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NRL players will share in pay cuts: RLPA


NRL players will have to "share" in the game's inevitable cost re-structure after its indefinite shutdown, according to the players union boss Clint Newton.

The league on Monday suspended its season indefinitely following advice from its pandemic and biosecurity experts regarding the coronavirus.

Now officials will turn their focus on cost-cutting measures in an attempt to not only ensure the survival of all 16 clubs, but the league itself.

Already staff from NRL headquarters, believed to be around 140, have been ordered to take leave, as have numerous football club employees.

The players are also likely to be forced into a reduced pay packet.

It is understood a clause in the collective bargaining agreement allows the NRL to renegotiate player salaries if revenues decrease by $10 million in one year.

It is believed the game loses $13 million in broadcast revenue, paid in monthly instalments, for every round missed.

Newton, who was appointed CEO of the Rugby League Players Association last week, has previously pointed at cutting other costs before slashing salaries.

That includes the game's injury hardship fund, marketing pool, retirement finances and representative payments.

"Clearly the game is going through a cost-cutting exercise. The players will have to share in that, which we've always maintained," Newton said on RSN Radio.

"We'll have to have good faith discussions with the NRL moving forward.

"We maintain our approach, but we'll explore every opportunity before we go into salaries and player benefits and entitlements."

Newton's comments come one day after the AFL players union agreed to a 50 per cent shave over the next two months, but the AFL wants more.

Newton said it was unfair to make comparisons between the codes.

"The AFL has their own set of circumstances that they're currently working through," he said.

"At this point in time, it's difficult to say where we'll get to in comparison to them.

"We're only in the very early stages of this process. It would be unfair to speculate and cause more confusion for the players."

© AAP 2020