Player pay cut who pays NRL players wages

“This is disastrous,” Fletcher said. “Even with all the assets we’ve got, it’s still going to be a battle to survive this.

“The biggest problem is who is going to pay the players? The TV broadcasters won’t give it to the NRL and the NRL can’t give it to us.

“We can manage it, but everyone will have to take a decent haircut.”

South Sydney hooker Damien Cook spoke earlier in the day about the future of the competition and how he had even discussed with his wife the potential to be isolated in north Queensland for a few weeks to keep the competition going.

“I’m emotional at the moment because you don’t know where it’s going to go from here,” Cook told the Herald after the announcement. “You can only hope it’s short term. I think I was hoping and holding on thinking if we could get through a month, we might start coming out the other side, the virus would start to slow down and we’d be able to kick on.

Damien Cook thought things would be fine if the NRL could have got through the first month.

“And with Peter V’landys in the job, and the way he was talking, we had a lot of confidence we’d be alright. But it looks like they had their hand forced on Monday.

“We know we will have to take a pay cut. A lot of the younger boys are not on massive contracts and we will want to make sure they’re all right.

“A club [going broke] is the worst thing that could happen out of all this. I’m sure everyone would agree they will do whatever they can to help keep clubs alive. There are certainly some clubs in tough positions. Everyone will have to come together.”

"As it stands, the Eels are minor premiers," says Parramatta skipper Clint Gutherson said.

“As it stands, the Eels are minor premiers,” says Parramatta skipper Clint Gutherson said.Credit:Getty Images

Every NRL player was ordered not to train from Tuesday, and there are now suggestions players could be in breach of isolation rules should they come together for future sessions, especially with the competition now suspended.

Parramatta skipper Clint Gutherson was with his neighbour, Manly centre Brad Parker, when news filtered through about the competition coming to a halt and had no shortage of Parramatta teammates trying to get their own questions and concerns answered by their skipper.

“It’s horrible right now, we don’t know what’s going on,” Gutherson said. “I’m shocked. It’s weird. Everyone involved in the game, their families, their partners, everyone who relies on rugby league, we don’t know what’s going to happen.

“I’ve had three people from my team call me already to see what’s going on. We’ll get through it, I’m sure we will, it’s just a matter of when and how and what happens in between.”


Gutherson was happy to play until the end of the year if it meant finishing the season, and added: “I’ll happily play on Christmas Day if we have to.”

Gutherson also tried to see the funny side of the one of the darkest days in league’s recent history and said: “As it stands we’re the minor premiers.”

Another burning issue clubs will try to get to the bottom of in the coming weeks will be the salary cap and if it is inevitable it will be dropped dramatically the final two years of the existing broadcast deal.

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