Peter V'landys insists a funding deal with NRL clubs can be reached, but concedes peace with players will not come under the current list of union demands.
The NRL was rocked by headlines and threats of a breakaway league from clubs on Monday, with pay deals with their two key stakeholders now a week overdue.
But V'landys is adamant those threats are merely "argy-bargy" in negotiations.
Funding remains at the heart of the dispute, with the NRL keen to hold back some money for investment it claims can safeguard the sport in the event another crisis after COVID-19.
Several clubs are known to be frustrated over the drawn-out nature of talks, with no salary cap or funding figure meaning they cannot plan budgets.
"That (delay) is because we have taken a tougher line on a full-distribution model," ARL Commission chairman V'landys told AAP.
"What became apparent during COVID-19 is distributing all your money out is not good when you have a crisis.
"I am confident this will resolve itself. With the clubs, I don't know that we are that far apart."
Crucial to any resolution will likely be greater grants for the women's game.
AAP revealed last week that all 10 clubs with women's teams had written to the NRL to say the proposed $1.2 million in funding for those clubs next year would still leave them $500,000 out of pocket by participating in the NRLW.
But V'landys said the gap could be bridged and that would keep most clubs onside.
"That (deficit) is not going to happen," V'landys said.
"The commission is very passionate about the women's game, and we want to invest in it. That is one area we want to do.
"I would like to see clubs kept whole on the women's game. At the moment they are losing a bit, so if we fix that I think the majority of clubs are fine.
"Then you will have one or two clubs who want more money, which they won't get. You have to put your foot down at some point."
There is still far more to resolve with the Rugby League Players Association, with no key item agreed upon after months of talks.
V'landys made clear on Monday the NRL would be unwilling to cede to several requests, with players wanting greater agreement and consultation rights on matters such as integrity after the implementation of the no-fault stand-down policy, as well as governance reform on welfare and education.
"The players need to reduce their levels of demands, because you will get nowhere on those," he said.
"There are 26 pages of demands.
"We're not going to agree to them because they are not commercial.
"Each one of them is to abrogate your power away from your organisation - which no-one does."
The union also wants additional money from outside the likely $10.4 million cap to fund the past player and transitions program, which would include a medical hardship fund long after retirement.
"We're not far apart on the money, it's just how it's distributed," V'landys said.
"We want to see the money go to the players now where they want to have retirement funds and injury funds.
"Someone like (Joseph) Suaalii won't get that for 10 or 15 years. He would be more interested in having it now.
"So they're the arguments we're going to have.
"How the money is going to be distributed - should it all go in the salary cap and the cap would be massive?"