'Funding certainty': NRL launches $40m rescue package for clubs

ARLC chairman Peter V'landys says the new rescue package will provide financial certainty to NRL clubs. Pic: Getty

NRL clubs will get approximately $2.5 million to survive if the competition does not resume this year.

The ARL Commission on Monday guaranteed three months funding for clubs following another emergency meeting to discuss the worst-case scenario.

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That includes two months pay for the players under a proposed 75 per cent pay cut should the entire season be wiped out.

The Rugby League Players Association was expected to present the plan to players through club delegates on Monday afternoon before making a response.

The governing body last week informed clubs that it has enough funds to pay their monthly club grants of $1.2 million for the next three months.

However, after meetings with the RLPA over the last week, it is understood players will get two months' pay to last the next seven months.

A quarter of the players' pay will come from the game's injury-hardship fund, while it is expected a tiered pay cut will be applied to protect minimum-wage players.

That leaves the clubs with just $2.5 million each to survive, although another, smaller, one-off payment is expected to come in July.

‘We need to be prepared’

ARLC chairman Peter V'Landys said the deal - which had unanimous support from all 16 clubs - "provided funding certainty for the remainder of the 2020 season".

"We have a consolidated plan and working with the clubs and the players, are united in our efforts to do all we can to protect rugby league," V’landys said.

"We had no option but to stop the competition in the wake of advice from our biosecurity and pandemic expert but remain optimistic that the season will restart as quickly as possible, ideally by July 1. If that isn’t possible, then we need to be prepared for that option as well and are making the tough financial decisions now to reduce costs to ensure we get through this crisis."

The figures emerge after revelations head office is expected to make drastic cuts of its own, following a reported $76 million in running costs so far this year.

The likelihood of a reduction in the salary cap, part of a cost restructuring of the game, is also believed to have been discussed during the meeting.

The cap was expected to hit $9.9 million next year and $10 million in the final year of the current broadcast deal in 2022.

"We are working together to achieve the best outcome in the short, and long term," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.

"We must use this opportunity to reset the game's costs and overall structure.

"These measures will put the game in the best position to rebound strongly from the pandemic."

The NRL's package reportedly gives clubs the capacity to survive under a revised 20-week competition - including finals series and State of Origin - or in a worst-case scenario where the entire season has to be scrapped.

In the event of a 20-week season, every team would play each another once - with 13 more rounds making up a 15-round regular season.

A four-week finals series would follow, as well a three-week State of Origin series.

The NRL remains hopeful the competition can resume after July, which would allow broadcasters to also recommence their monthly instalments.

With Yahoo Sport Staff