Off the Wall

One group that has a lot riding on the television rights negotiations are the private/corporate owners of a number of NRL clubs.

The current plight of the Titans will not have gone unnoticed in other clubs that are privately owned or are public companies - such as the Brisbane Broncos are.

The Broncos are in the most financially secure of any club - and about the only profitable one!

The clubs that are clearly facing challenges and are privately owned are the Knights (how bad are they going?), the Warriors and the Sea Eagles. And the Rabbitohs would be but for the commitment of Russell Crowe.

The Melbourne Storm are protected for the forseeable future under the agreement that News Limited negotiated to exit the game.

But if they had to stand alone, they would be "cactus" financially and would struggle to see the season out.

What the private owners must be hoping for is that the new television deal will yield one bill plus over five years.

They will then be hoping the ARLC ups the payout to the 16 clubs - and that the cut is not shared even wider by an increase in the total number of clubs.

I need to stress the world " hope" - because it cannot be guaranteed that there will be a substantial lift at all.

Lets assume the new deal produces about $1 billion - that amounts to $200 million a year, or around about $90 million more than the current agreement.

If the clubs were given an extra $5 million a year that would just about wipe out the total increase from the new deal.

It would help - but for some clubs it might just stay the day of execution.

That is the problem the game faces.

A number of clubs need $5 million a year or so to return to financial stability.

The reality is that the ARLC is not going to give the clubs all of the increase.

They will be very lucky to get 50 per cent of it.

That will just prolong the agony for a number of clubs.

As for the privately owned clubs, fans are just going to hope the private owners have enormous loyalty and deep pockets.

The club that worries me most is the Knights.

The owner has an interesting history - and he has just relocated to Singapore.

He has tipped serious dollars into the club.

One has to wonder how long for?

The Knights are the biggest worry - but not alone.

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