Peter Beattie claims Peter V'landys will do a better job than him as ARL Commission chairman and says that's why he is standing down in February.
Beattie confirmed this week he will end his two-year stint at the head of rugby league, although it's likely he will remain a part of the commission.
Beattie said he was still determined to create constitutional change before his term ended, in a bid to allow officials with recent club backgrounds to join the commission.
But with his position at the top up for re-election in February next year, Beattie said he'd already identified a better equipped leader in Racing NSW chief V'landys.
"There's a very simple reason (I'm stepping down), Peter V'landys would be a better chairman," Beattie said.
"You need good people at the top, I'm getting old, I'm 66, I'll be 67 in November.
"And you need a younger person to get into the right steels for media rights deals that will happen over the next few years.
"I just think Peter is better equipped to do the job. There's no push or shove."
V'landys was brought onto the independent commission last year, but has long been seen as an option to run the game after 15 years in charge of racing in NSW.
He has been lauded as the man who turned around the sport in the state, and was also responsible for the creation of the world's richest turf race in The Everest.
V'landys will need to be voted in by the commission, however, and Beattie is confident he will have the numbers.
Meanwhile the former Queensland Premier says his work is not done yet, desperate to overturn a rule which prevents officials from joining the commission for three years after leaving a club.
That rule has stopped the likes of club directors John Quayle, Darren Lockyer, Nick Politis and Nick Pappas from being considered, as the search for a replacement for Mark Coyne continues.
Beattie on Thursday labelled that rule "stupid", and claimed it was stopping the right people from being involved with the game's administration.
"In the last six months that I am chair I am determined to do something about the stupid three-year rule that exists," Beattie said.
"Which is one of those idiosyncrasies, historic things that exist in rugby league that I think is pretty dumb.
"I will be talking to both the states and the club chairs about it."