Players union warns clubs not to blacklist their members

The Rugby League Players Association has warned clubs they face legal action if they try to blacklist players who don’t agree to wage reductions with clubs.

A report in the Guardian claimed that the clubs had agreed not to sign any player who turned down pay cuts when they became a free agent in the future.

However, League Express understands RLPA boss Garreth Carvell told clubs in a meeting earlier this month that if the Players’ Association find any evidence of that happening, they will start legal proceedings.

Nine Super League clubs proposed remodelled pay structures with their employees last week, using different systems that were revealed in last week’s edition of League Express.

The vast majority of players are now understood to have signed agreements, despite some discontent among them.

There had been murmurings of a mutiny across Super League in response to the pay cuts, though that never materialised.

The general apprehension among players relates to the period of time of the pay cuts, with some players believing that they should not have to take a reduced salary once play resumes.

The clubs have agreed to revise the pay cuts in June, once the furlough scheme is due to end.

“Hopefully there are no cuts when we start playing again,” Carvell said last week.

“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. The players simply want their voice to be heard and to be treated fairly.”