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News NRL players facing $50 million pay wipeout

Discussion in 'Rugby League General' started by DinkumDog, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. DinkumDog

    DinkumDog Kennel Enthusiast Gilded x2 Gilded

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    NRL players are facing a combined salary slash of nearly $50 million if rugby league can't resume this season.

    It was revealed on Wednesday that the NRL's biosecurity and pandemic expert doesn't believe the league can be relaunched in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    That presents a doomsday scenario to the game and its players, from the top-earning stars to the minimum wage battlers.

    NRL contracts run from November 1 annually, meaning that players are five months into their 2020 deals and have seven months of pay remaining. They are facing a pay cut of 50 per cent across that remaining period, according to most reports, with some calls for a 75 per cent reductions in salaries.

    A 50 per cent cut would mean roughly a $300,000 haircut for players making about $1 million per season; stars like Cameron Smith, Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford, James Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic and Mitchell Pearce. Such players are also set to miss out on lucrative representative payments of $30,000 per game for State of Origin and $20,000 per Test match; totalling up to $150,000, with three Origins and three Australia vs England games scheduled for 2020.

    A 50 per cent salary reduction would mean a smaller but likely more damaging cut of $30,000 for a minimum wage player on about $100,000 per season. Top players like Smith, the RLPA president, have been strong advocates for protecting lower earners.

    Full salaries have been guaranteed for the April pay cycle, but not beyond; negotiations with the NRL are ongoing.

    The NRL has 480 contracted players; 30-man rosters across 16 clubs. Across the board, 50 per cent player salary losses would total about $46.4 million if the NRL can't resume this season; $2.9m per club.

    The Rugby League Players Association has maintained that players are willing to take significant pay cuts to save the game, which is facing a $500 million wipeout if there are no more games this season.

    Yet it remains to be seen how far the players are willing to go. The AFL is dealing with an ugly dispute between the league and players; who offered a 50 percent pay cut via their union, the AFL Players Association, only to cop a 75 per cent counter offer.

    A tiered 'Robin Hood' system, in which high-earning players cop a bigger pay cut than low-earning teammates, is one idea being considered by the RLPA.

    "That's something we spoke about with the RLPA," Broncos veteran Darius Boyd said, per the Courier Mail.

    "Some of the younger guys are on smaller contracts and minimum wage.

    "It's not just about paying off your home loan, it's about getting your next meal and living week-to-week. That's an issue throughout society.

    "All of those options are on the table. Every time I've spoken to the RLPA they've had some positive chats around what we can do and how we can be there for each other. There are a couple of scenarios."

    The NRL is already dealing with brutal cuts to club staffs, from top to bottom. Head coaches Brad Arthur (Eels), Paul Green (Cowboys), John Morris (Sharks), Ivan Cleary (Panthers), Dean Pay (Bulldogs) and Adam O'Brien (Knights) have so far been stood down, with their colleagues at other clubs sure to follow.

    Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has copped what his club called a "significant" pay cut. Even Brisbane, the NRL's richest club, says that it is in a battle for survival.

    There is an acceptance of pay cuts in NRL player ranks, after the 2017 revenue sharing deal struck by the RLPA. That pegged player earnings to the financial fortunes of the game, good and bad. The percentage of revenue that goes to players is 29.5 per cent.

    Legendary coach Phil Gould told Wide World of Sports that players would eventually realise that their pay headache was an almost trifling concern in the current climate.

    "It's like talking about our players, you know, other benefits can go, we want to keep our pay," Gould said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

    "But that's going to be small potatoes in a month's time, as to whether or not the players get paid or not.

    "You only have to look at the people in Centrelink lines to know what's happening in this country. The work force, the people that work around [rugby league]. The people that are hurting and are going to hurt even more over this.

    "Player payments are the least of the news, trust me. And players will learn that, this is a life experience for them. This is going to get so bad for so many people."

    The shutdown of games means that the NRL is losing about $13 million per week in broadcast revenue, the lifeblood of the game.

    Rugby league is facing financial ruin and Queensland great Billy Moore reckons players should cop a pay cut of 75 per cent. Moore now runs a restaurant and has seen the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on regular people first-hand.

    "On Monday I stood down 35 staff and we do takeaways, but only on a skeleton staff," Moore told Fox League.

    "We're just doing it from 5pm until 7.30pm, seven days a week. We'll do that until we're told to close.

    "Now, I look at the negotiations that are happening with rugby league and the playing wages, the staff in my restaurant are currently getting paid zero or maximum 20 per cent of what they had a week ago.

    "Eighty-five per cent of my staff are doing that right now, they're lining up at Centrelink ... that's the reality for the players, they must understand that.

    "I think anything less than a 75 per cent wage cut is living in fairyland. Rugby league must consider this."

    It has been estimated that the NRL can survive only about three months without incoming revenue.

    ARLC chairman Peter V'landys was hopeful of perhaps redirecting NSW government funding for major upgrades to ANZ Stadium, totalling $800 million, into a rescue package for rugby league.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday that the office of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is not supportive of that idea.

    V'landys has also called for a massive bailout package from the federal government, yet Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that rugby league is a low priority amid a global public health crisis.
     
  2. Scoooby

    Scoooby Kennel Immortal Gilded Premium Member

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    Well I think it’s very unselfish of the players willing to take pay cuts to save our great game.!! especially with all that’s going on. Let’s just hope it survives.. even if that means a loss of 3 or 4 clubs. As Long as the bulldogs stay alive that’s the good oil.
     
  3. dogluva

    dogluva Kennel Immortal

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    And so it should. Yes, I understand that the more talented should be able to earn a greater salary than then those not so quite talented, but it seems to me that every time the cap increases it is the same old , same old that put their hands out for bigger increases which means that those on lower end salaries miss out on a share of the increase.
     
  4. doggieaaron

    doggieaaron Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Mrs klemmer wont be happy
     
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  5. btrainben

    btrainben Kennel Immortal

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    Full credit to those higher earning players who are considering sacrificing a greater percentage of their pay to help protect those on or near the minimum wage. It's a massive and selfless gesture, especially at a time when every individual is in survival mode.

    If only the NRL was able to convince the clubs to implement the same strategy when it comes to funding, like they do in the AFL, then maybe so many clubs wouldn't be so close to extinction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  6. Roll the Bones

    Roll the Bones Kennel Regular

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    Somehow, each Rorters player will still be on at least a lazy million.
     
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  7. Prison Mike

    Prison Mike Kennel Immortal

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    If the comp restarts they will go 3 in a row easy now as with Politis looking after the players they'd be the most relaxed and at ease club in the league. At least we could say it's by default if it happens though.
     
  8. CroydonDog

    CroydonDog Kennel Immortal Gilded

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    Screenshot_20200327-141536_Facebook.jpg
     
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  9. Kelpie03

    Kelpie03 Kennel Enthusiast

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    Not that I care about politics these days, every time I see a Polly I feel like throwing up, so now Gladys is not prepared to use some of the money which was meant for the new stadium to save the game and all the clubs. I am certain that the NSW Liberal Government agreed to build the new Stadium to get the support of Ch9. Only a moron would be blinded to the fact that Gyngel is on the board of Ch9 and it is a well known fact that he is a fanatical Rooster supporter.
    The Roosters are only 1 of 2 clubs who are certain to survive the current situation without any handouts.
    The Roosters and the Broncos will be the only 2 clubs who will be able to pay their players in full, and as a result they will find it much easier to attract players in the future when the dust has settled.
     
  10. DinkumDog

    DinkumDog Kennel Enthusiast Gilded x2 Gilded

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    It's obviously very political but it's equally a two way street and some have long memories.
    As I recall the NRL threatened to take the GF to Brisbane if the NSW Govt didn't provide the new stadiums.
    Now they go cap in hand to Macquarie St for money?
    Seems a little hypocritical to me.
    Irrespective of politics though I'm baffled that the NRL don't have a rainy day fund - where did the money go?
     
  11. btrainben

    btrainben Kennel Immortal

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    Well the NRL should now say, okay fuck your money and shitty ANZ Stadium, we'll just play every Sydney game at Suburban grounds or Bankwest and you can have an empty stadium rotting away.

    I've been saying it since 98 that the NRL is a horribly run organisation. With all the money that's changed hands with TV Rights and sponsorship deals in two decades plus, to not have anything to show for it is proof positive.

    Compare this to the AFL who have always been an infinitely better run code, and they own Docklands stadium, so they have a massive asset that will always ensure their financial viability. The NRL should have done something similar but instead they spend all of their money on jobs for the boys, shitty TV campaigns and Grinspoon/Shannon Noll year after year.
     
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  12. Dognacious

    Dognacious Administrator Staff Member Gilded Premium Member

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    Everyone should just stand under Uncle Nicks sombrero.

    Seriously though, obviously the players need to take a big hit, they are the biggest expense in the game (obviously). I think they should divide the players annual salary into weeks, and they dont get paid for the weeks the league is down. Its the only fair thing to do. There are millions of aussies stood down without pay right now, NRL players are no different and dont deserve special treatment.

    A bunch of them have also had the opportunity to earn big bucks for some time before this, so should have more security than a lot of other aussies right now. I am not going to feel sorry if players cant afford to keep up the repayments on their ferraris when others cant pay the rent. The new players i feel for though, they havent had big bucks yet to build a buffer.
     
  13. diddly

    diddly Kennel Regular Gilded x2 Gilded Premium Member

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    Do the players start getting paid for current contracts from last November? If so players are only owed for just over half of contracts.

    I have heard two different heads of clubs one said that the NRL had approx. $100mil in cash but liabilities of approx. 40 to 50mil - another said there was $100 mill in cash plus 40 to 50 mil in money owed to the league. Both interviewed after the meeting with the league that both attended.
    Does not instill confidence with such different / significant understandings of the same meeting.

    Further just read that the NRL has about $120mil to stay afloat with.

    Who knows.
     
  14. DinkumDog

    DinkumDog Kennel Enthusiast Gilded x2 Gilded

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    You can take Bankwest out of that equation mate because it's also owned by the NSW Govt and run by VenuesLive, a NSW Govt organisation (same as ANZ is).
    However you may be right that rotting suburban grounds are all that's left - but try to get a lot of corporate sponsor support at the likes of Belmore, Leichhardt, Brookvale etc - not great facilities and would be a hard sell.
    It appears as though the NRL have created a deep hole for themselves relying on broadcast dollars to keep the lights on and not planning for the future.
    V'Landys is a good operator but arrived too late. What the hell did Beattie do for 2 years as ARLC Chairman?
    I agree the AFL is a superior run organisation and although they'll also be damaged by this (who won't) - they will emerge the other side still in decent shape.
     
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  15. DinkumDog

    DinkumDog Kennel Enthusiast Gilded x2 Gilded

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    Yes re: player contracts. The contractual year runs 1 November - 31 October each year.
    As for the rest of it, time will tell - but it's clear the NRL did not plan for a rainy day very well (if at all).
     
  16. Dognacious

    Dognacious Administrator Staff Member Gilded Premium Member

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    Sponsors will leave clubs now during this uncertainty, but will come back trying to kick start their businesses again when the cov shit passes.
     
  17. Kelpie03

    Kelpie03 Kennel Enthusiast

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    I live a long way from Sydney and I'm lucky to get to 1 a year, went to the 2004 GF and didn't see any problems with it, the ANZ was built for the 2000 Olympics, so its not that old. The ANZ is also much more central to the Sydney Metropolitan area which (if I am correct) would be much easier to get to for the real RL fans most of whom (I think) live in the outer suburbs.
    As for the rainy day fund most of us know how badly the NRL is run. The corona virus will further weaken Rugby League to an extent where it will no longer be able to compete with the other codes for the top athletes. Why would parents encourage their kids to play RL when its top players are paid $2 K to $3 K when the AFL is paying its top players $1.5 M and overseas Rugby is paying its players $2 M.
    Sorry everybody but I can only see big problems ahead for RL, I just hope that our club can do something about it in some way, I don't give a dam for the NRL or any other club.
     
  18. DinkumDog

    DinkumDog Kennel Enthusiast Gilded x2 Gilded

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    ANZ is OK. It's like your bathroom - looked great when it was new but 20 years later it needs a makeover.
    Its real problem is in being built for the Olympics its never really been great to watch RL in and the planned renovations fix that - turning it into a permanent rectangular stadium with most seats a lot closer to the action.
    Sydney obviously needs one big stadium for GF, Origin and other 'big' events but Bankwest (stadium, not location) is better for week to week club footy games. The new ANZ may fix that, capacity reduction, better seating and facilities.
    But overall you're right - only 20 years old and the SFS was only 30 years old when it was knocked. Methinks politics played a much large part than the suitability of the stadium going forward.

    Yes, RL will have big challenges going forward. Not against Rugby (in Australia at least) I don't think - that game is on life-support too - but against AFL and Soccer definitely.
    Many things are likely to change post Corona and sport / RL will be one of many of those things.
     
  19. Nasheed

    Nasheed Kennel Enthusiast

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    You must hate it when we play the Warriors then! Got balls admitting this.
     
  20. KoolDavid

    KoolDavid Kennel Regular

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    Why the players have to take a pay cut? I thought clubs pay the players from the salary cap?
    Sorry I am just rather confused about this. Unless the NRL injects some income into clubs for the players’ salaries?
     

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