Rugby League

Bati 3 With Penrith Sent On Leave

The Panthers are one of several Sydney-based NRL clubs which relies heavily on leagues club profits to fund football operations but they face a huge downturn in the coming months.
26 Mar 2020 17:36
Bati 3 With Penrith Sent On Leave

 

Three Vodafone Fijian Bati players playing for NRL club Penrith Panthers have been told to take a month’s leave without pay.

They are forward Viliame Kikau, Api Koroisau and Reagan Campbell Gillard.

According to NRL.com, Penrith have told their staff and players to take at least a month’s leave, including head coach Ivan Cleary, in a bid to help the club’s financial situation after the NRL’s decision to suspend the competition indefinitely.

The Panthers are one of several Sydney-based NRL clubs which relies heavily on leagues club profits to fund football operations but they face a huge downturn in the coming months.

The organisation’s five leagues clubs, located in Penrith, North Richmond, Glenbrook, Port Macquarie and Bathurst, were closed for at least the next six months on Sunday night due to the coronavirus pandemic under government orders.

Everyone at the western Sydney club including Cleary and CEO Brian Fletcher has been ordered to take annual or unpaid leave over April and May.

Former Panthers general manager Phil Gould voiced his support for his comrades in clubland on Twitter.

Across the game clubs have been taking cost-cutting measures, with recently retired stars Sam Burgess and Paul Gallen among those let go at South Sydney and Cronulla respectively. Bulldogs club great, one-time board member and football manager Steve Price was among up to 30 staff stood down by Canterbury, while the NRL is also operating on a skeleton staff with its Moore Park and Eveleigh offices closed until May 1.

Burgess said on Fox League that “we get two weeks pay and that’s it and we are out of pay”.

“So it is pretty real at the moment. Two weeks left of pay and then we are unemployed I guess until we come out of this. Hopefully we come out of this strong enough into roles that we were already in.

The NRL told club CEOs that the best-case scenario for the competition restarting would be June at the earliest.

WARRIORS CONSIDER GOVERNMENT’S HELP

Meanwhile, Warriors chief executive officer Cameron George will appeal to the New Zealand government and NRL powerbrokers for added financial assistance as the Kiwi side faces an uncertain future.

Edited by Sereana Salalo

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