Michael Hillier – QRL Media

The impact of COVID-19 is far and wide, creating lots of questions about rugby league, in particular the Intrust Super Cup, and its future. Here are some recently asked questions, answered by the QRL.

COMPETITION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
WILL THE REDUCTION IN REVENUE FROM THE NRL AND ARL IMPACT ON INTRUST SUPER CUP TEAMS?
Most likely, however any impact is unknown as the NRL is yet to finalise its broadcast deal. What we do know is that the ARLC fully understands the role and relevance of the Intrust Super Cup. Our clubs met with the new chairman and acting CEO this week and were pleased with the initial discussions. We have been providing assistance to all of our Intrust Super Cup clubs in developing their financial strategies to help them get through this challenging time and to set them up for the future.

IS THERE A DANGER INTRUST SUPER CUP CLUBS WITH LIMITED FINANCES MAY NOT SURVIVE?
It’s a challenging time for all sports and industries, no doubt. The Intrust Super Cup clubs are going to have to adjust their business models to accommodate a possible reduction in revenue. This may include a reduction in elements of their cost base, including resourcing or a reduction in player payments, for example.

COULD THE REDUCTION IN FUNDING LEAD TO A REDUCED, SHORTER COMPETITION IN 2021, OR A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF TEAMS?
We’re working with all 14 clubs and our intention is to continue to deliver statewide competitions. In terms of the length of competitions, it’s too early to speculate on any possible outcomes. We’ll be guided by the findings of a newly-created working group which is seeking feedback from our clubs on a range of factors associated with the competition, including length, pre-game travel and overnight accommodation.

IS THE WOMEN’S COMPETITION FINANCIALLY SECURE?
Female participation and the BHP Premiership is of vital importance to the QRL and NRL from a strategic perspective. We’re working diligently to ensure the viability and sustainability of our female programs and competitions.

WILL THE AUSWIDE BANK MAL MENINGA CUP AND HASTINGS DEERINGS COLTS COMPETITIONS REVERT BACK TO A SOUTH EAST COMPETITION TO SAVE FUNDS?
Both the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup and Hastings Deering Colts have been integral to our development pathways for participants and the structure of these competitions is also being examined by the working group.

WILL THE REDUCTION IN REVENUE FROM THE NRL AND ARL IMPACT ON GRASSROOTS CLUBS?
Community clubs generate their own revenue and obviously some of their traditional income streams have been heavily impacted due to the health pandemic. We are here to support and service all of our community clubs and leagues. We have recently set up cross-regional project teams who will focus on delivering support in key areas, including governance, volunteer engagement, club resources, future participation, competition structures and financial management.