RLPA chief satisfied with new NRL deal
Rugby League Players Association chief executive David Garnsey says the ARLC’s new broadcast agreement is great news for NRL stars.
The much-anticipated rights deal was signed off on Tuesday with incumbent holders Nine Network and Fox Sports forking out $1.025 billion between them to keep the NRL on their channels for the next five years.
The new deal will see an increase in the salary cap for clubs and Garnsey said he was pleasantly surprised at the huge fee.
“It’s a positive number, there were rumours that it would be around $850 million,” Garnsey told AAP.
“It gives us great cause for optimism as it allows us to have some sort of certainty with the numbers we are dealing with when we go into negotiations.
“It’s what the players were looking for and it should give us a greater share of the game’s revenue.”
Garnsey said he hoped the new windfall would lead to greater payments to representative players, whose hopes of stand-alone State of Origin weekends were dashed with Nine insisting the series must still be played on Wednesday nights.
Players currently get $20,000 per game, with half put into a loyalty fund that cannot be touched until they retire.
With each Origin series making an estimated $30m, players want a greater slice of the pie and Garnsey is hopeful it will happen.
“An increase in rep payments has always been on the table as far as we’re concerned,” he said.
“Players have been quite vocal in suggesting they’d like a greater share of the revenue that stems from those games and we’ll be negotiating that.”
Wests Tigers skipper and NSW hooker Robbie Farah, who’s been one of the players leading the charge for greater rewards for players, was also pleased by news of the deal.
“It’s a great outcome,” he said.
“Hopefully now the game has set itself up for the next five years and not just the players, but the clubs.
“I’ve had a bit to do with the RLPA this year … but when we talk about players getting a fair share it’s not just about the salary cap going up.
“We want to get minimum wage up, income protection insurance and things like that for players that get injured.”
The new rights deal could see superstars such as Greg Inglis earn more than a $1 million a season, and the South Sydney fullback said players were keen to see how they benefits would be passed on.
“I’m glad they can finally put it to bed and clubs can go back and concentrate on what money they can play around with and who they can buy and shift coin here and there (for),” Inglis said.
“It’ll be great to see what percentage each club can really get. It will be really good for the game.”© AAP 2013
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