Coronavirus: Raiders co-captain Croker welcomes NRL's player payment agreement

By Sports Desk April 02, 2020

Canberra Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker welcomed the NRL's revised pay deal for players amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL and the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) reached an agreement on financial measures while the competition is suspended on Thursday, with the 24.6million Australian dollars deal seeing players earn two months wages and payments.

Due to the postponement of the 2020 season, players will surrender five out of 12 months' salary if the NRL is unable to resume.

"It's obviously been a difficult time. I know how hard the RLPA have been working. They've bent over backwards for everyone really," Croker told NRL.com.

"The whole world is in the same boat, everyone's struggling together. No one enjoys a pay cut. I've never met a bloke who wants to take a pay cut. For the sake of the club and the game it's the way it has to be.

"Everyone in every job is going to have to take a hit somewhere along the lines. Unfortunate time for everyone but to the boys' credit, they're still positive.

"It's a stressful time for everyone, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. We all have families to provide for. But we're hanging tough. The whole NRL is the same, they're just trying to get what's best for their families and team-mates."

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg added: "The players understand the severity of the circumstances we face and have demonstrated their willingness to work with us to secure the best possible outcome to protect the long-term future of our game.

"I know it hasn't been easy and I thank the RLPA and the playing group for their maturity, professionalism and diligence in helping us reach this solution."

Meanwhile, RLPA CEO Clint Newton said: "Players will share in this pain while games are suspended and have done what was required to ensure the game's short- and longer-term future.

"However, we want to be clear that this arrangement is based on the worst-case scenario, should we not get back on the field in 2020.

"Based on the current financial position of the game, the information we have been provided and the guarantees we have secured, we believe that this is a fair deal and we have secured the best outcomes for our members, while ensuring they are protected and included upfront in decision making long-term."

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