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  1. #16
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Clubs back NRL decision to play on; Cutting player salaries last resort
    https://www.nrl.com/

    All 16 clubs have reaffirmed their support for the NRL's decision to continuing playing matches behind closed doors during the global coronavirus pandemic.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg held a conference call with representatives of all the clubs and the Rugby League Players' Association on Wednesday afternoon and received unanimous approval to continue staging matches.

    Round two will kick off on Thursday night with the Bulldogs hosting the Cowboys at an empty ANZ Stadium before the other seven scheduled matches proceed over the following three days without anyone in the stands.

    The AFL has decided to go ahead with its season, confirming on Wednesday night after a meeting of the AFL's commissioners that Thursday's clash between Richmond and Carlton will proceed as scheduled.

    The RLPA has also contacted its players to bring them up to speed on the impact of the pandemic on them and their careers.

    RLPA general manager Clint Newton has conceded there may be no other option than for players to have their salaries reduced in the coming months but stressed it was a last-resort scenario.

    The RLPA has released a video to their members, offering support and answering questions of potential issues that could arise from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Under the collective bargaining agreement signed off in 2017, the NRL has the power to work with the RLPA and reduce salaries if revenue requirements were not met.

    A spokesman for the RLPA confirmed to NRL.com that current NRL players, via their club delegates, had expressed concerns around their futures in recent days with the video offering clarity around where they stand.

    Newton, in the video message to the players, stressed that they would explore all other avenues before considering any agreement to cut salaries.

    "Right now, given the NRL competition is continuing, we are not considering any reduction in player payments," Newton said in the video message to members.

    "However, if the competition were to be paused or suspended for any period of time, we may be forced to consider that.

    "Any reduction in player payments and benefits need to be agreed with us. Player salaries would be the last thing we look to reduce.

    "There are other areas we may look to draw upon, such as injury hardship fund, marketing pool, retirement account and representative payments to help offset any downturn in the revenue.

    "We can also look at reducing future payments such as the salary cap in ensuing years. We don’t have to necessarily take all the money out in one year or we may look to defer player benefits down the line."

    Clubs and states are bracing for a massive financial loss if the NRL continues to operate at crowd less venues.

    ARL chairman Peter V'landys conceded earlier in the week the game would struggle to survive if the Telstra Premiership was suspended for the entire season.

    "If the reduction in the revenues are significant, the players will need to share in that," Newton said.

    "But it's important to remember that it's only our portion of that percentage – clubs, states and NRL will also share in any losses.

    "Any reduction in player payments will be spread across all players - it won’t be absorbed by any one team or any one group of players. It’s important that we stick together on this.

    "It’s important to know, after all that, that we are not there at this point. These are simply all considerations we will work through if or when the game may be suspended or paused."

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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  2. #17
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    NRL clubs left disgruntled by idea of weighting financial support to clubs that need more money
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/

    Tuesday’s phone meeting between all 16 NRL clubs was a chance for the game to plot a course through the unknown waters ahead. Instead, a proposal to give greater funding to clubs in need has left divisions exposed, writes PAUL KENT.

    Solidarity among the NRL and its 16 clubs has been greatly exaggerated, with some clubs threatening to sue the NRL if they proceed with an unequal funding model to save troubled clubs.

    Tuesday’s phone hook-up between the NRL and all 16 club bosses was presented as an NRL in solidarity but public messages conveyed in the conference quickly shifted afterwards.

    NRL chief financial officer Tony Crawford proposed a funding model last Thursday that would see more money delivered to clubs in greater financial stress, at the expense of other NRL clubs.

    Clubs are still divided on the issue and NRL boss Todd Greenberg said “there are as many for it as they are against it. The clubs are split on this.”

    Greenberg and ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys have both declared they will do everything to ensure all 16 clubs survive.

    Their message goes in the face of the NRL’s declaration several years ago, when the club grants were raised to a staggering $13 million, that clubs would no longer be bailed out by the League if they got into financial trouble.

    And it has angered some clubs.

    Crawford’s proposal quickly drew a protest from South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly, who as a result later withdrew from the committee formed to counter the coronavirus crisis.

    “Why should we take less in funding because we have been able to manage our affairs?” one club boss said.

    “It’s not our fault those clubs are in that position. It’s their fault and it is the NRL’s fault.”


    Threats of legal action were made if the NRL persists with the planned unequal funding model.

    It is quintessential rugby league, a show of solidarity presented one day and which lasted, oh, basically the weekend.

    The code has now agreed to a different funding model which will see standardised funding but also unequal bail out funding and unequal cost reductions given the different circumstances of each club.

    It is far from the end of the game’s problems, though.

    When most of us dream of going dollar for dollar in the pay stakes with NRL footballers we usually dream of weekend benders and speed boats in the garage, of annual holidays to Las Vegas. Admittedly, they were your men’s dreams.

    A meeting on Wednesday will change much of that.

    The NRL players will begin negotiations to take a pay cut that could save all their jobs, which will come around quicker than they can imagine, but which will be the first step in a sharply changing world.

    Another whose pay-packet will take a haircut is NRL boss Todd Greenberg.

    Greenberg and his executive have already agreed to take a pay cut that matches the players.

    If the players lose 20 per cent from monthly wages, so will Greenberg and his team.

    It is a sign of new-found solidarity between the NRL and the players.

    “The players and the game have never been closer,” Rugby League Players Association chief executive Clint Newton said on Tuesday.

    Caught somewhere in the middle are the clubs, who tried their best to present a solid front in a phone hook-up with the NRL but who frayed a little around the edges as the day wore on.

    The clubs debated their positions, with some stunned the NRL plans to fund clubs more than others.

    The hook-up was intended to be an information meeting.

    How much cash did the NRL have stashed away?

    It’s $153 million.

    How long will the competition be suspended for?

    Nobody knows.

    What are the plans?

    The NRL has preliminary plans for a season restart on June 1, July 1, August 1 and September 1.

    If the completion does not resume by September 1 then it will be cancelled and players can begin preparing for next season.

    Clubs are trying to navigate their survival. The two State leagues, the NSW Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League, are also nervous they have so far been left out of negotiations.

    With different ownership models among the clubs each had different suggestions for how the clubs should be funded.

    Greenberg and the NRL executive will match whatever pay cuts the players are forced to take.

    Wednesday’s meeting includes the NRL executive, Greenberg and chief financial officer Tony Crawford, club representatives Blake Solly (Souths), Joe Kelly (Roosters), Paul White (Brisbane) and Andrew Hill (Canterbury), and the RLPA’s Newton and his chief operating officer Tim Lythe.

    Under the agreement, splits the financial upside and downside evenly between four stakeholder groups. They are the NRL, the 16 clubs, the States (NSW and Queensland) and the players.

    “The players absolutely accept they will share in the downside,” Newton said.

    “How much they have to sacrifice is going to depend on what the financials look like and the information that they will provide.

    “Until we get that we don’t know how much it will be.”

    The first chunk of money affected will not be the players’ wages but their benefits and entitlements. These include annual payments for retirement, marketing, injury hardship, leave and prize money.

    Annually, the players have raked in somewhere in the vicinity of $15-$17 million in recent years.

    That amount will be minimal, at best this season. So the next sacrifice is the big one, from their wages.

    Until the RLPA knows exactly how much money is being lost to the game it is unsure

    It will be at least 20 per cent.

    The AFL players have accepted a 50 per cent pay rise but the difference is the detail.

    The AFL pay cut is while the competition is suspended, which goes through to May 31. It will rise to 75 per cent when they resume playing and stays at 75 per cent when they start playing.

    The NRL will pay cut being discussed is until the end of the NRL financial year, October 31.

    Potentially, the NRL’s cut could be significantly bigger.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL
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  3. #18
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    I would be so disappointed if our CEO made such a comment and withdraw from a committee to save our game from corona virus crisis.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL
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  4. #19
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    He probably has 400 rolls of toilet paper too.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunctionBlock View Post
    He probably has 400 rolls of toilet paper too.
    Hahaha good call JB.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL
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  6. #21
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    'With heavy heart' Cowboys stand down majority of staff
    https://www.nrl.com/

    As a result of the NRL’s suspension of the 2020 season, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys today stood down the majority of its football and administrative staff. There remains a skeleton staff to oversee administrative responsibilities during the period of suspension.

    Chief Executive Officer Jeff Reibel said today was a very difficult one for the club.

    “It was with a heavy heart that we talked with our people today about the decisions which were necessary to ensure the club’s survival of this unprecedented disruption to our 2020 season,” he said.

    “It was excruciatingly difficult to let our people know through no fault of their own and in spite of the incredible talent they share with our club on a daily basis, that their positions were stood down.

    Chairman Lewis Ramsay thanked the club’s staff for their commitment to the club.

    “Our people have worked so diligently and selflessly for many months to prepare for our 2020 season and on behalf of the Board I would like to express how grateful the club is for the personal and professional contributions and sacrifices they have made,” he said.

    “While the length of the season’s suspension is unknown, the club’s determination to return people to their roles as soon as possible remains steadfast.”

    Head Coach Paul Green assured members, fans and partners that the football team are committed to returning to the field in the best possible competitive shape.

    “While it’s disappointing we cannot currently carry on with our season, we understand there are greater concerns for the community and the safety of our staff and players is paramount,” he said.

    “Whilst we will take this opportunity to freshen up, our team will continue to train and keep themselves in good shape. Rest assured that when the season recommences, we will be fit and raring to go.”

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL
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