Ministry of Sport

NRL Executives To Take Pay Blow To Support Players And Clubs

Amid the NRL’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pay cut negotiations with the Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA), Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V’landys has said NRL executives will wear more of the losses than previously reported.

As a result of this proposal, which will be discussed with a final decision to be made Monday morning, players will see an approximate 75 percent pay cut, after early reports indicating they were facing an 87 percent pay cut.

V’landys said he is confident about the game’s future after working out enough money to support the code if the season is eventually cancelled completely, in a worst possible case scenario.

“I will put a package to the commission on Monday morning and then hopefully make an announcement that afternoon that I think the players and the clubs will be happy with,” V’landys said.

“And that’s based on the worst-case scenario.

“We will share existing funds in a way where they will all be happy.

“We said we would look after our players and we will,” he said.

Cronulla Sharks captain, Wade Graham, said the negotiations between the clubs, the players and the NRL over the pay cuts have been “brutal” and the lack of clarity on the future of the competition is making the discussions much tougher.

“It depends, because there are so many different scenarios around,” Graham said, in an interview on Triple M’s The Rush Hour with MG.

“Do you base it off the worst-case scenario that the season doesn’t start again?

“Are you looking at coming back November 1 preparing for another season?

“Do you base it off the fact that we might be able to kick the season off again and have some different form of revenue streams coming in?

“The fact that you can’t lock in on an actual scenario because the virus is affecting so many things, it is very complex and you need to have four or five different scenarios planned and accounted for before you can have any solid outcome.

“When you add in the 500 players as a collective, the 16 clubs as a collective and the NRL as a collective, there are a lot of different parties that need to reach one conclusion,” he said.

Graham said the talks have, at times, been heated, but admitted the players have been committed to protecting the future of rugby league in Australia.

“The players have had some pretty brutal conversations with each other as to what the reality is,” Graham said.

“We are aligned and we are willing to take whatever it is to see the game survive and to make sure all the clubs are standing at the end of this tough period so we can continue on with the competition whatever it looks like then.

“We are not the only industry that is struggling.

“Pretty much the whole world is struggling at the moment, so we are all in this together.

“My old man has just been laid off from his job as well, so we are all feeling the same pain here.

“We are just trying to get as much information as we can and when you sit down and represent a collective it is just hard to work out what the right process is to make it as fair as possible for everyone,” he said.

Joshua Hodson

Joshua Hodson