The biggest schism in rugby league since Super League in 1997 is about to happen – and it’s the brainchild of the sport’s current head honcho Peter Beattie.
Although Beattie is about to step down as Australian Rugby League Commission chairman, he is absolutely livid over yesterday’s news from the National Rugby League that all NRL grand finals will be played in Sydney for the next quarter of a century – and possibly well beyond then.
The former Queensland Premier is expected to announce today the formation of the ATOSRL, with matches to begin in 2020. He is expected to take on the role of ATOSRL chairman/president.
“The All Teams Outside Sydney Rugby League will be the premier competition in this wonderful sport,” Beattie said with his typical trademark grin before switching, Bob-Katter like, to serious mode.
“But seriously, NRL chief executive Tosh Greenslade’s (sic) comment that Sydney is the spiritual home of rugby league in Australia was like a red rag to a bull to this proud Morons (sic) supporter,” he said.
“Next year’s inaugural ATOSRL comp will have a number of existing and new franchises, including, of course, current NRL sides, the Melbourne Studs (sic), the Canberra Regions (sic), the Gold Coast Try-ons (sic), the Brisbane Bolts (sic) and the North Queensland Canetoads (sic).
“I don’t want to disclose the new teams just yet but we’re looking at Ipswich and Mount Isa in Queensland, a Northen Territory side and maybe even one from Tasmania to steal a march on that girly aerial ping-pong AWU (sic).”
But Beattie was happy to outline several major differences that “fans are really going to love”about the ATOSRL.
“Firstly, the grand final will be hosted by the team that has performed best up to that game,” Beattie said. “For example, if the minor Premiers make to the the big prance (sic) then they’ll host it.
“The Bunker – that’s abolished. We want the ATOSRL to flow and excite those paying good money to walk through the turntables (sic) and see it.
“And the grand-final will be a three-game series to once and for all overcome the sort of one-game, bad luck, bad bounce, bad ref call event that robbed the Canberra Capitals (sic), clearly the better team on the day, recently.”
Beattie made that final statement alternating no less than three times between his trademark “I’ve been a naughty boy so whip me” cheesy grin and dead-pan seriousness that made him such a popular Queensland Premier for so long.