Wests Tigers centre Joseph Leilua has condemned NRL CEO Todd Greenberg for sending “mixed messages” to players regarding his pay cut amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The NRL has been desperately looking to cut costs since the 2020 season was postponed last month, a move ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys labelled a “financial catastrophe” for the sport. The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday the NRL had created a $40 million emergency fund lifeline for clubs as part of wider cost-cutting initiatives.
After the Sun Herald reported he would step down as CEO on Sunday, Greenberg told players on Monday during a teleconference he would receive a 25 per cent pay cut, along with his executives. It is believed the NRL boss is on a $1.5 million annual salary.
NRL CEO Todd GreenbergSource:Getty Images
Reporter James Hooper told Fox League the players were “spitting chips” after Greenberg confirmed with the Players’ Association he would continue working with a 25 per cent pay cut, while they would be receiving a significantly larger pay reduction.
“NRL boss Todd Greenberg has been sending mixed messages about whether or not he is in fact going to cop a 25 per cent pay cut or whether he is going to stand down without pay,” Hooper said on Wednesday.
“There are a lot of players blowing up behind the scenes … so many players are spitting chips and steaming.”
In comparison, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan matched the players in copping a 50 per cent pay cut, as did Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
Leilua told Fox Sports the disparity between Greenberg and the players “doesn’t seem fair”, claiming other NRL stars feel the same way
“I don’t understand, I thought they said we were all in this together,” Leilua said.
“If the players have to agree to a 75 per cent cut, then why not the executives at headquarters as well.
Wests Tigers star Joseph LeiluaSource:Getty Images
“I’m here for the players, and everyone who I’ve spoken to is asking the same question … I don’t want to talk out of school, but everyone is feeling the same way.
“We’re the players, without us there’s no product.
“We understand it’s tough times everywhere, but this doesn’t seem fair. If we’re all in it together, then we’re all in it together.”
On Sunday it was revealed the NRL had underpaid the players’ retirement fund by $12.5 million. Meanwhile, the NRL spent approximately $180 million during the last financial year on operating costs.
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