“I disagree with that vehemently,” V’landys told the Herald. “ It’s got nothing to do with the product or what product we’re supplying.
“You can use all the excuses to reduce it but at the end of it, it’s how much you’re willing to pay. How much you can write in advertising, how much revenue you can get out of the product and work out how much you want to pay for it.
“It’s not about rounds, it’s about money. At the end of the day don’t worry about anything else … it’s the quantum. It’s nothing to do with what you’re supplying. It’s the quantum in these circumstances, in this economic crisis.
“We hope the broadcasters see reason and pay what we ask and then we’ll go from there.”
“This is not just your normal negotiation. If we weren’t in this economic climate I’d be going 10 times tougher, 100 times tougher. But take into account where we are and the circumstances we’re in, you have to just adapt yourself to that. You can’t just be one-dimensional. As good partners you’ve got to take into account that they’re going through some of the harshest economic circumstances in the last 50 years.
“They’re acting in the best interests of their organisation, which you have to appreciate, which I do, and they appreciate that I’m going to act hard for the NRL.
“What pleases me is the good faith it’s been held in. No one is trying to go in there without trying to get a resolution. While they’re acting like that you can’t ask for more.
“There’s a lot of work to be done yet. We’ll see how we go. But I know we’ll come to a resolution, it’s just when and how much.”
V’landys had to stick his neck out and make the players a pay offer without a broadcast deal completed, simply so the resuming of the season was not further stalled. If the money from Nine and Foxtel comes up short of what the NRL wants, he will have to further slash costs in the game including at head office.
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.