Explosive letter claims NRL staff secretly took in players during wage war

The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) has sensationally accused a senior NRL official of attempting to secretly record a meeting with players.

As negotiations between the NRL and RLPA drag on over a new collective bargaining agreement, reports have surfaced that a sensitive letter was sent to Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys on Tuesday explaining the allegations .

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The letter, written by RLPA chairman Deidre Anderson, alleged that NRL CEO Andrew Abdo attended a Leaders in League conference attended by about 60 players, with an uninvited employee secretly engaged in conversations on his phone recorded.

“What followed is nothing short of illegal, which at first sight seriously calls into question the integrity of the NRL, its executive branch and its culture,” said Anderson’s letter, published by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I have been informed that a player (whom I will not name) has raised concerns with RLPA staff that (the staff member) was secretly recording the session on (their) phone.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and RLPA CEO Clint Newton are still in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. Credit: Getty Images

“The player raised concerns based on his understanding that attendees were not allowed to record these discussions.”

The letter went on to explain what happened next during the event.

“An RLPA employee asked (the officer) if (they) kept records, to which (the officer) said no (twice). Upon further inquiry from the employee, (they) picked up (their) phone (which was face down) and found that the screen clearly indicated that a recording was taking place,” the letter reads.

And according to the letter, the officer later admitted to recording the conversation, acknowledging it was inappropriate.

It was also claimed the employee admitted to following orders from the NRL.

The letter said the actions were worrying and that “the covert nature” of the recording was “immoral, unethical and illegal.”

V’landys has announced that it will investigate the allegations.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said he would investigate the allegations in the letter. Credit: Getty Images

As the wages war drags on, gamers are now saying a radical boycott “for the good of the game” may be needed.

Parramatta’s backer Shaun Lane, an RLPA delegate for the Eels, says the dispute has lasted too long and a strike may be the only solution.

“I think everyone is hoping for a resolution soon, but I’m not sure if it’s realistic or not,” Lane said Tuesday.

“It has dragged on for far too long. It should have been dealt with six months ago and obviously it is approaching a time when action may need to be taken to finally resolve the conflict and get what we need to get out of this deal.

“A strike is probably the last thing anyone wants and obviously understanding the best interests of everyone involved in the game – players, clubs, NRL, fans, sponsors – the last thing anyone wants is to go on strike and have footy cancelled.

“So we’ve tried to do everything in our power to signal that we don’t want that and that we want to end these negotiations before it gets to that point.

“But unfortunately you’ve seen in the past that sometimes these things have to happen.

“I think when it comes to that, we’ll be ready to do whatever it takes.”

– with AAP

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https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/explosive-letter-claims-nrl-employee-secretly-recorded-players-during-pay-war-c-9680214 Explosive letter claims NRL staff secretly took in players during wage war

James Brien

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