NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 31: Kevin Proctor of the Gold Coast Titans stands with his team looking dejected during the round 24 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
The suspension of the NRL due to the COVID-19 crisis has set a financial strain on the league like never before.
And not all 16 clubs may come out the other end, particularly if the break stretches beyond three months.
The NRL has set September 1 as the point of no return, where if play is not resumed by, the season will be cancelled.
According to Fox Sports’ James Hooper, the league opened their books on to the clubs and showed they had $104 million in the bank and $49 million in a deferred liability payment from broadcasters.
He believes three clubs are most under threat of being “culled” during the shutdown.
“It’s been mentioned by a couple of people at the top that this might be a chance to cull a few teams,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“There’s a couple of clubs under threat: Titans are under threat, Warriors are under threat and Manly are under threat. They’re the three immediate clubs.”
Hooper said it was irrelevant how wealthy the club owners were if the financial hit continued.
“I don’t care how rich you are, if you’re having to tip a million dollars into a business every year, you start to get sick of it,” he said.