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Reports emerge of NRL clubs planning a breakaway competition

07 Nov 22, 11:32AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

In 1995 the Australian Rugby League was rocked by the commencement of what became known as the Super League war as News Limited looked to start up its own professional competition.

The two men leading the charge for the Super League were moguls Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer who were looking for full pay tv rights for Rugby League.

Over the next two years there was plenty of back and forth with many players and clubs joining the breakaway competition.

Finally in 1997 the Super League became a reality as eight ARL clubs and two new franchises, the Hunter Mariners and Adelaide Rams, took part.

The Brisbane Broncos would eventually with the Super League’s first and only season as in 1998 the NRL was formed and the war was over.

Ever since then fans have been quite split on the impact the Super League war had on the game but history could be about to repeat itself as Channel Nine’s The Mole is reporting that there are several NRL clubs are secretly looking at starting a new breakaway competition.

“The simmering feud with the 17 clubs over funding has reached such a crisis point that some franchises are quietly plotting the feasibility of a breakaway competition,” said The Mole.

“Now the game is at a stalemate over finances, with clubs demanding a bigger slice of the pie as the NRL slowly works out how to organise the game’s monetary structure over the next few years.

“The breakaway league is a long shot, a desperate measure by frustrated clubs who feel they are not being heard.”

Other than what The Mole has stated in his article there has been no further word on this supposed plan by certain clubs to part ways with the NRL so it is hard to speculate on the matter at this time.

However, the matter is serious enough that NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and ARL Chairman Peter V’Landys, who were in England for the Rugby League World Cup, have flown back to Australia to address the funding situation.

If there is any actual threat of a rebel competition arising then it is likely that the NRL would play things safe and at least make a compromise for the disenfranchised clubs to keep the breakaway league from gaining any real momentum in the future.

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