ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has not shied away from NRL's referees' threats of a strike after the code axed two on-field officials for one, standing firm as the competition approaches its resumption on May 28.
The NRL last week had announced that the competition would be reverting back to one referee per game as opposed to two match-officials.
According to reports, the referees union have since made a complaint to Fair Work Commission and are now threatening a strike.
The argument from the refs is an agreement at the start of 2019 stated that the status of two on-field officials was secured for the following four seasons.
Though ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has defended the competition's position stating that they are confident the referees' decision won't impact the NRL's resumption.
“All the full-time refs, none of them have lost their jobs, so what are they going on strike for?” V’landys said.
“But we’re prepared for all contingencies, always have been. I don’t want to telecast what we’d do but we’ve got plans in place.
“I don’t think they’d get any sympathy whatsoever if they were to sabotage the game with such an action. It would be risking the game’s future if they were to do something like that."
V'landys then explained further that the decision was not in relation to safety measures in place because of COVID-19 but because of fears that the game is "becoming less of an entertainment product".
“At the end of the day, any sporting organisation should have the right to (decide on) the rules and procedures it operates under. If the game is becoming less of an entertainment product, naturally we have to change the product to ensure that we get the revenue so we can pay the refs.”
There have been calls by some that referees in second-tier state-based competitions in NSW (Canterbury Cup) and Queensland (Intrust Super Cup) could fill the possible void, though Professional Rugby League Match Officials chairman Silvio Del Vecchio stated it would not work.
“Driving a car looks really easy until your 17-year-old son or daughter gets in a car for the first time", Del Vecchio said.
V'landys has been very critical of Del Vecchio and stated that the head of the PRLMO was not helping the referees cause.
“It’s totally ludicrous and I don’t think his confrontational and misleading approach is helping his association,” V’landys said.
“We’ve done nothing wrong. All the 21 referees that are full-time will be kept.”
Talks between all parties will resume on Tuesday.