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The NRL’s Cost Cutting Task To Ensure The Game’s Survival

igures will reveal an $82.5 million drop in expenditure during Friday’s annual general meeting of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC).

The NRL will expectedly announce a loss at the meeting, despite significant cost cutting measures during the season, around the $65 million mark, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The task of cutting costs by almost one-third from 2019 was overseen by ARLC chairman, Peter V’landys, in a bid to ensure the survival of the NRL during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue from State of Origin games were not included in the year-ending period to October 20, meaning the deficit for the competition would have been just $3-$5 million if included.

Reduction of staff and their wages, cancellation of events, and events such as the Dally M Awards going ahead at reduced cost, were all examples of real cost cutting by the league.

It was revealed during the 2020 season the NRL were spending $181 million annually to run the competition, a cost of $500,000 per day.

The news comes as club bosses will reportedly begin private equity talks with the ARLC at the upcoming AGM.

According to The Australian, clubs are concerned with potential investors willing to stake a claim into the competition.

Despite the loss in the 2020 season, stronger than expected results do indicate the NRL may not need a third-party entity to bail them out of trouble.

A potential new franchise entering the competition in 2023, most-likely from Brisbane, will be a main topic of discussion at the meeting, as well as shoring a long-term broadcast deal with the Nine Network.