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The National Rugby League will establish a dedicated Club State Services (CSS) team that will work with clubs to drive new business opportunities and to build long term sustainability.

Club, NSWRL and QRL Chief Executives were today given a complete brief on the CSS which will drive networking opportunities, build greater financial independence and provide strategic assistance in times of economic stress.

It is anticipated that within a few years the net impact of shared services and business networking alone will deliver benefits as high as $10million per annum collectively to the clubs and the leagues.

To have a strong competition you need strong clubs and leagues and you have to have a game-wide commitment to best practice, NRL Chief Executive, Mr Dave Smith, said today.

This is an investment in working cooperatively with the clubs and leagues to strengthen those businesses and to generate new revenues that will drive membership programs, better game day experiences and growth for the game as a whole.

Tony Crawford has been appointed to establish the Club and State Services team having already played a key role as a consultant in the NRL assisted business restructure at Wests Tigers and in working with St George Illawarra.

The game has not had the benefit of this type of capability before, but this new business unit is set to make a difference, where the NRL and clubs work together to grow, Dragons CEO Peter Doust said today.

Its fair to say that Tony has led the NRL in assisting clubs and was particularly productive in the right game right venue strategy.

The Wests Tigers have been working with the NRL in undertaking a major restructure to resolve long-term issues in the club shareholding as well as a restructure of business operations.

It has been a challenging process, said Grant Mayer, Wests Tigers CEO.

We are all having to accept some change along the way but the involvement of Tony and the NRL has been a really important part of the progress that is being made.

It brings in a level of support that can make a real difference to an individual club.

When you look ahead to concepts such as shared services there are real benefits that can be delivered across every club.

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St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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