NRL clubs are set to favour that rosters be cut by up to four spots while the salary cap could be reduced by 10 per cent as the strain from the COVID-19 crisis continues to bite.
Clubs have been involved in phone hook-ups this week to discuss the position of their rosters for next year and beyond. They have agreed that a reduction from 30 players needs to happen in a bid to keep the clubs to be sustainable.
They want to lose up to four roster spots and have a drop in player payments by up to 10 per cent. The salary cap reduction will be dependent on how many players are shed from the rosters. Currently clubs must fill a roster of 30 and can have up to six development players. Clubs want to cut the rookie list to just three or four to keep the total amount of contracted players to 30 or less.
Clubs have promised to slash their football spending by $1.2 million – about 20 per cent of the overall football cap for next season. Clubs have also shed off the field with a host of office staff being made redundant across the game in a bid to keep clubs solvent
Among the other small reductions being discussed is a scrapping of the NRL’s marketing fund. The marketing fund pays out money to the 32 most marketable players in the NRL according to the governing body, which is worth $7.5 million across the current five-year collective bargaining agreement.
Clubs believe the game needs greater savings but back chairman Peter V’landys push to keep any reduction to players’ wages as minimal as possible.
Players had a reduction of 20 per cent of their contracts this year. Discussions will come to a head on Friday when clubs, the NRL and the RLPA meet again to discuss the long-term outlook, with a decision expected to be made by the end of this month.