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NRL players to lose five months’ pay as part of new shutdown deal

NRL players to lose five months’ pay as part of new shutdown deal
April 5, 2020

NRL players will forego five months' of pay if the competition does not resume in 2020, as the game grapples with how to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg will also face the same pay cut under an agreement reached earlier this week.

Under the deal, the players will receive a combined $24.6 million to last until the end of the normal contract cycle in November, with just over three quarters of it coming from club grants.

The rest will come from the liquidation of the injury hardship fund, while players will also have early access to the retirement account if they hit financial troubles.

The deal comes after the NRL and the 16 clubs agreed to a combined $40 million package last Monday, which would help keep sides viable while matches are not being played.

In a statement, Greenberg (pictured) advised “this is a difficult time for our game and the wider community and the challenges we face are immense, and unprecedented.

"The players understand the severity of the circumstances we face and have demonstrated their willingness to work with us to secure the best possible outcome to protect the long-term future of our game.

"I know it hasn't been easy and I thank the RLPA and the playing group for their maturity, professionalism and diligence in helping us reach this solution."

As reported by the ABC, the deal will also see the NRL resource the wellbeing and education space at each club to ensure players have any support required.

The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) will also be represented in any future salary cap decisions for when the game returns into next year and beyond, as well as in discussions on competition structure and scheduling.

Advising that the union will also be able to conduct a special purpose audit of the game's current and future financial status, RLPA Chief Executive, Clint Newtown stated “the Coronavirus pandemic has placed the game and its people under huge pressure and players have assumed the responsibility, like many others, to ensure the future of our clubs and the NRL is protected.

"Players will share in this pain while games are suspended and have done what was required to ensure the game's short and longer-term future.

"However, we want to be clear that this arrangement is based on the worst-case scenario, should we not get back on the field in 2020."

Currently looking at how the NRL season may restart, administrators are reportedly considering a proposal to keep teams isolated on an island resort off the coast of Queensland, transporting them to the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville to play matches.

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23rd March 2020 - Coronavirus Update: Aussie World, the AOC, Keep Gyms Open Petition, NRL, Queensland Art Gallery and Sydney Biennale - 23rd March

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