James Maloney during a New South Wales State of Origin team training session.
James Maloney during a New South Wales State of Origin team training session. DAVE HUNT

Maloney takes aim at 'disrespectful' NRL CEO

JAMES Maloney has taken aim at NRL boss Todd Greenberg for failing to attend an explosive meeting with the Rugby League Players Association, which ended with a walkout on Tuesday.

In NSW camp in Kingscliff, Maloney and his Blues teammates wore RLPA hats in solidarity with their Queensland opponents as the push for a fixed share of the game's revenue gathered momentum.

The Maroons also wore the hats at their media session earlier in the day, with RLPA president Cameron Smith leading a campaign to ramp up the pressure on the NRL.

Greenberg is yet to attend a meeting as tension between the NRL and the RLPA heightens and he was absent again today, allowing the NRL's chief operating officer Nick Weeks to lead negotiations.

Maloney slammed that stance as "disrespectful" and said the players would not be backing down from their demands for a revenue share model, with a 28 per cent fixed share the figure currently on the table.

"You're running the game and calling the shots, you'd think you'd be required in there," Maloney said.

"I think it's just another show of disrespect to the players. As a player it tells you it's not an important enough issue for him to take his time to be there.

"I don't know who's going to make the end call, if he's running the game, he's going to be involved in it, so it'd be nice to see him in there."

The NRL has already increased its initial offer to the players, which does not take into account a fixed share of the game's revenue, but would see the average income of an NRL player increase to $300,000 per year.

 

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. DAVID MOIR

However, after the previous profit-share model left players feeling short-changed when the game's revenue outperformed the budget, they are determined to dig in their heels this time around.

A boycott of the World Cup has previously been raised as a possibility to ramp up the pressure on the NRL, although that action is considered on the extreme side.

Maloney has watched with interest as Australia's cricketers have been locked out due to their enduring pay dispute and applauded their strong stance to become "partners in the game".

"All power to them, that's what they deserve, and if that's what they're believing in and that's what's the right thing for them, it's nice to see them sticking it out," Maloney said.

"You'd hope it wouldn't go that far. Hopefully common sense prevails and the NRL comes around and realises that our proposal is in the best interests of the game and we can all move forward doing that.

"Until that happens, who knows where it's going to end up."

News Corp Australia


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