One of the biggest meetings in the history of rugby league begun on Monday surrounded by the damning figure of bloated spending from inside league headquarters.
Monday morning’s meeting between club bosses, player representatives and NRL executives is expected to break the deadlock in player pay cut negotiations as the game explores all options to stay alive in the ongoing coronavirus turmoil.
In the teleconference, ARLC chairman Peter V’landys will tell clubs and the players he is still hopeful the season can resume by July 1, mitigating as much damage to the game as possible.
But officials are still planning for the worst-case scenario as they plan player payments and club grants in case the competition doesn’t restart before the September 1 deadline.
However, the focus on cutbacks on Sunday dramatically shifted to reckless spending inside the NRL’s League Central headquarters after The Daily Telegraph revealed the game is operating with annual administration costs of $181 million.
The extraordinary costs do not include any payments to players or grants given to the 16 clubs.
ARLC Chairman Peter Vlandys has one of the biggest meetings of his career on Monday.Source:Getty Images
The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield on Monday morning said the $181m number has “shocked a lot of people” in rugby league circles.
He said the NRL in 2012 operated with an administration staff of just 50 people before back-to-back bumper broadcast deals saw administration expenditure explode.
Rothfield reports NRL CEO Todd Greenberg’s reported $1.5m annual salary will be one of the topics of discussion with top officials expected to be forced to slash administration costs by 50 per cent.
The $90m could then be re-allocated to the clubs that are expected to be pushed to breaking point in coming months.
“The revelations over the weekend that the NRL spends $180m every year on administration has shocked a lot of people,” Rothfield told Sky Sports Radio.
“I really think before we even start talking about players’ pay, it’s all got to start at Moore Park headquarters.”
CEO of the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) Clint Newton says players will make sacrifices to save their clubs.Source:AAP
It’s expected the players’ pay cut for the remainder of the year will sit around 75 per cent, after they have already been paid the first five months of their annual salary in full.
Their pay will continue to come out of club grants, making the viability of each side paramount.
If any club falls it will hurt the financials of the game through broadcast deals as well as the direct impact of player losses.
“(Sunday’s meeting) was both productive and passionate, and that’s what we expect from players because they love their clubs and they love the game,” RLPA boss Clint Newton said.
“They want to ensure we are protecting the future of the game and the 16 clubs. “This type of discussion is something that the game has now committed to do more regularly moving forward.
“That is, genuinely engaging with the RLPA and its members. Being open and transparent as a priority, but also having those tough conversations with each other.
“Clubs also need to be a part of that moving forward, which we welcome.”
— with AAP
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