Panthers boss SLAMS NRL’s prizemoney as ’embarrassing’ and blames footy supremo Peter V’Landys


‘It’s a terrible look for the game’: Panthers boss SLAMS NRL’s prizemoney as ’embarrassing’ and blames footy supremo Peter V’Landys for slashing financial reward for winning Grand Final to $200,000

  • Grand Final winners this year will make around $200,000 in prizemoney
  • The sum is approximately half of what the Roosters received in 2019
  • Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said the figure left a ‘poor taste in the mouth’ 
  • NRL clubs agreed to slash reward for eight finalists in 2020 because of Covid-19
  • But the NRL reported a $41million cash surplus in its latest financial year 

Penrith chief executive Brian Fletcher has blasted the NRL’s prizemoney as ’embarrassing’, blaming Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys for slashing the financial reward.

The winners of this year’s Grand Final will receive $200,000, a sum Fletcher said leaves ‘a poor taste in the mouth’ given the NRL’s current financial status.

In 2020, as the game faced financial hardship because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 16 NRL clubs and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) agreed to halve the reward for the eight finalists.

Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher has blasted the NRL’s prize money as ’embarrassing’

The savings were used to fund grants to help the clubs navigate the lockdowns, which had a devastating impact on their revenue.

As part of the same deal, Queensland and New South Wales players made $15,000 for representing their states in Origin this year, approximately 50 percent less than they did before coronavirus hit. 

While clubs have welcomed fans back through the gates, the prizemoney has not been increased. 

‘It is a terrible look for the game,’ Fletcher told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

He blamed Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys for slashing the reward

He blamed Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys for slashing the reward

‘They [the NRL] will say that they are increasing the prizemoney in line with the new CBA deal, but it should be going up 10-fold. The money as it is right now, even before it was halved, is embarrassing.

‘Peter V’landys does a great job putting it up in the racing industry, but he goes and halves it in football. It’s time they pay clubs and players what they deserve.

‘How is that right to cut the prize money for the minor premiership, semi-finalists and premiers? It just leaves a bad taste in people’s mouth. It would be different if they had no money.’

The Sydney Roosters made approximately $400,000 when they won the Grand Finals, but the winners of this year’s competition can expect to pocket roughly half of that sum. 

The Panthers would make approximately $200,000 if they were to repeat their Grand Final triumph from last season (above), half of what the Roosters received in 2019

The Panthers would make approximately $200,000 if they were to repeat their Grand Final triumph from last season (above), half of what the Roosters received in 2019

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo revealed the prizemoney will increase significantly from 2023, to coincide with the new broadcast cycle

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo revealed the prizemoney will increase significantly from 2023, to coincide with the new broadcast cycle 

To put the figure into a wider context, Real Madrid made $29million by winning the Champions League final alone last season. That was just the tip of the iceberg for Los Blancos, who are estimated to have made over $167million over the course of the competition.

It’s a similarly lucrative story in the Premier League, where this season’s winners will make around $270million and even the three relegated teams will earn an eye-watering $170million.

In the NFL, meanwhile, Los Angeles Rams players each secured $217,000 for winning Super Bowl LV in February.

Real Madrid made $29million by winning the Champions League final alone last season

Real Madrid made $29million by winning the Champions League final alone last season

While this season's Premier League winners will receive around $270million

While this season’s Premier League winners will receive around $270million

However, the NRL is in line with the AFL, which also slashed its prizemoney because of Covid-19. Richmond and Melbourne made $232,000 each for winning the Grand Final in 2020 and 2021, while this year’s premiers will pocket $246,500.

In its latest financial year, the NRL’s revenue rose by $155.4 million to climb to $575.1million, a 37 percent year-on-year increase, and the NRL also reported a $43million surplus.

In April, the NRL and the RLPA opened negotiations over payments, as players want their salaries to match the NRL’s increase in revenue.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the league was planning a ‘significant increase in prizemoney’ from 2023, to coincide with the new broadcast cycle which is due to begin next year. 

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