Cost re-structuring begins at NRL HQ

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg. Photo: Getty Images
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg. Photo: Getty Images
The cost-restructuring at NRL headquarters has begun after chief executive Todd Greenberg warned employees of their need to "reshape the business".

It's been almost a month since league central sent home 95% of its staff following the suspension of the NRL season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But as the league forges ahead with its intention to resume the competition on May 28, staff were told that their operations team would remain scaled back.

In an email sent to staff late last week, Greenberg moved to address internal plans in the short and long-term future.

"As an update, I can confirm that the Commission last week endorsed May 28 as a target date for the restart of the competition," the email read.

"That means a lot of preparatory work is being done now by a small team at RLC in terms of logistics, club and player health protocols, competition structure and broadcast arrangements."

The development comes after heavy criticism of the NRL financial management.

Channel Nine has been particularly vocal at what they described as a "bloated head office" for "squandering" their lucrative broadcast deal.

Nine and Fox Sports are currently in delicate negotiations with the league over the restructure of this year's competition and resulting broadcast revenue.

Players last month agreed to a 72% pay cut and clubs guaranteed just $2.5 million each should the rest of the season be wiped out.

The league has also reportedly been forced to apply for a $250 million loan from overseas financial institutions because of COVID-19.

Both ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys and Greenberg have already conceded that the league will need a long-term cost restructure.

And it appears it has already started at Moore Park, with Greenberg admitting its competition restart is almost certain to be done behind closed doors.

"What this means is that our operations will remain leaner and as I have said previously, we'll need to reshape the business for both the short and long term future," the email continued.

"The reality is that it won't be business as usual on May 1, and we will need to implement the government's JobKeeper subsidy program across multiple departments."

The NRL will look to finalise discussions with broadcasters early this week before the commission meeting on Tuesday.

The innovations committee is also believed to be scheduled for Wednesday, the same day the state government is expecting to hear the NRL pitch to resume.

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