Community Highlights Players

RLPA and Bloke in a Bar partner to support Development List players

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA), in partnership with Bloke in a Bar, will distribute a donation to a select group of Development List players who have been significantly impacted as a result of the salary reductions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former NRL player Denan Kemp has generously donated two weeks of profits from his successful business, Bloke in a Bar, to assist players who have been “doing it tough” in the period since salary reductions took effect.

In April this year, Players accepted 20% reductions to their 2020 salaries as a result of the immediate impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the game’s financial position.

Due to the reductions taking effect over halfway through the contract year, it meant players would receive approximately 52% of their remaining five months’ pay, which has significantly impacted players – particularly those on the lower end of the earning spectrum.

“When the news hit that players would have to take a pay cut, I immediately thought of the fringe first graders and ways that I could support them,” said the former Bronco and Warriors player.

“The RLPA was the first organisation to come to mind as the best people to partner with and disperse the donation.”

The RLPA has recommended the funds be distributed to Development List players who have played no or minimal NRL matches in 2020, given that their gross income has been reduced to $48,000 for the season.

Fortunately, Development List players receive mandatory Match Fees when they play an NRL match and therefore those who play four or more games will be remunerated to a level equal to or greater than their original salary (of $60,000).

As a result, the RLPA and Bloke in Bar determined that it was appropriate to provide some support to those players from this list who have played minimal NRL games, in recognition of their contribution this season.

RLPA Player Operations Manager, Tom Symonds, thanked Kemp for his kindness and selflessness.

“It’s an outstanding act of generosity from Denan as a former player giving back to the current group,” Symonds said.

“It has been a great initiative for us partnering with Bloke in a Bar and we appreciate him reaching out with the opportunity to work together on this.

“After we assessed the various options, it was agreed that this group of development list players would be the most appropriate recipients.

“The sacrifices that players and staff have made this year have been immense, and in particular the guys on Development List contracts who have had to adapt to increased demands and expectations as a result of the Apollo protocols.”

Development List players eligible for the donation will be contacted by the RLPA in the coming days.

The RLPA thanks Denan Kemp and the Bloke in a Bar team for their generosity and continued support of Rugby League Players.