A dejected Tyson Frizell of the Dragons after their loss to the Tigers during the Round One NRL match between St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A dejected Tyson Frizell of the Dragons after their loss to the Tigers during the Round One NRL match between St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Buzz: Rugby league will never be the same again

Rugby league will never be the same.

When the game eventually resumes in two months, six months or even next year it might be without a handful of the 16 clubs.

That's how serious it is.

Peter V'landys has said all along coronavirus would have a "catastrophic" effect on the code if it was forced to shut down. And it will.

 

 

This decision will echo through the game for years to come. Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
This decision will echo through the game for years to come. Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

There is absolutely no guarantee all clubs will survive.

Player salaries will be slashed by a minimum 25 per cent. The salary cap will go from $9.6 million to about $7 million.

The NRL now employs 140 full-time staff. Those numbers will be slashed.

There's no question some of the Sydney clubs are facing enormous challenges like every other business.

When Gladys Berejiklian shut the doors of all licensed premises on Monday, it meant the likes of Canterbury, Parramatta, Penrith and Wests Ashfield would now struggle to prop up the football clubs.

In recent years these four NRL teams have relied on grants of between $3 million and $10 million to stay afloat. That cash is now gone.

So has weekly ticket sales, season memberships, corporate suites and match day advertising.

And now the TV broadcast money from Fox Sports and Channel 9 cuts off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a bigger crisis than the Super League war.

In those days money was the least of their problems.

Only three of the Sydney clubs don't rely on poker machine money these days - the Manly Sea Eagles, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla Sharks, who closed their club before Christmas.

Still Manly is one of many clubs that face an uncertain future with the Penn family rumoured to want to sell for the last 12 months.

They don't mind losing one of two million each year but they won't sit back and soak up bigger losses.

 

 

The Titans face an uncertain future. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The Titans face an uncertain future. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

 

 

The same with the privately owned Gold Coast Titans, whose owners, the Frizelle family, are already experiencing tough enough times in the car industry.

Full marks to the NRL and V'landys for doing their best to keep the competition going.

They had no choice because the game has no money.

Players will have no choice but to take pay cuts.

Hundreds of thousands of workers around the country are in a much worse position than they are.

Interestingly the licenses of the 16 clubs are up for renewal at the end of next season.

 

The game’s leaders have been faced with an unprecedented crisis. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
The game’s leaders have been faced with an unprecedented crisis. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

 

 

MORE NEWS

 

Australia pulls out of 2020 Olympics

 

Human toll is 'harsh reality' for Swans, Giants

 

 

 

The game will have to start again.

A new streamlined management at NRL headquarters.

Right now they have 140 full-time employees … compared to the English Premier League that has only 120.

We need smarter minds on the independent commission who will put future investment ahead of player payments and club handouts.

That way next time we have a catastrophe of this magnitude, we'll at least be better equipped to cope with it.

Originally published as Buzz: Rugby league will never be the same again



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