White says Broncos his focus, not NRL CEO

Laine Clark
Paul White's focus remains with Brisbane but he has not ruled himself out of the NRL CEO's position

Brisbane boss Paul White has not ruled out taking over as NRL CEO, but says his focus remains helping the NRL club bounce back from the coronavirus shutdown.

White was quickly linked to the role after Todd Greenberg sensationally stepped down at NRL headquarters in late April.

While White said he was aware of the speculation, he stressed his priority was leaving the Broncos in "good shape".

White hinted he may remain at the club to help the NRL flagship rebuild after initially planning to depart at the end of 2020 - his 10th season at the Broncos helm.

"To be honest, it (NRL CEO) is not a role I've ever coveted," White said.

"My focus is very much on the Broncos. We're in the midst of a global pandemic.

"I want to leave the club in good shape. I've said to my chairman and board that I'll be here for as long as it takes to see us through the other side.

"(And) they are a long way from contemplating a recruitment process for a new (NRL) CEO."

But asked if he would apply for the NRL CEO role, White said: "I don't think it's a job you apply for ... if someone thinks you are good enough to do it, someone reaches out to you.

"It's not something that demands a CV into someone's 'in' tray. People have had a fair line of sight over me.

"(But) it's not about me at the moment, it's about the survival of our game."

White said Brisbane - the NRL's richest club - was now in a "good position" after making staff and pay cuts to cope with the shutdown.

"We acted pretty early and took some tough decisions, particularly with our club and we are well placed," he said.

"Because we acted in advance of others, our club is in a good position and we will come out the other side strong.

"There is no threat to our survival as long as the game survives. Our business model is predicated on playing games of rugby league.

"The concern I still have now is the game has to survive. In the fullness of time, our game will look different and needs to look different because there will be some tough decisions to be made in terms of restructures."

Asked if he would remain at the Broncos helm in 2021, White said: "I wouldn't put a firm timeline on anything.

"My commitment is to the club and making sure we get through this tough period of time.

"When I'm satisfied we are through that, I'll talk to the board."