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NRL Announce Financial Support Package For NRLW Players

T
he NRL has announced a financial support package worth over $500,000 for NRLW players, subsequent to the postponement of the 2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial support package will offer a standard amount of $3,500 to every NRLW player (around 140 players) on top of their contracted salary in order to cover what was meant to be the players pre-season. 

The financial package is worth more than $500,000, with NRL chief executive, Andrew Abdo, stating that this year the NRL has invested a total of $1.5 million in players despite limited football being played.

Abdo said: “Remunerating our players is so important to us.” 

“We’ve been working on a support package well before the postponement of the season was announced and today we are able to confirm the package. 

New Zealand based players who relocated to Australia for the 2021 season, will be remunerated an additional $150,000, to assist the players while they wait for government approval to return home, with funds also going to players who moved interstate.

Furthermore, 30 centrally located players will receive their full contract valued between $8,00 to $12,000, with marquee players also guaranteed their $450,000 in allocated funds.

Abdo said: “We’re also ensuring our marquee representative players are paid regardless of the international program not proceeding this year and we will continue to provide financial assistance to players who have relocated and are waiting to return home, particularly those from New Zealand.”

The decision to postpone the competition was not received lightly by NRLW players, who hit out at officials last week stating poor communication and a lack of effort has lead to the unfair treatment of players. 

However, Abdo has attributed the decision to postpone the tournament to a survey released in July where 30% of players said they were not willing to relocate and enter a bubble. 

Abdo said: “I want to be very clear, the competition was postponed because a third of players and officials were not in a position to relocate.”

“The integrity of the competition is so important to us – we want to have the very best players take the field for the season and we want every player to have the opportunity to play.

“Lopsided matches because some teams are not at full strength due to players and officials not being able to relocate would negatively impact the competition in the long term, he said”

Many of the NRLW players have other work or family commitments due to the sport not being a full-time role, and Abdo says that leaving a large portion of the playing group out of the competition because of this is “not the right thing to do.”

As a result of the postponement, the women’s calendar will now finish, with only the State of Origin and All-stars matches being played this year.