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Ray Hadley slams the NRL’s ‘folly’ over early return

Ray Hadley has slammed the NRL’s assertion they’ll be back in business by the end of May even if it means playing without a crowd.

“I think it’s folly to even think about May 21 or 28.

“The next two weeks will determine what we’re doing in the next six months, not the next six weeks, because the coronavirus can ebb and flow – it can go down then come back and bite you in the bum.”

The proposal to have a rebooted 15 or 16-round split competition up and running without crowds has been widely criticised as yet another financially disastrous move.

“The code has been mismanaged, and that falls back to the former chairman of the ARL Commission, the board, and the chief executive.

“Todd Greenberg, his career is basically resigned to the wastepaper basket because he presided over all of this.”

Ray’s comments follow an extraordinary statement from Nine lambasting the NRL for not consulting with broadcast partners on the decision.

In the statement, Nine alleges its own investment in the game “has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters”.

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Full statement from Nine spokesperson:

At Nine we had hoped to work with the NRL on a solution to the issues facing Rugby League in 2020, brought on so starkly by COVID-19.

But this health crisis in our community has highlighted the mismanagement of the code over many years.

Nine has invested hundreds of millions in this game over decades and we now find they have profoundly wasted those funds with very little to fall back on to support the clubs, the players and supporters.

In the past the NRL have had problems and we’ve bailed them out many times. Including a $50m loan to support clubs when the last contract was signed.

It would now appear that much of that has been squandered by a bloated head office completely ignoring the needs of the clubs, players and supporters.

We now find ourselves with a contract that is unfulfilled by the code. We hoped we could talk though a long term plan.