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Angry NSWRL threaten ARLC over funds

The NSW Rugby League has launched a direct attack at Peter V’landys and threatened legal action if funding from the ARL Commission is not paid by the end of Sunday.

In the latest step towards an all-out civil war between the game’s bosses and most powerful state, the NSWRL issued a lengthy two-page decree on Thursday.

In it, they claimed they were still yet to hear from V’landys directly since the controversial February 25 elections, where Cronulla CEO Dino Mezzatesta was denied the right to run.

They also again demanded the ARLC take back claims that the service agreement would be terminated between the two organisations, which would effectively cut the NSWRL out of the sport.

“The NSWRL has further demanded that the ARLC continue to fund the NSWRL in accordance with the ARLC’s contractual and other obligations to do so,” the state body added in a statement.

“Those demands have a deadline of 5pm on 17 April 2022 for the ARLC to comply.

“In the absence of the ARLC’s compliance, the NSWRL shall have no other option than to enforce its rights.”

The drama comes after both Nick Politis and George Peponis quit the NSWRL board following the elections, furious that Mezzatesta was not allowed to run.

The complaints then prompted the ARLC to launch their own investigation, with renowned lawyer Bret Walker finding that the NSWRL’s position was incorrect.

As a result, the ARLC then demanded the election be re-run, stopping funding that was due last week and threatening to cut the NSWRL out of the picture if that did not happen.

In contrast, the NSWRL have stated they will not back down from their own legal advice that Mezzatesta could not stand due to a perceived conflict of interest.

Board members on Thursday were adamant they could continue to run the game at state level for some time without funding, but were angry over the lack of support after years of COVID-19 hits and natural disasters.

“As a member of the ARLC, NSWRL legitimately expects to be supported by the ARLC in meeting these challenges,” the NSWRL said.

“Instead (it is) being subject to funding suspensions and other threats in relation to the termination of the right to participate in the State of Origin series.

“Such threats which are made for contrived political reasons.

“The ARLC chairman has not only suspended our funding, but he has also suspended any contact with NSWRL.

“The NSWRL board reasonably considers that this is an attack on the very people the ARLC is charged with supporting.”

The comments come after V’landys told AAP last week he was not afraid to go to court with the NSWRL, and claimed any legal battle would be a waste of money that should go to grassroots football.

That line is believed to have in particular irked the NSWRL.

“If it is necessary to commence proceedings against the ARLC in order to protect the grassroots of the game by recovering that funding, then the board of NSWRL will not be ‘wasting’ grassroots funds,” the NSWRL said.

“Instead, the board will be taking the only step it can to protect those very funds for the benefit of the more than 100,000 participants of the game in NSW.”

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