Rugby league great Gorden Tallis says 'pretentious' NRL stars are 'p**sing' off the public over the pay debate
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NRL great Gorden Tallis has teed off on ‘pretentious’ players amid ongoing negotiations for better pay and working conditions.
The Rugby League Player’s Association has been locked in a stalemate with the NRL, wanting an increase in the minimum wage, higher match fees, and better private health care in retirement.
The RLPA has accused the NRL of failing to listen to them and giving them a voice in decisions that impact their careers.
However, players' anger has escalated after allegations that an NRL executive attempted to record a private meeting over the sticking points.
Fox Sports reports the senior executive is facing the sack after they allegedly used a mobile phone to try to record a Leaders in League meeting over the pay war.
The uproar has led to Tallis slamming the players who he claims are only ‘p***ing off’ fans with their ongoing dispute.
He spoke on the Footy Talk Rugby League podcast where he was asked if he thought the recording issue was a ‘storm in a teacup’.
Tallis said: “Don’t jump in the car, don’t walk any streets of Sydney – I think we’re getting recorded everywhere.
“Listen, you would only be worried getting recorded if you’re saying something wrong.
“I get recorded for six hours every week – it doesn’t bother me. I couldn’t give a rats.
“If you’re going into negotiating and someone records it, it’s a negotiation! Who cares?”
Tallis accused the players of attempting to ‘air the dirty laundry’ through their social media.
He claimed that if the players were concerned about those on lower salaries then the high earners should take their own pay cuts.
“The players don’t survive without the fans, and at the moment they’re pissing the public off,” he continued.
“They go out there and dig holes all day for $30 and $40 an hour. They see these guys as pretentious little you know, all on this million dollars a year…"
Ben Dobbin interrupted, asking: "What about the blokes who aren’t on that?"
Gorden replied: "OK OK OK, now we’ve got to the point – give back 200 hundred grand.”
According to Fox Sports, the average NRL salary is around $370,000 per year.
However, half of the players earn less than $175,000 a season.
Tallis went on to claim that fans wouldn’t be too supportive of the players’ actions once they start to learn how much they are earning.
“Any player that when they air their contracts – how does that end with them?” Tallis questioned.
“When everybody knows what they are getting? It doesn’t work well for them. I’ve been in that boat – ‘overpaid, you’re this and that’.
“The game doesn’t survive without our fans.”