyne drama on Monday, whose future will be decided by the ARL Commission late next week.

Coyne pleaded guilty to verbally abusing a police officer during a boozy night out on June 2 and was fined $400.

He has stood down from his position until the ARL Commission decide whether he should be sacked or suspended.

Asked was he shocked at Coyne's expletive laden tirade at police, Greenberg said: "Yeah, I was surprised."

Greenberg, who provided Greg Inglis a character reference when the now-retired rugby league star faced court at the start of the year over a drink driving charge, described Coyne and his wife, Anne, as "great people".

Pressed by The Daily Telegraph whether he would support Coyne, Greenberg said: "Mark has been well known in rugby league circles for a long time and I have known Mark personally for a long period of time.


Mark Coyne’s future should be decided next week. Image: Damian Shaw
Mark Coyne’s future should be decided next week. Image: Damian Shaw


"I can't really give you much clarity but let me be really clear upfront. Any decision on Mark Coyne as a commissioner is made by the commission. It's not made by the CEO.

"I think anyone who understands good corporate governance understands that this is a decision to be made by the commission. I have always found him and his wife, Annie, great people. There's no doubt about that.

"But he has admitted here that he has made an error and it's up to the commission about what we do about it going forward. I think Mark has done the right thing by standing down immediately and ensuring there is a proper process put in place."


Beattie has taken the input of all 16 NRL clubs. Image: Damian Shaw
Beattie has taken the input of all 16 NRL clubs. Image: Damian Shaw


ARL chairman Peter Beattie is expected to return from a Western Australian holiday to interview Coyne next Monday, with a final decision expected by next Thursday.

Beattie, who has consulted all 16 clubs about possible punishment, believes the Coyne issue should not be resolved through a phone hook-up.

"Peter Beattie as chairman has also done the right thing by engaging widely with the members and stakeholders before they get to an informed decision," Greenberg said.

"We need to allow that process to take place. I understand that will happen next week.

"There are a number of commissioners who are overseas at the moment. I know everyone will want us to get to a decision as quickly as possible but, to be frank, sometimes a little bit of time to think, a little bit of time for people to assess the options, isn't a bad thing.

"Peter had reached out to the clubs to gather some information, they are the members of the game, they rightfully should be consulted but, ultimately, it's a decision for the commission.

"What you've seen through Peter's leadership style over the last 18 months as chairman is that he is very consultative and has a huge amount of respect for the clubs. Mark has made it pretty clear that he has made an error and has owned that error.

"But, ultimately, what everyone is looking for now is what is the sanction and what does it look like at the end and they are matters that will be ultimately decided by the commissioners themselves."