Differential NRL funding splits clubs, could spark legal battle

The NRL’s plans to provide clubs with “differential” emergency funding to those most under threat of going broke has riled the richer clubs, who are threatening to take legal action if the proposal isn’t aborted.

All 16 teams receive the same level of funding, which is currently 130 per cent of the salary cap. However, the Herald revealed on March 14 that Rugby League Central would change tack due to the coronavirus to ensure the pandemic doesn’t wipe out the weaker clubs.

Those franchises who are confident of surviving the crisis believe it’s a case of weaker counterparts being rewarded for mismanaging their allocation of funds. It raises the prospect of a bitter legal battle at a time when there appeared to be a newfound unity among all stakeholders as they respond to the threat of COVID-19.

“We’ve had equal distributions for so long, so why should a club that is well run have to prop up those that aren’t?” one club powerbroker said.


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