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2020 NRL Season Restart

Discussion in 'South Sydney Rabbitohs' started by callmack1, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, I am so friggin happy right now!!! This is massive news! Obviously a lot can change with the virus and there could be another spike but if everything goes to plan our game will be back soon!! It's great to finally have a date put on it and hopefully things can start to become clearer. We can finally put away all the negativity and just look forward to some Footy!! So stoked!

    ARL Commission announces date for NRL to restart : https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/04/09/arl-commission-announces-date-for-nrl-to-restart/

    NRL proposes date for return, structure still to be finalised: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/09/nrl-set-date-for-return-structure-still-to-be-finalised/

    V'landys - 'Why wouldn't we restart? That's the bottom line': https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/09/vlandys-why-wouldnt-we-restart-thats-the-bottom-line/

    Anthony Seibold drops strong hint that NRL players won’t be in a bubble: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...e/news-story/d9b163b0e690f5714dc5ba01a24b96d6

    Peter V’landys’ awkward response to Channel 9’s stinging criticism of NRL: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...e/news-story/5a0de02a97460b5b97d5cef7b7e29378

    ‘That’s the first I’ve heard of it’ - Graham says return date announcement was news to players: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...8/news-story/f15673c65d73e011e7faffecabf30adf

    ‘We’re creating history’ - Legends, fans hail V’landys as NRL sets return date: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...9/news-story/d53c8fd96f674ff825ad7fdde638bd75

    Hooper - The day Channel Nine did a drive-by on the NRL. But they won’t stop the Footy: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...k/news-story/85ca523eb52fd940efd295569e98161a

    NRL's plan to stop players from contracting coronavirus when game resumes: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/nrls-p...-resumes/b17d3bdd-9c1b-4f32-8ac1-3c6f2c28d819
     
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  2. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  3. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    RLPA keen for welfare support boost as 'safe' and 'dirty' zone plans emerge: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/10...rt-boost-as-safe-and-dirty-zone-plans-emerge/

    ‘I’ll do everything to keep Nine happy’ - V’landys’ vow after network’s stunning attack: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/il...k/news-story/075613aab2ff1f42b7b196b6e2bb8376

    The NRL want to restart the comp in 48 days. The NSW government says it’s news to them: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...r/news-story/0047f0bbe9b31b82a1f56915ced907e3

    NRL open to extended TV deal - V'landys: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/nrl-op...v-landys/2fda3f90-b966-413c-a09f-530f8e8b341a

    So maybe things aren't as 'official' as we first thought. Seems like there is still a hell of a lot to work out before we can get going. We also need to remember that this virus is unpredictable so we could have another spike that delays the restart, we just don't know. Let's hope everything goes to plan!!
     
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  4. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Players open to November finish to fit in more games: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/10/players-open-to-november-finish-to-fit-in-more-games/

    Fears for ‘vulnerable’ Bennett as NRL insist they have contacted government over return date: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...r/news-story/0047f0bbe9b31b82a1f56915ced907e3

    NRL insist they're working with government: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/nrl-fa...minister/a47beffb-34de-4a43-a3e5-0bef030e441e

    Players to seek new pay deal with NRL: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/player...with-nrl/d7cb063b-1752-4f5d-9af6-8e02f83f3ea9
     
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  5. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  6. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  7. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  8. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    For & Against - Should NRL Draw be split into conferences?: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/12/for--against-should-nrl-draw-be-split-into-conferences/

    Phil Gould says Nine powerplay ‘defining moment’ in NRL history: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...y/news-story/df3a4c080b303d16d5c7b8007e0202ab

    Nick Politis called for points to be scrapped and fans are not happy: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...y/news-story/921816a47f5298450a74fbaeb8db6a49

    ‘There’s no way we’re going to put our players at risk’ - Souths boss hits out at ‘ill-informed’ NRL critics: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/th...s/news-story/ca72a6418d24f64163566d298674507a

    RLPA working group agree on points from opening rounds to remain: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...t/news-story/e1a25548baeaea6caff753cb09dab901

    NRL wait on interstate return rules: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/nsw-s-...en-light/7ec43575-e320-4852-ad27-a9ae6df2b1df

    'Reckless' NRL accused of putting players' safety at risk to save financial crisis: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/andrew...art-date/33a1b245-7730-452a-8f66-3f0fb3ca9dc3

    Paul Gallen, Peter Sterling urge caution over NRL's plans to restart in May: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/paul-g...petition/be0896f5-e800-440d-b025-5380b1f98819
     
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  9. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  10. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  11. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    From the Sydney Morning Herald,

    Like a moth to the game: NRL can't help itself and neither can we

    Rugby league is an intelligent game. Avid league fans believe this, even if they have to spend their lives defending it. League’s most influential players are not the brawny monsters; they just add volume. The magic of the game is generated by the IQ of its visionaries. From Bob Fulton to Wally Lewis to Andrew Johns to Johnathan Thurston to Cameron Smith, it is the league brain that creates those patterns and passages of play that set your cerebral cortex alight.

    Your sceptical friends don’t think you’re serious. But you are serious. Compared with many other sports, league is a code for thinkers.

    League has been governed and interpreted by smart people. John Quayle, David Gallop, plenty of board members and executives down the years: ignore the occasional boofhead, look at the majority of smart cookies. Most league coaches and many of their assistants are super-intelligent individuals. Commentators? League lovers have been privileged to grow up on Roy Masters and Phil Gould, to appreciate the uncanny analysis of a Peter Sterling or a Johns: maybe not brain surgeons or vaccine developers, but all part of a fabric of a collective football brain. Tom Keneally adores rugby league. Say no more.

    After the events of the last month, you might wonder if all this "intelligent game" stuff is just a fantasy you’ve invented to convince yourself you haven’t wasted your time.

    Smart people usually have some awareness of the world around them. On a day when 2000 Americans died and 32,000 tested positive for the disease that killed them, on a day when the official number of global cases passed 1.5 million – leaving out untold unrecorded numbers in the developing world – rugby league announced it was starting again in seven weeks. Woo-hoo! On a day when the sacrifices Australians are making continued to pile up exponentially, the NRL declared that its own game-day sacrifices are coming to an end. Let’s get this party started! All on its own, league is creating a coronavirus-free world.

    Each day, you hope to discover that rugby league is not actually like this, that it still has the brain you thought it had. Your hopes are raised when you see headlines of stories warning the NRL not to damage its reputation or act irresponsibly, but it turns out that the game's only concern is that the competition has an equitable number of rounds or that the measures to control a viral outbreak among players and staff can be controlled. About the real issue, there is no discussion.

    The NRL’s plans are formulated by an ‘innovation’ committee with a name, Apollo, that suggests rocket science, but it’s more like Greek myth. Its fate is pre-determined.

    Whatever "innovation" takes place is confined within the committee’s brief, which is to find "innovative" ways of restarting the competition in May, a full four months before the rest of us have been told we can expect our world to return to normal. Thinking truly outside the box – say, asking whether rugby league has a greater duty to the community than getting its income streams flowing again, or asking whether it is humanly decent to place sport on such a pedestal to its own self-regard – is too far outside. It’s not a box, it’s a hall of mirrors.

    And then you look to the outside world to speak truth to league. Governments and health authorities are entering a particularly difficult time. They seem to have done a good job containing the virus, but this only taxes people’s patience more. Unrest is growing every day. The corona-sceptics are on the march. It was all exaggerated. People are getting restless and need persuasion, more than ever, to work together. But here’s rugby league, putting out a big noise: we can loosen up now! Is anyone going to control them? Up steps John Barilaro, the leader of the NSW National Party, informing us that rugby league is "the tonic we need" to get us through the virus. And you thought the tonic was drinking hot water and swallowing malaria pills.

    It’s genius PR, if the aim is to keep people talking about you. And if you think PR is a signifier of IQ, it just shows how smart league is.
    So here comes rugby league, afloat in its bubble, engorged with its self-importance, looking after its own, breaking ranks with Australia and the world. When families can’t see each other for Easter, rugby league is celebrating the Easter miracle of once again making itself the news. It’s genius PR, if the aim is to keep people talking about you. And if you think PR is a signifier of IQ, it just shows how smart league is.

    But what also appeals, from a lifetime of enjoying league, is its decency. After encountering league people over the years, you almost invariably come away with the feeling that you have met someone fundamentally decent. In fact, this decency sets league apart from so many other sports. League people are the salt of the earth. You know that that has to be a fantasy as well, but it’s your personal experience. Compared to other sports, league is replete with genuine, straight-talking, likeable humans. Not people who’ve got their heads so far up their fundaments that they don’t see, much less respect, what is going on in the world outside their bubble.

    So, while you, the league fan, are fighting with your son to convince him why he can’t go and visit his girlfriend, league is back on. While you can’t celebrate your elderly widowed mother’s birthday with her, league is on. While you go outside in this horrible Australia where police question you for being outdoors and people stink-eye other people for stopping and talking to each other, league is on. While another million people catch a disease and tens of thousands die, league is back on.

    But you know what? When the NRL starts again, on May 28 or whenever, you will have wrestled with your conscience over whether it is the right thing to sit down and watch this renegade sport, this pariah code, this arena of self-absorption. By then it will have all worn you down. You will give in, because you just want to feel good again, and league will make you feel good. Like a dumb animal, you’ll go towards the thing you can’t help loving, and you’ll celebrate it, because by then, who knows, you might desperately need something to celebrate. League will give you what you need, by giving itself what it needs.

    You will watch it. And this is when you realise you were kidding yourself all along, you were the simple fool; and you will give up trying to convince your friends that you love league because it is an intelligent and decent game.
     
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  12. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple of articles from the Daily Telegraph,

    NRL planning on showcasing most popular teams in bid to win over broadcast partners

    The NRL is working on plans to pit some of the game’s greatest rivals against each other to end the regular season in an effort to boost revenue.

    The NRL is planning to finish the season with a string of rivalry rounds in a bid to appease its broadcast partners and showcase the game’s most popular teams against each other.

    With the two conference system all but scrapped, the NRL is now focusing on a draw which could end with some of the game’s bitter rivals squaring off in the lead-up to the finals.

    The first round of rivalry games could include:

    – South Sydney v Roosters

    – Brisbane v North Queensland

    – Parramatta v Canterbury

    – St George Illawarra v Cronulla

    – Wests Tigers v Penrith

    – Melbourne v Warriors

    Coaches were told of the plan after a phone hook-up with Roosters mentor Trent Robinson who is part of the NRL’s Project Apollo task force.

    The blockbuster matches will help boost ratings and could be a way to appease the code’s broadcast partners ahead of tense negotiations next week.

    There is no clear understanding yet about how long the new-look competition will run. It is understood the minimum of amount of games the NRL will schedule is 13 more to ensure all teams face each other once but they do not anticipate playing more than 18.

    That takes into account the opening two rounds played before the competition was suspended.

    One of the options being seriously considered is having the highest drawing matches play out the rest of the season. That could mean a handful of blockbuster rounds depending on how long Channel 9 and Fox Sports want the season to go.

    If matches go beyond the first week then the draw could be: St George Illawarra v Rabbitohs, Parramatta v Penrith, Cowboys v Titans, Bulldogs v Tigers, Raiders v Roosters, Manly v Storm, Brisbane v Warriors, Sharks v Knights.

    The NRL has run rivalry rounds as part of previous regular season campaigns.

    However, the game is totally flexible and open to feedback from stakeholders regarding the length of the season.

    Regardless of how the draw looks there is expected to be some inequality. Teams will host more home games than some of their rivals unless a full round of 24 matches are played.

    It is unlikely that the original draw will be played out but home ground advantage is not as big of an issue given matches are likely to be played behind closed doors for the rest of the season.

    Project Apollo will meet again on Friday.

    John Barilaro reveals why NSW Government is backing return of NRL

    Deputy Premier John Barilaro expects to receive criticism for helping fast-track rugby league’s return, and within just seven weeks, ahead of other major sports and industries.

    NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has pledged state government support for the return of NRL competition by May 28, stressing: “Rugby league is at the heart of everything we do in NSW.”

    Only days after NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard questioned restarting rugby league amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mr Barilaro is now joining the Australian Rugby League Commission’s Project Apollo push personally.

    A close friend of Canberra coach Ricky Stuart, the Deputy Premier said he expected to receive some criticism for helping fast-track rugby league’s return, and within just seven weeks, ahead of other major sports and industries.

    However, the state government’s eagerness to revive the NRL competition is, he said, driven by the “significant uplift” it would provide NSW, both economically and from a social and wellbeing perspective.

    Mr Barilaro added that, starting this week, he would also be offering to personally assist ARLC chairman Peter V’landys with issues like both the Queensland border situation and travel requirements for the returning New Zealand Warriors.

    Incredibly, the announcement comes only days after Mr Hazzard not only questioned rugby league’s return, but suggested the code’s announced May 28 restart was yet to be confirmed.

    Asked if Mr Hazzard should have better understood the government’s standing on the situation, the Deputy Premier said: “Brad probably should have but this is a moving beast and he’s been focused on the health disaster.

    “I know he spoke about signing off on the orders, but I’m not sure if he was talking about signing off on protocols to ensure people are protected or if there was confusion around whether he has to do it legally. But he doesn’t.

    “The reality is that the NRL chose to close itself down at the height of the pandemic. It made that decision for the welfare and wellbeing of its own staff, players and clubs. But there is no public order which stops rugby league from taking place.

    “It’s no different to racing (which has been ongoing).

    “So while there may have been some confusion, I can tell you that in the conversation I’ve had with the Premier and the Treasurer, we’ve all spoken about the NRL (returning) and said ‘yes, absolutely’. Of course we’ll sit down with them to check through protocols and measures, but we want to see the game up and running.”

    Asked if the May 28 return date had state government support, Mr Barilaro was adamant: “It does.” He added that, from this week, he would begin liaising with all the relevant state and federal bodies to ensure the hyped Project Apollo date is met.

    “And I’ll likely cop grief from other codes like soccer and Aussie rules,” he said.

    “There will be people ask ‘why aren’t you saying the same for all?’. And I would say the same for all.

    “But rugby league is at the heart of everything we do in NSW. I’ve been talking with a lot of people this past week and it’s clear that as the infections decrease, we start looking to where you lift restrictions with economic uplift, social uplift and mental wellbeing uplift.

    “Where can you do that and minimise health risk?

    “That’s what treasury will do with health experts for every industry.

    “And when it comes to rugby league, the economic uplift will be significant. Just as the social and wellbeing uplift will be significant.

    “There’s a real case there of looking at risk versus all those other opportunities and saying ‘yes, rugby league should be one of the first industries that should get the go ahead’.”

    Asked if reviving the NRL would really help with the wellbeing of thousands left unemployed by COVID-19, Mr Barilaro said: “Look, it’s a tough one. And I’ve copped some criticism (for saying it will). But there’s a real issue right now because self-isolation is contrary to the Australian DNA.

    “And I have no doubt that as much as we’re all hurting, rugby league can lift spirits.

    “Rugby league brings families together. It sends a message that there is a level of normality on the horizon.”
     
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  13. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  14. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  15. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Coronavirus NRL updates - Police Commissioner says all teams can stay in NSW: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/03/21/coronavirus-nrl-news-latest-updates/

    Authorities give NRL green light to restart - with new comp format proposal revealed: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/li...s/news-story/f4b6121cf3934146539e2335db8cf9a2

    'It isn't even on the table' - Peter V'landys says NRL won't scrap points from opening two Rounds: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/keep-n...ld-coast/07347f98-4b3e-494b-93b4-0fff7ba7a412
     
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  16. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    From the Daily Telegraph,

    NRL 2020 return from Coronavirus could be hampered by self-interest within the game

    As the NRL continues to press on with its May 28 revival plan, there’s one sure-fire way to stop a comeback in its tracks, writes PAUL KENT. And it cuts to the very heart of rugby league.

    Only two terms get discussed when ARL Commission chairman Peter V’Landys meets Channel Nine boss Hugh Marks on Tuesday.

    How many rounds are played and what that is worth.

    The NRL’s secret hope is to push for a full 25 round competition that would run until December.

    All else remain the broad wailings of the rugby league community, which is pretty good in this era.

    The competition points already earned will remain.

    There will be no shift on Fox Sports’ contract to simulcast Friday night and Sunday afternoon games with Nine.

    There will be no conference system.

    Nine might propose more changes but the NRL is aware the broadcaster is merely a partner, not the administrator.

    Nine might want to scrap the simulcast with Fox Sports but the NRL understands that Nine is the junior partner in the agreement. Fox Sports pays 50 per cent more than Nine.

    Where Nine does have a say is the length of the season.

    Nine is not excited about televising games through spring and into summer because it will overlap the T20 World Cup and would potentially split their audience.

    That the NRL has broken the contract gives Nine leverage.

    That leverage will be driven in correlation with Nine’s reluctance to overlap the cricket, which is where the negotiations will focus.

    It is truly a rugby league problem.

    Just as the competition looked set to be reignited self-interest prevailed and now it all threatens to go kablooey.

    Nine is using the Covid-19 crisis to get a better deal than the poorly negotiated current deal, where Nine agreed to share games with Fox Sports, who pay for the right.

    That Fox Sports now has the larger audience share is enough for Nine to declare it no longer likes the deal.

    The players were set to play again, and to start earning their money again, but then as soon as it looked a reality the Queensland clubs said they don’t want to travel. New Zealand quickly joined them.

    It’s like the old union tactic; agree to do more work for a pay rise then, get the pay rise, complain about the workload.

    A fortnight ago the players were happy to play on Mars if it meant the NRL resuming their contract payments. Now the season is a reality they don’t want to stay in a hotel.

    The clubs quickly descended into a battle over what the resumed competition will look like.

    Some want conferences, some don’t. Some are happy with a shortened completion, some aren’t.

    Some want the current competition points to remain, others want them scrapped.

    If there is good news to emerge, it is it that Nine will not have a say over any of that.

    Nine’s contract is to broadcast the season the NRL gives them.

    Most likely there will be more than 13 rounds allocated to the revised season, which would constitute a full round, because the NRL needs to play as many games as possible to generate as much broadcast money as it can.

    The NRL is hoping this will appease the clubs lingering near the bottom of the table as they currently agitate for points to be scrapped.

    Their claims they were caught unawares by the competition being postponed ring a little hollow.

    The coronavirus was marching towards Australia before the season opened and by round two had impacted enough that crowds were banned from the game.

    If the Roosters wanted to rest Boyd Cordner, amid this, and claim they were planning for a 25-round season then that is simply on them.

    Parramatta’s Brad Arthur reminded everybody that the conversation before the season was postponed was that early points could be vital because the season might be postponed.

    It was some weekend for the game.

    Seemingly from nowhere word spread that the NRL was again considering stripping points from the opening two rounds and starting the season again.

    Roosters boss Nick Politis chuckled and couldn’t help himself.

    Politis dived into big black headlines over the weekend declaring the competition points should be scrapped because the shortened season disadvantaged teams.

    In reality, Politis has said nothing privately about points being stripped from those teams that have earned them.

    He has urged the NRL to look at a longer season, though.

    This would have a two-fold effect.

    Firstly, and most importantly, it would increase the games played. This allows the NRL to sell more games, which would generate more income in this time of financial stress.

    Secondly, it would help his Roosters.

    For that he makes no apology.
     
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  17. Rabbits20

    Rabbits20 Immortal

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    I think a start in late June or early July is more likely @callmack1.
     
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  18. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    V'landys 'buoyed' by support from Nine boss after meeting: https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/04/14/vlandys-buoyed-by-support-from-nine-boss-after-meeting/

    PM offers cautious support for NRL's return bid: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/04/14/pm-offers-cautious-support-for-nrls-return-bid/

    Queensland premier wants Origin scrapped and ScoMo has a warning for ‘ambitious’ NRL: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/st...l/news-story/88562248c59287cb0ca20ac165c1826d

    Buzz doubles down on Channel Nine’s hypocrisy in ugly NRL war: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/ch...r/news-story/b9586af11910ed71558add8c660cd2a4

    NRL legend Billy Slater impressed by Peter V'landys' aggressive attempts to restart Season: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/billy-...covid-19/a10f668f-8ae1-438d-b51b-13ab9e9702b8

    Paul Gallen explains why 2020 Premiership asterisk is a badge of honour: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/paul-g...eam-wins/7f8a8bab-04c8-463d-ac2c-2857fc48e05f

    NRL training will be safe - Broncos coach: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/nrl-tr...os-coach/3b1cfbd5-e59d-4caa-bb5b-51230d4c91f5
     
  19. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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  20. callmack1

    callmack1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Nine demand 2020 Season is scrapped, as NRL secures $250m lifeline: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...g/news-story/61fc73dce541dc51b798a89c99f2e6dc

    From the Australian,

    NRL kicks $250m goal with British banks deal to help game through COVID-19 crisis

    The NRL has struck a deal for a $250m lifeline from a group of London banks and financial institutions, giving rugby league both financial breathing space and leverage in its negotiations with broadcaster the Nine Network.

    A huge line of credit, which could also come with support from the federal government, will be drawn down by the sport’s governing body and dispersed to needy NRL clubs within weeks, staving off the need for funds from Nine before the competition resumes.

    The money will be secured against future income the sport receives, including broadcast and sponsorship revenue under contract until at least 2022, rather than a particular asset.

    The NRL had to go offshore to secure its life-saving funding package — unlike the AFL, which last month used its ownership of Marvel Stadium in Melbourne as security on a $600m loan facility from NAB and ANZ.

    The $250m line of credit for rugby league, brokered by London firm Oakwell Sports Advisory, will mean the code is less reliant on funding from its broadcasters in the short term as it battles to keep the sport afloat financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys emerged from a key meeting with Nine chief executive Hugh Marks on Tuesday in Sydney, saying he was “buoyed by Mr Marks’s support for rugby league and his commitment to the game”.

    Nine last week took the unusual step of publicly criticising NRL management for what a network spokesman said was a mishandling of the game and the wasting of the millions the TV network had invested in the sport.

    Mr V’Landys has set a target of May 28 for the NRL to return to action on the field, although the games will be played without crowds for the foreseeable future.

    Nine and Fox Sports are contracted to pay the NRL about $300m a year, combined, through to the end of the 2022 season, although there has been speculation that Nine would be happy if rugby league did not return in 2020.

    Oakwell and the NRL are set to sign off on the deal within days, and there is an expectation within rugby league circles that the sport will receive $100m to start with and then have a further $150m to draw down if needed.

    An interest rate at general market rates for relatively short-term lending will be struck, but that rate will be halved, in effect, if the NRL is able to secure support from the federal government for the loan.

    The NRL will disperse the money to clubs on a case-by-case basis, opening the way for some of the poorer clubs to potentially receive more funds than their richer counterparts under strict conditions set by the code’s head office.

    It could be a similar move as that undertaken by the AFL, which is imposing strict conditions on most of the clubs in its league, including having each of them report to head office regularly about their balance sheets and their overall financial situation.

    Some AFL clubs have said they would not need additional funding from the AFL, including the likes of Hawthorn and Collingwood, while the Adelaide Crows have expressed a preference for sourcing their own financing.

    NRL clubs have different funding sources, with half the competition owned by private individuals or groups — or, in the case of the Brisbane Broncos, being listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

    Other clubs are reliant on funding from their licensed clubs, which have all been shut down during the pandemic.

    Oakwell has previously brokered deals for investments in sport, such as private equity firm CVC Capital Partners buying 27 per cent of top-flight rugby union in England in a £200m deal in 2018. CVC has reportedly been linked to other rugby union deals around the world, including a potential play for a stake in southern hemisphere rugby.

    A source told The Australian CVC was not among the financial institutions that agreed to lend money to the NRL.
     

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