Players bunker in over claim for bigger share of revenue pie
THE NRL’s top players hijacked the build- up to the State of Origin decider yesterday to escalate their pay dispute with the governing body.
It came amid allegations players stormed out of a meeting with the NRL earlier in the day in what could potentially mirror cricket’s bitter fallout.
The NRL claimed Jamie Buhrer, Aidan Guerra, Moses Mbye, James Segeyaro and Joel Thompson were among the 10 players who stormed out of a meeting between the Rugby League Players Association and NRL chief operating officer Nick Weeks yesterday.
The NRL wrote to the 16 clubs yesterday saying the meeting “ended prematurely when the RLPA left the meeting due to the NRL not agreeing to provide the players with a revenue share model”.
The email also said it was a “a predetermined tactic designed to turn up the heat on the NRL and clubs”.
RLPA boss Ian Prendergast has accused the NRL of running a propaganda campaign.
“Players did not stage a walkout at the meeting,” Pren- dergast said. “In fact, they discussed the merits of their revised proposal at length and worked through all the items on the agenda.
“Players are disappointed with the ongoing leaking of misleading information that has occurred throughout the process. The public deserve the truth, particularly given the importance of these discussions to the future of rugby league.”
The conjecture stems from the RLPA’s desire to have a fixed revenue share of 29 per cent. The NRL has kept firm on its plans not to commit to a fixed revenue share.
Australian cricket is on the verge of imploding as its players’ association and governing body also wage war – with the main gripe the players’ desire to maintain a fixed revenue share.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg said he was happy to be part of the negotiations despite being singled out by Australian and Maroons skipper Cameron Smith for missing the meetings.
Greenberg said it was his intention to attend the CBA talks when they reached a critical stage. That stage may now come sooner than Greenberg had anticipated.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Townsville Blackhawks player Jordan Drew puts a hit on Norths Devils halfback Gary Riccardi at Jack Manski Oval last Sunday.