The NRL has announced a plan to deliver a $40 million rescue package to all NRL clubs to help them deal with the financial impact of the 2020 season suspension.
This plan will provide $2.5 million to each club to help cover ongoing operational costs caused by the suspension of the 2020 NRL season due to the risks involved with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman, Peter V’landys, said the revised financial models give clubs the opportunity to survive the financial year with a remodelled 20-week competition, including final series and State of Origin, or a worst-case scenario of the season being cancelled.
“We have a consolidated plan and working with the clubs and the players, are united in our efforts to do all we can to protect rugby league,” V’landys said.
“We had no option but to stop the competition in the wake of advice from our biosecurity and pandemic expert but remain optimistic that the season will restart as quickly as possible, ideally by July 1.
“If that isn’t possible, then we need to be prepared for all contingencies.
“The crisis has highlighted that the game’s present cost structure is not sustainable and the ARLC will lead by example in substantially reducing its costs now and into the future,” he said.
The recovery plan is set to also include the NRL reducing its operating costs by 53%, including a 95% reduction in staffing levels during the shutdown period and a 25% cut in executive salaries.
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, said the decisions will ensure the sustainability of the game and set it up for the future, despite the definite short-term pain and loss.
“We are working together to achieve the best outcome in the short, and long term,” Greenberg said.
“We must use this opportunity to reset the game’s costs and overall structure.
“These measures will put the game in the best position to rebound strongly from the pandemic,” he said.
The NRL has also announced, alongside this package, a funding model for player payments to the Rugby League Players’ Association which will be provided to its members for consideration.
The suggested 20-week NRL competition would likely feature the remaining 13 rounds of the season, plus a four-week finals series and a three-week State of Origin series, with the NRL indicating they would still be open to playing all fixtures behind closed doors if necessary.