‘Fair deal’: NRL salary cap reduced
The NRL and the Rugby League Players' Association have agreed to a 6 per cent salary cap reduction for 2021 and 2022 - with the figure set to drop to $9.02 million this season before rising to $9.11 million next year.
In a landmark decision, the players put the game before their bank balance in a bid to secure the long-term sustainability of players, clubs, and the sport.
State of Origin match payments will also be set at $15,000 for 2021 and 2022.
Unlike other sports, the revised CBA deal ensures job security for players, with every club to retain a top-30 squad, plus a minimum of three development list players.
Other significant reductions to player benefits and entitlements under the CBA will also take effect as part of the revisions.
The NRL, RLPA and the clubs have also committed to collaborate on several key projects this year, including a review of the player contracting system, ensuring the game continues to listen to its fans and corporate partners.
RLPA chief executive Clint Newton said the players understood reductions needed to be made following the impact of COVID-19 across the industry.
"The leadership and resolve of our members during this period of great uncertainty is something that we should all be incredibly proud of," Newton said.
"This revised agreement is another example of the leadership and maturity shown during such a difficult period in our game's history."
RLPA director and Cronulla Sharks captain Wade Graham said players understood their responsibility to share in the decreased revenue.
"We understand the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our game," Graham said.
"To help the game recover we believe it's fair that we share in that and play our part by agreeing reasonable reductions to our payments and benefits.
"I'd also like to acknowledge my fellow players, we've continued to adapt and overcome the various challenges thrown our way during this period, which is something everyone connected to the game should all be proud of."
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo thanked the players and the RLPA leadership for their commitment and sacrifice to the NRL, its clubs and our fans.
"(The year) 2020 proved when we do things together, we get a better outcome for everyone. Today is another example of that,'' he said.
"I want to thank the players for the professionalism, discipline and sacrifices they have made - not only to ensure the 2020 season proceeded but so the game can remain sustainable long term.
"The deal is a fair reflection of the value the players bring to our game and the sacrifices they are prepared to make to ensure we remain strong in the years ahead."
Originally published as 'Fair deal': NRL salary cap reduced