NRL will need loans to survive: V'landys

Matt Encarnacion
ARLC chairman Peter V'landys says rugby league will need to borrow money to survive virus shutdown

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys admits the league will need to borrow money if they are to survive the coronavirus outbreak.

The NRL faces the biggest challenge in its 112-year history after being forced to suspend its season indefinitely due to the global pandemic.

The focus has now turned to the viability of its clubs, all 16 of whom will discuss the ramifications of the developments with league central on Tuesday morning.

And, a week after publicly asking the government for help, V'landys raised the prospect of applying for a loan to keep the game afloat.

Next year's mooted salary cap of $9.9 million is also under threat, which would likely result in players being asked to take a pay cut.

Clubs are currently being given $13 million grants from the league, most of which comes from the $1.9 billion broadcast deal.

That deal, which is believed to be paid in monthly instalments, is now in danger of defaulting following the suspension of the season.

V'landys has previously suggested the league's coffers could empty within three months should the competition come to a halt.

"If the game doesn't have revenue, it can't pay the same expenses," V'landys said on Fox Sports NRL 360 on Monday night.

"The salary cap will be re-looked at next year because if we're to survive this, we're going to have to borrow funds.

"We're going to have to look at borrowing considerable amounts.

"Then you have to repay those. So to repay those, you need to take it from future revenues so you can't have the same expense that you have now."

The majority of NRL central staff on Monday joined hundreds of club employees who have already been forced into taking leave.

But V'landys said the entire game would need a cost restructure if it is to remain in its current format, which includes 25 rounds and the finals series.

"The cost structure has to change. If it doesn't change, it won't survive," he said.

"We're going to have to borrow funds, unless the government provides us with an economic stimulus. If we do borrow money, we have to pay it back.

"So naturally we'd have to reduce our costs to be able to pay the money back."