Say what you will about rugby league, but never doubt its ability to remain on brand when it comes to scandal.
Parramatta legend Eric Grothe Snr is currently being investigated over a commercial arrangement he had in place to supply the club with meat trays for raffles.
Grothe raked in a reported $37,000 in 2012, the year he was elected to the board, and some $18,500 the year after, when he lost his seat – a surprisingly lucrative windfall.
“Grothe signed a declaration of interest on March 28, 2013 but there was no recording of it in the board minutes and the club again failed to disclose the deal to members,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Like a fatty lamb chop roasted on an old BBQ, this scandal is greasy, mouthwatering and quintessentially working class*.
Contrast this with the Wallabies recent scandal: a star player butting heads with a female manager. Misogyny and corporate mismanagement. A rumoured affair between a CEO/coach and his female subordinate (which sadly turned out to be just a rumour).
Rugby league will never have that kind of scandal. It’s always something fabulously low-rent and blue-collar.
It’s Paul Gallen calling the entire NRL organisation ‘cunts’ on Twitter. It’s a pissed Craig Gower chasing Wayne Pearce’s daughter with a butter knife at a charity function. It’s Ryan Tandy conceding a penalty in the early stages of an obscure Canterbury v North Queensland fixture, part of a spot-fixing scandal that ultimately triggered his untimely demise.
At the end of the day, rugby league is just a bloke looking to make a quid. And that’s what we love about him.
By Dave Edwards