NRL fans rally around Phil Gould as Bulldogs supremo hits back over $20k fine for rant

The NRL identity was punished for his angry on-air rant about the game.

Go get 'em, Gus. That's the message from league fans following confirmation Canterbury boss Phil Gould will challenge the NRL's $20,000 breach notice for allegedly bringing the game into disrepute. Gould was hit with the heavy fine after comments he made on Nine's 100% Footy questioning some of the game's rule interpretations. He said: "Our game's so stupid.

"You can lose the ball over the line and it costs you 20m and seven tackles. Why? I don't know because it's stupid. But I can take a line dropout and it goes out on the full, no consequence. What sort of stupid game is this? Who sits and makes up these rules?"

Pictured left to right is Bulldogs supremo Phil Gould and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo on right.
Bulldogs supremo and Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould was slapped with a $20,000 fine by NRL CEO Andrew Abdo for an on-air rant about the state of the game. Pic: Nine/Getty

After previously warning Gould his position as a club official precludes him from directly attacking the NRL's decision making processes through the media, CEO Andrew Abdo finally ran out of patience and slapped the Dogs' chief with a breach notice. Gould, as expected, has not taken the move lying down and indicated he will be taking on legal advice.


"I'll certainly be challenging this breach notice; I can tell you that. I haven’t done anything wrong," he told Channel 9's Today Show on Monday. "I’ve been too busy to deal with it over the weekend, I've had a lot on. I’m going to have to get a continuance so I can get me lawyer onto it."

Told by Today host Karl Stefanovic the breach "just doesn’t make any sense", Gould replied: "That's our game – it doesn’t make sense." And it appears fans across all 17 clubs agree.

They have backed Gould's crusade, defending his right to free speech and encouraging him to continue holding the game's leaders to account. Following a Yahoo Sport Australia article over the weekend which suggested Gus would have a strong legal case should he wish to take the NRL on, supporters flooded Facebook urging him to take head office on.

Phil Gould has indicated he will contest the fine handed down by the NRL for his on-air swipe on Channel Nine. Pic: Nine
Phil Gould has indicated he will contest the fine handed down by the NRL for his on-air swipe on Channel Nine. Pic: Nine

One fan wrote: "What’s funny is that the supporters agree with Gus. So rather than the NRL take a look at themselves they punish the person pointing out facts. Typical of life nowadays, the minority rule and if the majority speak out they get punished."

Another added: "Obviously the NRL big wigs have something to fear from people criticising them... maybe it’s about time they stood back and took a long hard look at themselves instead of fining someone for putting their views across. Freedom of speech is a dying art."