Brisbane appoint interim NRL boss

Melissa WoodsAAP
Brisbane have appointed an interim CEO as Dave Donaghy (r) awaits a court decision about his future.
Camera IconBrisbane have appointed an interim CEO as Dave Donaghy (r) awaits a court decision about his future.

Ex-Melbourne boss Dave Donaghy says he hasn't been involved in Brisbane's attempts to lure Craig Bellamy north and hasn't had contact with the Storm coaching great since last November.

Donaghy and Melbourne are locked in a legal battle in the Victorian Supreme Court with the NRL premiers seeking to enforce a six-month non-compete clause in his contract, which would prevent the former chief executive officer from taking the reins at their rivals until August 1.

The next hearing will be March 17, with Donaghy agreeing not to start in his new position until then and stating he is on "family leave" until April 1.

Brisbane on Tuesday announced non-executive director and chair of the audit committee Neil Monaghan as interim CEO until Donaghy's start date could be confirmed with outgoing boss Paul White having finished up in February.

"This will ensure continued strong leadership for the business during this transitional phase until Mr Donaghy's commencement," Brisbane chairman Karl Morris said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Considering offers from the Storm, Brisbane and Cronulla, Bellamy says a decision on his coaching future will be made within the next fortnight.

Despite Donaghy's long relationship with Bellamy, he says he hasn't being involved in any recruitment and contends he doesn't know the specifics of the offers from either the Broncos or Storm.

"Outside of what I have read in the media I am not aware of the specifics of the future role and terms being offered to Mr Craig Bellamy, either by Storm or Broncos," Donaghy said in his affidavit.

"I have known Mr Bellamy for 15 years but I have not spoken to him by any channel since early November 2020 when I organised to leave a company vehicle for him to collect whilst he was on leave in Queensland."

Melbourne said Donaghy was directly involved in making an offer to Bellamy last September.

According to Donaghy the Storm also offered him a "very generous" new three-year deal and then after the grand final win, a one-year alternative that would allow him to live in Brisbane and commute to Melbourne.

Donaghy said after he decided it wasn't fair to his family or the Storm and was unworkable given possible COVID-19 border restrictions.

The affidavits filed by both parties offer a peek into the workings of the powerhouse club, who have played in 10 grand finals in 22 years.

The club referred to the intellectual property that Donaghy has insight into, including a "moneyball" type app that they use for recruitment, which is the envy of other NRL clubs.

"Melbourne Storm has a joint venture with the University of Sunshine Coast for the development and operation of a statistics model or application (Application), " the Storm affidavit said.

"While the inputs that go into the Application are available to all clubs in the NRL, the Application analyses the data in a novel way and using (sic) unique indicators in order to determine which NRL players are "elite".

"The Application has proven to be exceptionally successful and is used to make recruitment decisions. The information derived from the Application will likely remain confidential for at least the next two years from the date of this affidavit."

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