Players want cost and salary assurances before resuming season

RLPA CEO Clint Newton said the game can’t restart until his members are given assurances about the manner in which it will do so.

RLPA board member Daly Cherry-Evans and his fellow NRL players are yet to sign off on a May 28 return.Credit:Getty

“I’d like to think it won’t be like a CBA negotiation given the time criticalities associated with this,” Newton said.

“We need to be very clear on what’s been brought in and that we’re agreeing on the operational costs. We then need to reach agreement over the distribution to the stakeholder groups over those revenues.

“There are a number of key areas and we need to work through the detail. A lot will hinge on what we’re able to generate when building those contract arrangements.

“To be clear, we understand why the NRL have proposed a start date. But there are things critical in all of this and that’s why the player consultation process and engagement is paramount.

“We still need that information before the players are in a position to endorse or support it. That’s around the welfare and well-being support, the injury management and the revenue, which comes in two parts – the operational costs and the distribution of the revenues.”

The RLPA have negotiated the right to conduct a special purpose audit of the NRL’s books and are likely to commence that process next week. The players are keen to understand why the game’s running costs are currently $181 million per annum and what steps the NRL will take to reduce them.

The union also wants assurances the health of the players won’t be compromised during the coronavirus, while wanting the Warriors to be given every support while they are away from home. That could include having their families travel with them to Australia.

“Player well-being and welfare support (are key considerations),” Newton said.


“Medical and injury management, the treatment of injuries and access to facilities and revenue.

“We want to know what revenue we are able to generate via a revised competition and one that may be without crowds for an entire year.

“Then the operational costs of ensuring best practice is applied and then the percentage distribution of that revenue.”


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