ICONIC rugby league administrator John Quayle says the global pandemic will have a bigger impact on the sport than the Super League War.
Quayle, who along with Ken Arthurson is credited with bringing expansion, Tina Turner and scores of other innovations to the Australian game between 1983 and 1996, told rugbyleaguehub.com from his farm in the Hunter Valley that the current crisis would have widespread and permanent impacts on the game.
“Without a doubt,” Quayle said when asked if the suspension of the NRL would have a bigger impact than the split which led to clubs merging and dying almost a quarter-century ago.
“Super League was a fight for a sport. This is a fight for the nation and internationally where we as a sport are one small part of that.
“The financial side if it, being brought to our knees, it’s now a rebuilding process.
“Listening to the League now, they’re accepting that.
“This will change the structure of the game. This will change everything over the next decades and beyond, no doubt about that.”
Quayle said player salaries may not return to their pre-Civid-19 levels. With the erosion of the NRL’s cash reserves, players are reportedly going to be asked to take an 87 per cent pay cut.
There is also speculation that some clubs will not survive the shutdown. NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has said big NSW teams clubs backed licensed clubs could be more vulnerable than those supported by private ownership.