AAP Rugby

Greenberg to take same cut as NRL players

By AAP Newswire

NRL boss Todd Greenberg will take the same pay cut as players during the coronavirus with a deal between the two parties in sight.

After a dramatic day where Wests Tigers centre Joey Leilua hit out at the NRL over perceived inequalities in cuts, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

The finer details of the pay cuts were negotiated between the NRL and Rugby League Players Association on Wednesday afternoon, with amendments made to the retirement fund.

Players are expected to be consulted again on Thursday over the agreement, which will see a wage drop of around 75 per cent while no football is played.

A deal for the duration of the coronavirus suspension is then expected to be struck either that afternoon or on Friday.

After being paid the first five months of their salary in full since the start of November, it means players will receive around 54 per cent of their entire 2020 contract.

Greenberg's salary will also be slashed as part of the announcement.

NRL executives have so far committed to a 25 per cent pay cut, with head office running on skeleton staff in a bid to slash costs.

But Greenberg's will drop his at the same rate as the players, in a bid to show the game is unified in its efforts to get through the crisis.

"I want to acknowledge the players for their co-operative and collaborative approach to these discussions," Greenberg said on Wednesday.

"As I have said from the beginning, we are in this together and so in the spirit of our partnership, I have offered to take the same salary deal as the players.

"To me, it is the best and most sincere way of reflecting my appreciation of the way these discussions have been handled. "

Greenberg's cut is believed to have been floated well before Leilua's spray, where the Samoan stared warned the NRL players were becoming increasingly frustrated.

"All I'm reading is the NRL are getting a 25 per cent cut, and all the players are getting a 72 per cent cut," Leilua told Fox League Live on Wednesday afternoon.

"All they (the players) want is a fair share. Just get the same amount. A 50 per cent difference between the players and the NRL, that is a big difference.

"As players we want a fair share. We probably want 50-50. The NRL get a cut and we get the same cut as them.

"Because we're the product. The players who go on the field every week and entertain the crowds.

"If they don't want to give us that I don't think there will be players."

Leilua said he was speaking on behalf of other players who did not want to speak up, and also questioned his union in the spray.

But RLPA director and Manly forward Joel Thompson urged players to keep calm, and insisted the NRL had been extremely transparent in the discussions.

NRL expenditure is believed to have been one of the key talking points when representatives from each club spoke to Greenberg and ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys over the weekend.

It had previously been suggested Greenberg could take leave without pay, but V'landys has said that will only be possible when work dries up.

Clubs meanwhile have also been forced to stand down hundreds of staff between them.