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$1-million-a-year NRL star called out for claiming footy players would be 'better off working as tradies'

Max Sherry

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$1-million-a-year NRL star called out for claiming footy players would be 'better off working as tradies'

NRL star Harry Grant has come under fire from fans for suggesting some footy players would be 'better off on the tools' working as tradies.

His low-balling claims come in the wake of the discussions surrounding increased funding in rugby league.

It's understood the RLPA and NRL are still working on the collective bargaining agreement.

Nothing has been finalised yet and clubs, as well as the players, are still in the dark about salary caps and even contracts for the upcoming season.

Credit: Supplied/NRL
Credit: Supplied/NRL

Melbourne Storm hooker Grant, who recently signed a two-year extension until the end of 2025, spoke honestly on the matter.

"As players it's our livelihood and we just need to get something sorted for everyone's sake, we've put enough into this game," he said.

"You know, for what we get out of it I think they're sort of lowballing us at the moment, the NRL.

"The RLPA do a great job for the players and they're negotiating pretty fair with the NRL.

"It is a little mad [that it's not done]. All the players did throughout the year and then we can't get to an agreement… yeah it's [not good].

"Everyone thinks you're playing NRL and you're on good coin, but the reality is you're not. I think a development contract is $60,000 so some blokes are better off working on the tools.

"Can't really complain, you get to play footy for a living, but yeah, it is tough at times."

In contrast to other global sports, the NRL player salaries are dwarfed when the likes of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland is reportedly raking in around £900,000-a-week.

That said, Grant isn't doing too bad for himself with the final two years of his deal expected to see him take home approximately $1million-per-season – and that's before sponsorships or any representative bonuses.

So when the talented hooker took a swipe at the NRL's pay grade by saying some footy players would be better off on the tools, it didn't sit well with some league fans.

Granted, he's clearly not referring to his own pay cheque, but his comments still rubbed some supporters up the wrong way.

According to the Daily Mail, one person wrote: "Lately sports stars have proven how out of touch with reality they really are. If you don't think you're getting fairly remunerated for playing the game go get a job in the real world and see what you're worth.

As another added: "With the coin they're earning, even though their careers are for only an average of 10 years, you would think they'd have enough sense to invest the money wisely so they aren't left with potentially nothing once the football income dried up."

While a third chimed in, saying: "It's not the NRL's fault players get damaged by their sport. It's a personal decision to play or not to play the sport. As professionals that fact should be patently obvious. If you were offering to cover the lower level players at some cost to the top earners then you would be worth listening to."

One fan pointed out: "The fans who go to the stadiums, buy jerseys and watch the games on TV are providing players with their income while earning a small fraction of the players do."

As of 2018,, the minimum wage for players who make a club's top 30 squad is $70,000-a-year.

Meanwhile, development players are paid a minimum of $60,000.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Supplied/NRL

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League, Melbourne Storm

Max Sherry
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