Wildcard weekend on the cards as NRL’s biggest names map out game’s future under Wayne Pearce in the season innovation committee

NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo, who will join Pearce on the committee, has been working around the clock with broadcast partners around multiple potential schedules that run from June, right through to a September start. Phil Gould and Wayne Bennett could be called on to the NRL’s new football innovation committee entrusted with mapping out the 2020 season. The NRL told its clubs on Monday that it was working out plans for a 20-week competition window, allowing teams to play each other at least once. With two rounds already…

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HQ’s finances have been clear for months, if clubs had bothered to check

There is always devil in the detail, which can be interpreted to suit agendas. For example, the numbers in the statutory accounts in the NRL annual report are higher because they include broadcast contra, but this was not included in the plan numbers. However, given the turnover of CEOs at NRL clubs, with only half of them in the same job from five years ago, it’s not surprising few have bothered to interpret how much RL Central spends, even apart from considerations about raising their own club revenue. (NRL clubs…

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RLPA boss Clint Newton on players 46 per cent pay cut

After a long week of different facts and figures about what players will receive, Newton confirmed the figure would be a 46 per cent pay cut for the year, and provided there was not another game of NRL played. RLPA boss Clint Newton.Credit:Getty The players have already received their first five months of pay, and will receive a further two months for the remaining seven. The top earners, including Daly Cherry-Evans and Ben Hunt who will lose north of $500,000, will feel as much pain as those on the minimum…

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Peter V’landys hopeful competition will resume

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg.Credit:AAP They answered questions about League Central’s financials and both the NRL and the RLPA are now set to agree to a funding arrangement in the next 48 hours. “Naturally there are a lot of players that are – like the rest of the community – concerned,” V’landys said. “We are going to allay those concerns. What we have put to the players is the worst-case scenario, that we won’t play again this year. “I’m optimistic that we will play again…

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NRLW set to be cancelled after Roosters pull pin on competition

The Warriors are the other club believed to have told League Central they will not take part in the upcoming season if it does go ahead in September. The revelation is a major blow for the women’s game, which has grown in leaps and bounds in the last two years. Just last month it was announced 20 women would be contracted by the NRL so they could compete with the money on offer in cricket, AFLW and rugby sevens. The Roosters, here during this season’s 9s tournament, won’t be part…

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Payers need four-week pre-season before return to action, says Paul Gallen

Gallen said at least a month had to be afforded to players, meaning the virus would have to be cleared enough for contact by August for the latest possible restart in September. Loading “I do think they need a good 4-6 weeks,” Gallen told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show. “If we send these guys back on the field with one week’s preparation, all sorts of things can go wrong. “We worry about players’ health at the moment but there could be detrimental impacts on players’ knees and shoulders. It’s all sorts…

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NRL: Coronavirus crisis unmasks “greed that’s infected the game”: Graham Lowe

“We can all see it now, there’s been a greed that’s infected the game, a greed from players, from coaches, from player agents and clubs,” Lowe said. Loading “I think it’s been disgusting and whatever happens in the future, someone’s got to be strong enough to make sure that greed never infects the game again. “For example, coaches have got to be totally de-powered. They’re not the oracles they think they are on the game.” Lowe, who was chief executive at Manly a decade ago, said he had to go…

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Queensland coach Kevin Walters confident NRL will find a way to play series v NSW Blues

However, the NRL will be reluctant to jettison its showpiece altogether this season considering it generates upwards of $100 million for the game each year. Walters was confident the NRL would find a way to hold the series in 2020. “It’s a huge part of our rugby league program. I believe it can happen at some stage this season. My mindset is State of Origin will be played at some point,” he told Fox League Mornings. Walters said he had kept in touch with the 33-strong Queensland squad that he…

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Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien considers labouring job to make ends meet

“I’m sure there are a lot of people out there trying to find some work and we’re the same as everyone else. Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien.Credit:Marina Neil “With the labour work, that’s more around my first preference to hang onto the house where we are so I can be in Newcastle near the players. “It’s a priority to hang onto this house we’re in, we’re really comfortable where we are in Newcastle. “I’ve got to do whatever I’ve got to do to ensure I’m here when it’s over. “Growing…

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Melbourne Storm coach and CEO take big pay cuts

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, chief executive Dave Donaghy and the Storm football department will take 50 per cent pay cuts to help the club through the coronavirus pandemic shutdown which threatens to seriously damage the NRL. While Storm CEO Donaghy spoke this week of his belief that the club would be able to ride through the competition postponement, they are not immune. Donaghy confirmed on Saturday the Melbourne club had been forced to stand down about 20 members of staff, with a number coming from the football department. Loading But…

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