NRL 2019: NRL to force clubs to relocate or die, expansion, Todd Greenberg, new clause of the licensing agreement



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The NRL is set to enact a clause in the game licensing agreement that gives the governing body of the game the right to reallocate the clubs.

Under the proposed new agreement, clubs that do not meet certain financial commitments risk being relocated or dissolved.

"Under the new agreement, the NRL will have the ability to move clubs that are under financial stress to other markets," Paul Kent told NRL 360.

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"The NRL is back in negotiations with the clubs about the licensing agreement.

"What will be put into this agreement is a clause and if either club is under financial stress, the LNR has the ability to reallocate them without the clubs saying so.

"Essentially, it gives the power of the LNR to say that we are going to help you financially, but you are going to Perth, Brisbane, New Zealand or anywhere else. Otherwise it is moving or dying. "

The licensing agreement was last signed when former President John Grant gave each club a $ 13 million donation.

This raises the question of why clubs want to change positions, but Kent believes they will fight to fight when the licensing agreement is reviewed.

"There has to be a renegotiation of the licensing agreement every five years or so," Kent said.

"This will be a perpetual license where, if clubs say they are financially in distress, the NRL will help them on condition they move to another state, city or market."

Under the proposed new agreement, the teams will receive a financial reward for the possibility of moving to another market.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg made the expansion a measure in the next 12 months.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg made the expansion a measure in the next 12 months.Source: AAP

Once the new rights agreement is signed, the LNR can allocate these extra finances to teams willing to help the game expand.

"There's also an expansion of competition up to maybe 18 teams," Kent explained.

"The NRL will explore the financial value of a second Brisbane team or a Perth team and put that as an incentive at the table for clubs to motivate them to move.

"The NRL also wants greater control over licenses, so if one of the private owners wants to sell their club, the NRL has the ability to tell where and to whom the private owner can sell their club."

The new licensing agreement aims to partner with clubs to take the pressure off if clubs are forced to move.

"The unmentioned part of the agreement is that when you get the clubs to compromise, the LNL will have the opportunity to start setting the financial criteria that clubs need to meet," said Kent.

"If they do not meet this criterion, they run the risk of being moved or dissolved."

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