The NRL players receive a combined salary slash of nearly $50 million due to season suspension.
Players with five months into their 2020 contract will face a 50% pay cut while most players will receive a 75% salary reduction.
A 50% cut is roughly equivalent to $300,000 for a player who earns $1 million per season. The salary reduction will mostly affect minimum wage players who earn $100,000 per season.
Nevertheless, the NRL ensured that the players will receive their full salaries for the month of April but not beyond.
‘Some of the younger guys are on smaller contracts and minimum wage. It’s not just about paying off your home loan, it’s about getting your next meal and living week-to-week. That’s an issue throughout society’, Broncos’ Darius Boyd said.
The league is also dealing with brutal cuts of club staffs and head coaches. Broncos coach Anthony Seibold said that even the richest club of the NRL is in a battle for survival.
‘It’s like talking about our players, you know, other benefits can go, we want to keep our pay. But that’s going to be small potatoes in a month’s time, as to whether or not the players get paid or not’, legendary coach Phil Gould said.
‘You only have to look at the people in Centrelink lines to know what’s happening in this country. The workforce, the people that work around (rugby league). The people that are hurting and are going to hurt even more over this’, he added.
The suspension of the games would also mean that the NRL is losing about $13 million per week in broadcast revenue.
Former Queensland’s Billy Moore, who now runs a restaurant, saw the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on regular people first-hand.
‘On Monday I stood down 35 staffs and we do takeaways, but only on a skeleton staff. We’re just doing it from 5 pm until 7:30 pm, seven days a week. We’ll do that until we’re told to close’, Moore said.
‘Now, I look at the negotiations that are happening with rugby league and the playing wages, the staff in my restaurant are currently getting paid zero or maximum 20% of what they had a week ago… I think anything less than a 75% wage cut is living in fairyland. Rugby league must consider this’, he added.