ARL Commission chairman John Grant is adamant the governing body will resolve a bitter dispute with clubs after revelations a cashflow issue will impact NRL handouts at the end of the year.
Grant on Thursday admitted the NRL would have problems committing to increased club payments beyond November, as the game awaited the new broadcast revenue to kick in.
It was initially believed an extra 30 per cent of next year’s salary cap – believed to be around the $9 million mark – would be given to the 16 franchises as part of their club grants.
However, club chief executives and chairpeople were told on Wednesday at a scheduled meeting at league headquarters that the governing body would struggle to meet the timeline.
Grant, who was absent from the meeting, denied it was a funding shortfall.
“We’ve got an acknowledged issue with the NRL’s cashflow and that primarily exists because the advances we’ve had from broadcasters have been paid to clubs,” he said on Thursday.
“We and the clubs need to manage our way through this. I’ve got no doubt we’ll get a resolution. It’s clear the first attempt at doing that wasn’t successful, but we’ll get a resolution.”
The developments overshadowed news the NRL and clubs had agreed on a cap to be presented to the players’ union, as negotiations continued on a collective bargaining agreement.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said he made it clear to club executives on Wednesday that their financial resources were thinning but the league were working to solving their dilemma.
Some reports suggested payments would be delayed until the 2023 season, and the NRL would need a bank loan to help payments.
“First thing I’d say is we had a very productive day yesterday with the club chairs and CEOs. It was a really good meeting, talked about a range of issues,” Greenberg said.
“It’s very clear that there’s going to be a cashflow issue for us to deal with. The solution rests with us on trying to push forward some proposals.
“It’s exactly what I said yesterday and it’s exactly what I’m doing today.”