We have been waiting patiently, okay, impatiently, for the NRL to resume and we had high hopes of a resumption at the end of May.
The NRL had planned on having the clubs return to training next week, but the players are balking over resuming without knowing how much, if, or when they will be paid.
Another issue over which the NRL players took a stand was in supporting the New Zealand Warriors’ refused to accept Australian hospitality and stay as tourists for the rest of the season.
Like the AFL players, the NRL players hold a dim view of being isolated away from families for the duration of the seasons.
The pay is the big issue, which is fitting, as these are professional athletes, in the sense that they are paid for playing.
The NRL wants the players and their respective clubs back at the beginning of next week, but without details of compensation, many of the top guns have threatened to stay home.
This is, as one famous literary character was fond of saying, “A revoltin’ development.”
If premierships for managing Covid-19 were awarded, it is hard to argue against Australia and New Zealand. What initially appeared to be a case of over-reaction now looks positively clairvoyant, as both countries took the common sense approach that if a mistake were to be made, better to make that mistake in the direction of safety.
There are many details to be hammered out.
The NRL and its broadcast partners need to come to an agreement over revenues, where it would seem to be the position of the league that they still deserve the full contracted amount, while the broadcasters would like a discount of at least the amount of revenue they lost while unable to reap advertising revenue from games played.
NRL players remain on full pay through the end of May, but full pay from a defunct league is not an appealing prospect, if it should come to that.