Players union backs salary proposals

Garreth Carvell insists clubs are working in cooperation with the GMB union as pay cuts are enforced across Super League.

Carvell, the head of the RLPA, has been acting as the players’ representative with clubs as proposals over remodelled pay structures have been distributed over the past four days.

One of their key contributions so far has been an emphasis to push for a revision of the pay cuts in June, while Carvell will also lead negotiations on the shape of wage reductions once the players return to the field.

After negotiating with the clubs, the GMB has accepted all the clubs’ proposals that have been sent out to players, despite clubs using contrasting models that affect players on the same salaries in different ways.

“Each club has its own financial circumstances,” Carvell said.

“We had constant dialogue regarding income at all the clubs and we were happy with the information we were given.

“Each club has to cut its cloth accordingly. Some are spending full cap, others £1.5m or £1.6m. Ideally, everyone would have used the same model, but we knew it wouldn’t be possible. However, we got them a lot closer than when we started and improved some quite a lot too.”

The big question at the forefront of the players’ minds is whether they will be paid in full once the season restarts. Many players do not deem it fair that they should play the same number of games while taking a pay cut.

While Carvell understands that view, he says it is a situation that will have to be monitored.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said.

“We’ve no idea how the future will go. We don’t know when lockdown ends, furlough ends, when the season will start, the bid they’ve asked for from the government. There are so many variables that we can’t judge anywhere past furlough. That’s why the reviews are in place.

“Hopefully there are no cuts when we start playing again; that would be great, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that no income means no outgoings.

“Ultimately it will be down to what the players believe is acceptable. To an extent I agree that they’re flogging their guts out, getting bashed and should be paid in full, and so do the clubs. We will have to discuss that option during the reviews. The players simply want a voice to be heard and to be treated fairly.”

Membership numbers have risen over the last several weeks, with 85 per cent of Super League players now a member of the union.