To mitigate the damage, V’landys will on walk into the commission meeting on Thursday ready to highlight areas where the governing body must make “substantial cuts”.
“We’re going to be making substantial cuts at the NRL. We are going to be doing whatever is necessary,” V’landys told the Herald.
“Management are looking at a lot of areas and those areas will be discussed on Thursday at the commission meeting. Management are well aware that they are going to have to find some substantial cuts.”
V’landys’ warning comes as NRL chief Todd Greenberg warned all parties in the game will have to tighten their belts to survive the coronavirus crisis.
“Everyone is looking to tighten their belt,” Greenberg said when asked if players could be forced to take a pay cut.
“We’re looking in the central administration where we can stop and save costs. We’re doing those things as you would expect and as I would expect all 16 club also be doing so now.”
Unlike in the AFL – where clubs have been told to cut $5 million from their budgets to try and keep their heads above water – club sources have said there is no strict instruction from League Central to NRL clubs about cutting an exact amount from their budget.
But clubs have already started to tighten the belt, as Greenberg put it.
One area V’landys has highlighted in the past as a potential target of cuts is the NRL’s digital department. Former ARLC chair John Grant set aside $150 million to invest in its digital media strategy over the next five years.
It was an unpopular play at the time – which partly led to Grant’s demise – and V’landys has made no secret about his belief those funds could be put to better use elsewhere.
V’landys has also started his push for government funding.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed the notion of providing relief for the NRL in an interview on Monday.
Greenberg said he expected that response and V’landys has now written to the government to make his case as to why Morrison should reconsider.
“We have written to the federal government and I think Scott would have heard me on one of the media outlets,” V’landys said when asked if he had organised a meeting with either Morrison or NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
“But this has been misinterpreted. All we are saying is, we’re a business. And as a business, consider us in the stimulus package.
“We’re not asking to take money or attention away from hospital beds or the virus.
“All we’re saying is when treasury sits down and does all its work, there is no bigger economic driver than sport and rugby league in particular.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.