AFL will doubtless be quivering now NRL has lastly found discover ways to cope with its file revenue beneath Peter V’landys’ administration


Whereas all folks is sick of the rampant egocentrism of the Code Wars, it’s true rugby league has always been larger than Aussie Tips.

Nevertheless with the NRL’s announcement this week of file earnings for 2023, it appears the AFL’s technique of overhauling Australia’s No. 1 sport is now unassailable.

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Dripping in proverbial Cristal as he delivered the data on Wednesday, ARLC chairman Peter V’landys smugly rolled off a raft of fiscal PB’s for The Greatest Recreation of All like a feline smoking a slim cigarette.

This included file revenue of $700m, colossal upticks in distributions for golf tools and grassroots, and the yearly staple of braining its rivals in TV rankings.

Nevertheless whereas the game’s file income of $58.2m is small fry to a mint similar to the AFL – an amount they racked up in scarves by the purpose the chairman accomplished his triumphant presser – the alarm bells for the Victorian code lie deeper inside the ingredient.

It’s not the NRL’s file revenue that must set off concern, nor its booming numbers of eyeballs or the utter shock of Aaron Woods fronting NFL safety.

It’s the chilling realisation that rugby league has lastly begun respecting its private pockets for the first time in 116 years.

Put merely, the AFL should be quivering understanding its rival has in some way snapped at its heels for over a century no matter barely having two money to rub collectively.

Considering the NRL’s mortgage on rankings and its dwarfing footprint internationally, it’s solely a matter of time sooner than the 13-man code is out of sight now it’s no longer blurting away its meagre monetary financial savings like Lloyd Christmas.

With rugby league awake to some nice advantages of stuff like monetary financial savings and belongings, its earlier fiscal model of surviving off pokies and fining Ricky Stuart is now a distant memory.

For these unfamiliar, rugby league has a historic previous of largely lurching from one Mariana Trench to the next, with its cultural neglect of coin so reckless it was solely eight weeks shy of insolvency all through Covid.

However no matter a lifetime as a scorching mess run on feelings and bounced cheques, in some way it nonetheless punched admirably in the direction of the Kremlin funds of the Putin-esque AFL.

Nevertheless now the goalposts have been shifted.

The game is boasting a web asset base of $260m and it’s not ephemeral stuff like TV money and the Daly Cherry Evans deal.

Increased nonetheless, it’s lastly banking a number of of its TV money moderately than blowing it up the wall on Bunkers and Waratahs.

Yep, after the irresponsible spending of the Large League Warfare, the David Smith hire car interval and the herniated working costs of the Todd Greenberg administration, rugby league has awoken as a wealthy powerhouse.

It’s due to the wizardry of V’Landys and Andrew Abdo, two males who can stretch numbers to such proportions that the Bears earned 200,000 members and Dylan Edwards 191 assists.

Nonetheless, it’s not totally lethal for the AFL.

In precise reality, it doesn’t need to fold however, not at least until the highest of the season anyway.

Whatever the NRL’s brash improvement, Aussie Tips stays prime canine in important metrics like crowds, nationwide footprint and illegal au pairs, and nonetheless enjoys a cult-like membership which will make the Vatican envious.

Don’t overlook the NRL may be scuffling with the skeletonised state of bush footy and, whatever the file injection of revenue, relating to numbers of kids down the jap seaboard drowning in Auskick footies.

Nevertheless it’s a rolling s**tshow for rugby league no fully completely different to the ultimate 116 years and it’s a resilience no amount of celebs photographed with Sherrins can overcome.

Add the NRL no longer Afterpaying its financial institution card bill and it spells doom for the nation’s second-best code.

With an thrilling new revenue stream being mined inside the US enjoying market and the promise of taxpayer funding budding from authorities paranoia within the path of China, rugby league and its giant purse now sits untouchable atop its throne – at least until they blow all of it on the Craps desk in Vegas.

Dane Eldridge is a warped cynic yearning for the glory days of rugby league, a time when the sponges have been magic and the Mondays have been mad. He’s in no way strapped on a boot in his life, and as such, should be taken with a grain of salt.



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