White backs call for CBA review post virus

Brisbane's Paul White says the NRL should take the opportunity to "re-set" post-coronavirus after calls by South Sydney's Shane Richardson for a CBA overhaul.

Brisbane CEO Paul White has backed South Sydney football boss Shane Richardson's call for the NRL to adopt a smarter collective bargaining agreement after the coronavirus pandemic.

White will be among five club representatives who will meet with the RLPA on Wednesday to discuss player pay cuts due to the competition's unprecedented postponement.

But White believed reducing player salaries should be looked at again after the NRL resumes, supporting Richardson's emotional plea for drastic CBA changes.

Richardson said on Fox Sports' NRL 360 the $980 million CBA signed off in 2017 - the best deal for players in the game's history - was not a workable business model.

He believed the NRL needed a "minimum 25 per cent cut across the board" to ensure its survival over the next 18 months.

White said the NRL should take the opportunity to "re-set" after they find their feet again following the pandemic.

"I think it does give us a chance as individuals, as clubs and as a game to re-set, take a good long hard look at ourselves," he said.

"Now is not the time.

"But there will come a time when we need to re-set, have a good look at how our game is put together, structured, (player) pay - everything should be on the table."

But White baulked at speculation some financially struggling clubs should be culled when the NRL takes stock post-coronavirus with reports claiming a 12-club model was ideal.

"There is too much stress and anxiety out there without having to add to that, not right now," he said.

"In these unprecedented situations what we are doing might change tomorrow.

"You've got to act with the best information. It is not a time for gut feel. It is a time to act with good advice."

White will sit on a sub-committee of club representatives that will also include Canterbury's Andrew Hill, South Sydney's Blake Solly and the Sydney Roosters' Joe Kelly to discuss player pay cuts with the RLPA on Wednesday.

White hoped the players understood financial sacrifices would need to be made as the game reeled from the postponement.

"I imagine the players are acutely aware that (NRL clubs') staff will be losing their jobs, there is no sugar coating that," he said.

"We are all in this together. (But) everyone knows what is coming, the penny has dropped right across all industries.

"Everyone has got to come to the table and we have to get our game from where we are now to where we need to be ... (with) a competition starting in September best case scenario but at least survive until 2021 then rebuild."


AAP