NRLset to resume 2020 season amid coronavirus as Nine Network accuses league of 'mismanagement'
The NRL is planning to restart its season on May 28 amid the coronavirus pandemic, while it has been accused by the Nine Network of financial "mismanagement" and breaking its lucrative broadcast deal.
- The NRL is hopeful the 2020 season may resume next month after it was suspended because of coronavirus
- The Nine Network claimed the NRL had wasted "hundreds of millions" that had been invested in the game
- It accused the NRL of being a "bloated head office" that had ignored the needs of the clubs and players
The ARL Commission made the announcement about wanting the premiership season to resume late next month after it met with its innovations committee today.
"The details on the competition structure we haven't got yet because the landscape is changing around government boundaries," ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce said.
"That will feed into the complexity structure. Today what we landed on was a starting date."
Earlier, the Nine Network released a statement taking aim at the NRL's financial management, which it claimed had left clubs and players facing uncertain futures.
Nine said it had been left out of discussions on what the NRL season should look like if it resumed in the coming months.
"At Nine we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing rugby league in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19," the Nine Network statement read.
"But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years."
Nine said it had provided the NRL with a substantial financial investment during its tenure as the competition's free-to-air broadcaster.
"Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters," the statement read.
"In the past the NRL have had problems and we've bailed them out many times, including a $50 million loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.
"It would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.
"We now find ourselves with a contract that is unfulfilled by the code. We hoped we could talk through a long-term plan."
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Nine's statement came after weeks of speculation surrounding the future of current NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg.
Greenberg is currently in the final year of his contract.
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