NRL boss Peter V’landys says the decision by players to snub Tuesday’s launch of multicultural round was “completely unnecessary” and “serves nothing”.
Players boycotted the event as part of the ongoing pay dispute, denying hundreds of schoolchildren who braved the rain the opportunity to meet their heroes.
Speaking on Nine’s Today, V’landys was asked if he thought the boycott was a constructive way of negotiating.
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“No I don’t think it’s an effective strategy, we’re all here to promote the game,” V’landys said.
“We’re here to look after young kids, there was a lot of young kids (who) turned up yesterday, not having their role model and hero players there would have been a great disappointment to them.”
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The ARLC chairman pointed out most of the headline points of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) had already been sorted.
“What does it serve? It serves nothing. We’ve agreed on most of the major terms, it’s only the detail now,” he said.
“To take an action like that was completely unnecessary.”
Chief executive Andrew Abdo used the launch to indicate there would be no Pride Round in 2023, after Manly’s 2022 season was de-railed by seven players refusing to wear a special pride jersey.
”We are dealing with the themed rounds as we go through the season,” he said. “We’re not expecting to make any changes. Our focus now is on Multicultural Round, and you will see the other rounds unfold as we move through the season.”
The decision comes after a Sydney Morning Herald poll found 82 per cent of club bosses opposed a pride round.
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