The ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations between the RLPA and the ARLC appear to have worsened after it was revealed that the NRL failed to declare $60 million in TV earnings.

This new twist to the dilemma further complicates what have been prolonged and frustrating negotiations thus far.

Roy Masters from The Age revealed the misdeclaration and stated that it was found by a forensic accountant hired by the RLPA.

This is an issue because the players took a $98 million pay-cut in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic - a cut that was based on the NRL claims of potential revenue losses of $450 million.

However, that figure was arrived at by excluding the newly discovered $60 million paid by Foxtel and Channel Nine for television rights, which could mean the players took a larger pay cut than necessary.

The NRL concedes there was a calculation error but denies that the RLPA audit found it.

Now tensions in the negotiations are further expanding, and they were already high, with RLPA chief Clint Newton recently saying the player's respect for the game is not being rewarded.

“Didn't players demonstrate the respect and passion for the game and its future by willingly accepting reductions of $98 million to save the game and protect the clubs they love, or have the NRL now erased that from history,” Newton told The Age last month.

“Players were not contractually obligated to take any cuts, but they did, and that can't be forgotten. They have received some partial payments but only because players secured a revenue share in the revised agreement, not out of some goodwill gesture.”

Last week, the RLPA rejected the NRL's offer of 1.32 billion dollars to the men's and women's games, labelling it “far from extraordinary”.

Coupled with this latest revelation, it seems these negotiations will continue with no end in sight.


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