Rugby League : Carden ousted as president

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The Independent Online
Graham Carden, the man widely blamed for the financial and promotional disaster of Great Britain's tour last year, has been ousted as part of a rescue package for the game in New Zealand.

Carden, the president of the New Zealand Rugby League, was also paid, through his marketing company, to promote the Test series - something he failed to do successfully - and he is now to pay the price. He agreed to step down next month after a meeting at which Super League officials undertook to clear the NZRL's debts and to set up a five-year plan to keep it solvent in the future.

Carden, who had the World Nines taken out of his control after one, loss- making year, and has also been blamed for the debts run up by New Zealand's domestic competition, the Lion Red Cup, said: "I've put a lot of time and effort into rugby league and I've taken a lot of criticism... Now I believe it's time to give someone else the chance to make a contribution. I've come to the realisation that the game of rugby league in New Zealand is suffering because of my involvement."

The Rugby League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, has said in Australia that he has turned down the chance to become chairman of the Tote in order to remain in his present role. Lindsay, in Townsville for the World Nines and the meeting of Super League's international board, said that he had been approached to take the job.

"For a lad from the wrong side of the tracks, it was a real honour to even be considered," he said. "But I have worked for years to get rugby league into the strong position it is in. I'm not about to quit now."

Bobbie Goulding, the St Helens scrum-half and captain, has submitted a written transfer request as the latest move in his pay dispute. Saints will discuss his request "in due course".