Broadcaster slams NRL management

The Channel Nine Network in Australia has accused the NRL of mismanagement ahead of the governing body’s plans to resume its competition on 28 May.

The Nine Network has also accused the NRL, and by implication its CEO Todd Greenberg (pictured) of breaking its broadcast deal.

The network is thought to be furious about being left out of the discussions about the nature of the season should it start up again.

The free-to-air broadcaster hit out at the NRL’s financial management, which has left the clubs and players facing uncertain futures.

“At Nine we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing Rugby League in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19,” the statement read.

“But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years.

“Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters.

“In the past the NRL have had problems and we’ve bailed them out many times, including a $50m loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.

“It would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.

“We now find ourselves with a contract that is unfulfilled by the code. We hoped we could talk through a long-term plan.”