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NRL storm

NRL Support Clubs With $7 Million COVID-19 Relief Package

T
he NRL will give a total of $7 million in COVID-19 relief packages to clubs in order to make up for lost revenue and have also announced the Dally M awards will take on a new format for the first time in history.

Clubs throughout New South Wales, Victoria and The Northern Territory have been financially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and restrictions imploding club revenue.

As a result, the NRL will give each club around $100,000 for every game lost due to relocations or matches played without crowds. 

NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo, told AAP: “The game has fought hard this year to keep going amidst the challenges of the pandemic.” 

“Both the NRL and clubs have been hurt significantly by not being able to have crowds and relocating the competition to Queensland.

“The NRL has had growth in commercial revenues and has also reduced costs significantly.

“Therefore the commission approved some further financial support for the clubs arising from the impact of COVID-19 on the financial ecosystem.

“Particularly for clubs who have had to relocate and not play in front of their home crowds,” Abdo said. 

This year fans have not seen a live game in Sydney since June, in contrast to Queensland who has only been impacted by the loss of crowds for only two weekends. 

Although virtually saving the 2021 season, the competitions relocation to Queensland has added $30 million to expenses as well as another $30 million in lost revenue. 

Now both the NRL and clubs will continue to reap the losses during the finals series, with an estimated $1.5 million lost from Saturday’s Penrith-Parramatta match.

This is due to the match at Bankwest Stadium being expected to sell out, or if played at ANZ Stadium, filling 50,000 seats, in comparison to Mackay who will now host only 12,000 fans. 

In recent announcements, the NRL has also confirmed the annual Dally M awards will be held over two nights for the first time in history.

In a media release, the NRL said the first television event will provide a greater spotlight on the supporting awards that are traditionally crowned on Dally M night. 

The second event will then feature the major award winner including, the Dally M medal, the Dally M Team of the Year, Coach, Captain and Rookie of the Year. 

Andrew Abdo says the new format allows some players and guests in Brisbane to experience the gala evening in person while Fox Sports will broadcast the event for players and officials who have returned home.