V’Landys: Player pay cuts will happen
Peter V'landys has revealed the NRL's top paid stars could be asked to cop the biggest pay cuts amid the coronavirus crisis because "not everyone is on mega bucks".
With fears a suspension of the competition will result in a $500 million loss, V'landys confirmed pay talks with the Rugby League Players Association would start this week.
The ARL Commission chairman also revealed senior NRL executives would also take pay cuts, while some clubs have initiated redundancy talks and some senior club administrators were also ready to cop pay cuts of up to 20 per cent.
While some leading players have suggested they should not have to take a pay cut regardless of the game's precarious financial state, V'landys said it was time to face reality.
"It will happen this week," V'landys said.
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"We are not the magic mushroom where we can be isolated. And if we form part of the stimulus package we need to have shown we have done our bit."
As part of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement the governing body and RLPA agreed both parties would have to act in good faith if there was a reduction in revenue.
"The Players Association naturally want this measure (pay cuts) as the last resort," V'landys added.
"I can understand that. That is who they are representing.
"But they are also realistic. They understand that there are a lot of people who are losing their jobs. We are not immune to this.
"We have to make sure the clubs stay viable.
"You have to be ahead of the game, not behind it.
"I think we have shown that we have been the most proactive of everyone and we will continue to be the most proactive.
"The thing is we need to survive and we will do everything we can to survive."
But V'landys said people must also understand not everyone in the game is on elite money, and staff as well as players needed to be helped as much as possible.
"The thing that annoys me is that everyone is focused on the high-end players but there are a fair few players who are earning $80,000 and $90,000 a year that have mortgages and have to pay their rents," V'landys said.
"That is the point I want to get across.
"Everyone is blowing up and saying, 'Oh, you are looking after these blokes who are on elite salaries'.
"But they are missing the whole point that there are also thousands of people who work at the clubs and thousands in industries associated with the NRL.
"And not everyone is on mega bucks.
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"Everyone is in it together.
"So the executives at the NRL are prepared to take pay cuts.
"And we may do pay cuts a little bit different.
"The lower end players may get less of a pay cut. I don't know."
There is also a growing push to axe all NSW Rugby League competitions including State Cup and under 20s Jersey Flegg for the remainder of the season. Those competitions are currently suspended.
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This would effectively save each club in the vicinity of $1 million, money that would potentially cover the financial black hole left by crowd lockouts this season.
V'landys said the NRL had held talks over the weekend with the RLPA about implementing more stringent self-isolation guidelines and players would be potentially sanctioned if they don't follow the tough protocols.
"If they self-isolate they keep themselves safe, they keep their families safe, they keep their fellow players safe and they keep the game safe," V'landys said.
"I am going to just keep hammering that message and let them know everyone has to make a sacrifice.
"On Monday we will be in a position to tell the players these are the protocols.
"The second stage of the process is how we monitor it and the third stage is what if someone is reckless.
"We have to have some deterrent.
"In these times you need to go with everyone together.
"You need to consult the players, you need to consult the clubs. You need to make sure they are comfortable with what we are going to do but there needs to be some tough measures."
Originally published as V'Landys: Player pay cuts will happen