The NRL have failed to contribute the agreed $4.8 million to the Rugby League Players Association each year since 2017 as the coronavirus continues to burden the competition.
Rugby league players have been left fuming as it has been uncovered that the national governing body have failed to deliver payments to their retirement fund.
The money instead was used on "operational costs".
The Daily Telegraph reported that Manly Sea-Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans helped lead the 30 player brigade in a web-cam meeting with the competition's big bosses.
“(Sunday’s meeting) was both productive and passionate, and that’s what we expect from players because they love their clubs and they love the game,” RLPA boss Clint Newton said.
“They want to ensure we are protecting the future of the game and the 16 clubs."
Fox League reporter James Hooper added, "It is an issue I know that has angered a lot of people in the NRL club land."
The Sydney Morning Herald stated that the RLPA provided the NRL with "ten commandments":
1. NRL is transparent over what money it retains after giving cash to clubs
2. Ability to audit the NRL finances
3. NRL guarantee to repay the 2018 and 2019 retirement funds
4. Players get a minimum of 29.5 per cent of any extra revenues made by the NRL
5. Forthcoming years of every current player contract is guaranteed.
6. Any changes to salary cap and pay for 2021 or after are agreed upon by the RLPA
7. Clubs continue to pay private medical insurance
8. Agreement of representative fees for 2020
9. The RLPA wants direct involvement in talks with broadcasters and over how the schedule and structure of the NRL
10. The RLPA wants involvement in talks about other revenue streams the game can look at
The NRL reportedly spent $76 million in the first half of the financial year but will be reduced to around $20 million for the second half.
Though the league's board has been able to shift funds around to create a $40 million budget to act as an emergency fund. Players have also been told that they will be paid 50% of their contracted wage over the next seven months.
“We have a consolidated plan and working with the clubs and the players, are united in our efforts to do all we can to protect rugby league,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said.
A single payment of $2.5 million to each club to help cover costs over the coming months has been agreed with all 16 teams. Yet the usual $1.1 million monthly instalments will stop for the foreseeable future.
Though it was also stated that if the season were not to continue this season there would be no further grants.