ARL Commission Chairman Positive About Future after Financial Results Release

February 25, 2013

Australian Rugby League (ARL) Commission chariman John Grant believes rugby league clubs can look forward to a promising future, following the annual meeting with CEOs.

The Commission and club chiefs met for their annual conference in Sydney on Thursday where details of the 2012 financial report were tabled and details of the annual grant for 2013 and beyond outlined.

Figures showed the ARLC made $176 million in revenue for 2012 and have projected a rise of 13 per cent to $284m this year, increasing to $323m by 2017.

Clubs will receive $7.1m this year – a million dollars more than the salary cap signed off by the Rugby League Players Association last week.

But Grant explained the structure of the grant will be changed over the next five years, with a means-tested style of funding to clubs.

The structure will be put in place by June 30 and Grant said while it was important clubs are able stand on their own two feet, those who are not as financially successful as others shouldn’t be punished.

“The game has been used to a fixed grant where all clubs get the same,” Grant said.

“But all clubs are not the same. Some need more help than others.

“We will start to give variable grants and that will depend on a number of factors.

‘If you look at the 16 clubs, it’s fair to say some have better access to revenue generation.

“We would look at it and say ‘why would we fund a club that can do this the same as one that can’t?’

“We’re moving away from grants and subsidies but we will not cut funding to clubs that need it.”

The ARLC has a bank balance of $43m, due to the $40m paid up front by the Nine Network as part of the new broadcast deal agreed late last year.

Grant said this will increase dramatically over the next five years and said the appointment of new chief executive Dave Smith is key to driving revenue streams.