Veteran rugby league reporter David Riccio has claimed the RLPA’s media boycott has “backfired” in the wake of claims players are unsure what they are striking about.
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys claimed Clint Newton and the player’s association are seeking “power” as the heated CBA negotiations move past 20 months of negotiating.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he also revealed the NRL want to resolve the matter amid claims a further boycott of this year’s Dally M medals could take place.
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Now Riccio has slammed the “embarrassing” actions of the RLPA with the CBA still no closer to being finalised.
“The boycott has backfired, it is embarrassing and has backfired on the RLPA management,” Riccio said on NRL360.
“To the point where they know it is not working to the point because they have raised another potential boycott being the Dally M’s.
“So they are veiled threats because they know they haven’t been able to achieve the result they wanted, it is shambolic.
“This management have led the players in to a fight the players don’t even understand themselves. And I say this with experience because it is my job to talk to players.
“Talk to a lot of them every day and what’s even more farcical, the RLPA put the media boycott on and the players are still happy to talk to the journos.
“They are still talking to journos and they are still doing interviews on the days that listed on the agenda they aren’t allowed to do interviews.
“You talk to the players… they are the most experienced players, it is across the board.”
V’landys also raised a similar issue and questioned: “How do you do a deal when the people that are boycotting don’t even know why they are boycotting?”
“The thing that concerns me most … I have spoken to a number of players and none of them know what this issue is all about. None of them. You do a straw poll of the players and I can tell you they have no idea what is really going on,” he said to News Corp.
“They are blindly following the RLPA. I’ve asked the players what their grievances are and they say, ’Sorry, I don’t know, I don’t understand’.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Crawley also revealed that V’landys had reached out to RLPA officials hoping to fast track a resolution.
The plan was to remove both NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and RLPA chair Clint Newton from negotiations due to the bad blood between the pair.
But, that proposal was refused.
“The sad irony for the fans also, two weeks ago Peter V’landys said to the RLPA we can sort this out,” Crawley said.
“We will take Andrew Abdo out of it, you take Clint Newton out of it to get rid of the emotion.
“They said no, they want a fresh mediator and they want Clint in the room. How can you get the deal done?”
V’landys was also asked if there was any bad blood between two of rugby league’s most prominent figures.
“Naturally, you need to take the emotion out of it and get a deal done,” he said.
“I never play personalities, I just play the issues.
“As far as I’m concerned, everyone has to act in the best interests of the game, no matter who is involved.
“I am sure when the deal is done that everyone will be on the same page again.”
Another major issue that has was raised due to the RLPA media boycott was the coverage of the NRLW which kicked off over the weekend.
Riccio believes NRLW clubs have been unable to grow the women’s game after an incredibly successful opening weekend.
“I think the greatest disservice that Gordy touched on is the NRLW and the platform for the women’s game which is year on year such a rise in both anticipation and participation,”
“Lets not ignore in the back drop is a women’s World Cup and we cannot promote the NRLW to its greatest promotion without talking to them, it is ridiculous.”
“The product is fantastic, it improves every year… and what support do they need?” Tallis added.
Originally published as Claims bitter NRL dispute ‘backfired’ as RLPA slammed over ‘shambolic’ boycott