⚠ COVID-19 NRL Announcement

It has just been confirmed that NRL is suspended until at least May 1st.

In a year we were looking good lol.



  • The ARLC has suspended the 2020 Telstra Premiership Season, no return date has been specified and will be continually under review.

  • Leagues Clubs will remain closed due to Government Direction to close pubs and clubs.

  • Training will be cancelled for the foreseeable future, and self-isolation guidelines outlined by the NRL are in affect.

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well that is it, the NRL has been suspended and many of us on here who have followed this game for many years…in my case going back to the 60’s this is a little surreal and hard to fully process
I am in shock the NRL do not have the money to withstand this invisible enemy and the damage will be enormous across all involved in the game from the cheerleaders through to players, let alone those poor folks who Panthers have and will have to let go who work at the Club

Its hard to even make a comment because we have nothing at all to compare it with and the enormity of the impact across our broader community will be terrible with many who will not be able to cope with what is ahead

My heart goes out to everyone and its not time for incriminations and placing blame about the game but when the dust settles and we emerge from this fog, i urge everyone to demand we do things differently for the good of the game and our country.

A $2 billion contract and the NRL have ZIP to show for this and even if we has a war chest, maybe we couldn’t face what is coming but it would surely ensure we have something when we emerge.

Again take care to the few but spirited and keen posters on this site, your comments, reviews, opinions and reviews of the game have been a revelation to me in as much so few can be so passionate and hold the Panthers as i do…#1

But its now time for all of us to focus on what we can control and come out the other side of this, but again i urge who may join me when we emerge to agitate for a different way forward and what has happened in the past can no longer be the way forward.

Stay Safe and Take Care


If we want to put a positive spin on this scenario, the fact the Powers at be say the game will go broke, we as a game will recover.

Maybe not with the top heavy salaried “decision makers” but we will get back to grass roots footy. I went and watched Big Sam play for St Mary’s last Sunday week and if that is where I have to go back to, I’m happy to do it, players (Like Sam) playing for the love of the game.

Maybe your million $ players will earn reality money, like a bonus for a win. It will be extremely interesting as to who will put the boots on if this was the case.


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  • The ARLC/NRL have revealed to the 16 NRL clubs today set a timeline for the league to return in June, with scenarios for June, July and August returns.

  • The deadline is September 1. If the NRL has not resumed by this date the 2020 Premiership will be cancelled and would return for the 2021 season in March 2021.

  • Players will be expecting pay cuts as the NRL has revealed that the $9.8m salary cap is “dead in the water”. Teams are set for deep losses in the wake of the COVID-19 situation, especially that rely on Licenced Clubs to support them.

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  • NSWRL, QRL and Combined Affiliated States has announced all state second tier competitions are cancelled for 2020.

  • In NSW the Canterbury Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup, SG Ball Cup, Harold Matthews Cup, Tarsha Gale Cup, Andrew Johns Cup, Laurie Daley Cup, Men’s under 23s Championships & Women’s Country Championships are cancelled with the Sydney Shield and Ron Massey Cup to be determined.

  • In QLD the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts, Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competitions are cancelled.


  • The NRL will pay a total of $40 million in monthly grant payments to the clubs between April and October to cover their ongoing operational costs. This is an increase of $6.4m of funding compared to the 2020 budget.

  • The NRL will reduce its operating costs by 53%, including a 95% reduction in staffing levels during the shutdown period and a 25% cut in executive salaries.

  • The NRL has proposed a funding model for player payments to the RLPA which will be provided to its members for consideration.

Executive salaries should be cut a LOT more than 25%.

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Agree Puss, BUT, if these executives are now doing the work of the 95% reduction in staff levels, I’m ok with the 25%.

If they are doing no extra work because the work isn’t there with no footy, then whole heartedly agree, 25% is a slap in the face to the 95%.

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so, what exactly did these executives do, pre the purge do you think?

By getting rid of 95% of staff, they are reducing costs by 53%. I think I know where the cuts are needed.

Like I any business, they get paid to ‘manage’ and be the decision makers.

No I am not trying to provide any kind of valid argument, that is just the nature of todays beast !!

You will find that in 99% of profit making businesses, they are all top heavy with the gravy train…

It saddens me that the NRL have such a top heavy financial structure.

Especially after I hear that Penrith may have to abandon its junior development and junior competitions, where it cost millions to operate these operations and the NSWRL only kicks in around $350,000.

The Panthers are a great contributor to Rugby League. For the NRL/NSWRL to leave such a valuable resource adding to the size of their player stocks, it a MASSIVE disservice to Rugby League as a whole.

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I don’t see any reason to differentiate for the not-for-profits in this regard

I’ve not worked in a ‘not for profit’ organisation so cannot comment, but I will take your word for it mrwalker.

Power is Power at the end of the day, and most individuals will “take what they can” whilst they can.

… you want power, work for yourself, where the only stuff ups are your own!


  • The NRL has scrapped plans to remove competition points in a ‘competition reset’ strategy, opting to leave the competition points as they are.

  • Penrith is being considered as one of two ‘bubbles’ in a bid to fasttrack the resumption NRL competition. 8 teams would be housed at Panthers Mercure Hotel and use the Panthers training facilities with game to be played at Panthers Stadium. The other site is likely to be located around Olympic Park in Homebush. It is speculated that if this plan is to go ahead the NRL could resume as early as May 28.


This so-called bubble plan needs to be burst asap. Cameron Smith is talking sense when he questions the effects on the players. I also question the effects on the players’ family, friends etc.

I want football to start up again but not at this price.


  • The ARL Commission has announced the NRL is planning to restart the competition on May 28 after its innovations committee and the ARL Commission each met on Thursday.

  • No details on the competition structure was given as the landscape is changing around government boundaries which will feed into the complexity structure.

James Graham said the players knew nothing about it when the statement was released, apparently a leaked e-mail from Mick Fuller to Vlandy’s with that date.

Is May 28th really a chance?

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