Peter V’landys is “hellbent” on getting the NRL premiership back up and running.
Peter V’landys is “hellbent” on getting the NRL premiership back up and running.

Why V’Landys is ‘hellbent’ on July 1 return

A defiant Peter V'landys is "hellbent" on getting the NRL premiership back up and running by July 1 ahead of one of the most important days of meetings with players and clubs in the history of rugby league in Australia.

And while the first choice would be to continue playing games out of regular home grounds, V'landys has not ruled out putting the entire premiership in lockdown at a regional location such as Gladstone.

This comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the rate of increase in coronavirus cases had fallen in Australia over the past week.

V'landys also said there was no reason why all 16 NRL clubs wouldn't survive the current crisis.

However, the Australian Rugby League Commission chairman warned "we will fail" if personal agendas rule Monday's historic meetings.

"If we are going to survive this, everyone has to be united," V'landys said.

 

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"If we are at each other's throats and being opportunistic, we will fail.

"We are succeeding right at the moment. But the hardest part of my job is to keep everyone united."

After further discussions with the Rugby League Players Association on Sunday, an ARL Commission meeting is scheduled for 9am Monday.

At that meeting, the commission will be asked to ­approve a significantly increased $20 million pay offer put to the players, and to give a written guarantee the players will get their agreed 29.5 per cent minimum share of any revenue.

It is expected clubs will be offered a $1.1 million monthly payment as part of the worst-case scenario planning.

The commission will be asked to approve a massive cost-cutting exercise at NRL headquarters.

Astonishingly, the NRL spends $181 million annually organising the regular season, finals series and Origin.

This does not include payments to players or clubs.

This created frustration among players at a marathon phone hook-up on Sunday.

V'landys did not want to get bogged down in a blame game about past spending habits but said costs must come down "dramatically" because "it is not sustainable".

 

The NRL’s first choice would be to continue playing games out of regular home grounds. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
The NRL’s first choice would be to continue playing games out of regular home grounds. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

 

After the commission meeting on Monday, V'landys will take his plan to all 16 clubs in another conference hook-up.

Asked if he believed all clubs would survive, V'landys said: "I believe so. I don't know their underlining financial position so it is a bit hard to say categorically. But we are doing our utmost to keep them viable. I want everyone to remain viable."

V'landys is adamant "clubs will be happy" with the offer put to them.

Clubs will be forced to make huge cuts and completely change the way they have run their businesses in recent decades, stretching as far back as the Super League war in the mid-1990s.

But V'landys said: "This is just implementing the worst-case scenario. We hope that doesn't happen.

"I am still hellbent to do whatever I have to do to get the game started again on July 1."

The Gladstone option ­remains on the table if the competition can't be played out of regular home grounds.

"We will look at every possible scenario to get the game going and I am going to push really hard on that one," V'landys said.

He also said mental health issues were a great concern, which is why it is so vital for him to exhaust every possibility to get the competition up and running again.

"People can't cope with the pressure," he said.

 

Playing games in Gladstone remains an option for the NRL.
Playing games in Gladstone remains an option for the NRL.

 

"I knew what was going to happen here when we tried our best to keep the game going.

"So my job is to get this thing restarted.

"Not only for the players but for all the people who work around the game.

"People like yourself. People that rely on the game.

"Our job is to keep everyone calm and give them hope. And I will give everyone an assurance I aim to get the game going as soon as ­possible.

"What we are going to need is the chief medical ­officers and the government believing it is no risk to do so.

"I just spoke to Todd (Greenberg). From tomorrow, once we finalise the worst-case scenario, all our efforts are going to be on two things: one, get the game back as soon as possible. Two, looking at our cost structure and reducing it.

"I have to pay credit to the executive team. They have worked very hard on all of this."

Originally published as Why V'Landys is 'hellbent' on July 1 return



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