‘90 per cent of game affected’ as scale of NRL shutdown hits home

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The scale of the NRL shutdown is starting to emerge with the coronavirus crisis having a devastating impact on the game.

Speaking on Triple M, Danny Weidler revealed the amount of people that will have their livelihood’s affected by the suspension of the game.

“Unfortunately we are looking at 90 per cent of people working in the game will be affected,” Weidler said on Triple M Sydney’s Moonman in the morning.

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“Clubs are now working on very much a skeleton staff. They won’t necessarily be sacking people, but they will be making them take leave. I know those conversations happened across the game yesterday.

“That includes the NRL who told their staff to take leave until May 1 and then they will reassess from that point.

“The game like most of society is reeling at the moment.”

The NRL remained stoic that the game would continue right up until they received a report from their medical and biosecurity experts on Monday afternoon, which forced them to abandon plans to play on.

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“The health report that the NRL got yesterday was pretty bad,” Weidler said.

“I don’t want to alarm people but it was pretty bad. They turned around from 3pm in the afternoon saying we are still playing to 4.30pm saying we can’t go on.

“There are some pretty hardened people at the NRL and I can tell you it rocked them.

“I think people realise that they have to take this very seriously.”

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The viability of all the clubs surviving the crisis is the biggest concern facing the game and Weidler believes the competition could look very different if and when it resumes later this year.

“Phil Gould is always very eloquent and he is worried,” Weidler said.

“His view was now that the competition has stopped how does it ever start again?

“The longer it goes on the more chance we will see not just a club, but clubs fold. They can only go on so long.

“Peter V’landys has said this is a catastrophic event for the game and he is not mucking around. The NRL has $70 million in the bank and they will fly through that in a few months.

“It is a real possibility that we will see a different looking competition. Certainly a less flash, less financially rich competition hopefully later this year.”

Originally published as‘90 per cent of game affected’ as scale of NRL shutdown hits home

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