The Northern Territory news Mon 16 Mar 2020
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
MONDAY MARCH 16 2020 SPORT 29 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA THE NRL has started providing handouts to keep its under-fire clubs solvent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic plaguing the sporting landscape. It comes as some clubs start to quarantine staff members in a bid to protect the playing group. The NRL agreed with the 16 club bosses to start to hand back $425,000 per club which was part of levy introduced in 2016 to assist financially distressed clubs. Handouts for NRL clubs League decides to spread out $7m evenly MICHAEL CARAYANNIS That strata-like sinking fund levy had raised $6,800,000 after clubs were forced to tip in $187,500 a year. The NRL proposed the fund to stop the governing body from bailing out financially troubled clubs like they have done with St George Illawarra, Gold Coast and Newcastle in recent years. They had planned for the bailout figure to get to as high as $10 million. But with the impending doom, the NRL agreed to evenly spread the near $7 million across the 16 NRL clubs. It will be the first financial assistance package needed by clubs to remain in operation should the situation worsen. It comes as clubs start to try to protect their players by restricting the interaction the on-field players have with backroom staff. Wests Tigers boss Justin Pascoe wrote to his staff on Friday and told them any em ployee not directly related to the performance of the football staff must work from home today. It is understood a host of other clubs including Parramatta, Canterbury and Gold Coast will introduce similar working from home measures this week. Penrith stopped two of their reserve grade players from taking to the field on Saturday after they showed flulike symptoms. The 16 clubs also agreed there should be a game-wide approach to handling potential reimbursement for prepaid ticket sales and memberships ahead of the first crowd lockout in the games history. Clubs will lose between $500,000 and $1 million playing in front of empty stadiums. The NRL is working with clubs to create a universal approach on how to handle corporate and sponsorship as well as membership and ticketing. Penrith winger Josh Mansour said it will be a bit strange playing in front of an empty stadium when the Panthers face St George Illawarra at Kogarah on Friday night. It is what it is, Mansour said. There is more to life than just football. With the circumstances were in we just have to prepare for another game of football with fans or no fans. Its disappointing not to play in front of fans because ultimately thats what we are here for as players. Shields final round is latest virus victim THE final round of the Sheffield Shield season has been cancelled. Cricket Australia made the announcement yesterday morning with three matches due to start this week affected. A decision on the Shield final on March 27 is yet to be made. At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good, Cricket Austra lia CEO Kevin Roberts said in a statement. The latest announcement comes just a day after Australias Chappell-Hadlee one-day series against New Zealand was abandoned, with the Black Caps team rushing home due to coronavirus precautions. The Australian under-19s womens tour of South Africa in April has also been can celled while an Australian under-19s indigenous team tour of New Zealand later this month was postponed. In recent days, it has become evident that we must play our part in helping limit the spread of the virus by reducing personto-person contact wherever possible, Roberts said. These measures reflect that. Sea Eagles disinfect crowd-kicked footballs MANLY attempted to protect players from a possible coronavirus outbreak by washing all footballs kicked into the crowd and making ball kids wear gloves. The Sea Eagles had red eskies on both sides of the Brookvale Oval playing field for yesterdays match against Melbourne with medical staff washing all footballs kicked into the crowd in hospital grade disinfectant. Balls were sanitised and then thoroughly dried before being thrown back into play. Manlys ball kids wore gloves to provide extra protection. The kids changed their gloves throughout the match. Both were Manly high performance unit initiatives. It was a precautionary in itiative by us, Manly chief executive Stephen Humphreys said. The ball is the most touched item in the game. Once it goes into the crowd we have a hospital grade disinfectant and water in separate containers. We clean and dry the ball and the ball boys are wearing gloves that they change. A-League in race to the finish line TOM SMITHIES A-LEAGUE clubs are racing to find a way of finishing the season as quickly as possible, as the fallout from the global coronavirus crisis changes the outlook for sporting competitions by the hour. Talks with stakeholders including Fox Sports were going on late into last night, but competition boss Greg ORourke hopes to map out a plan this morning that would satisfy the increasing restrictions on public events and travel, and still allow the remainder of the season to play out. The clubs are desperately trying to avoid suspending the competition given how advanced it is, even though Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory are likely to have their next two games each postponed thanks to the strict new 14-day quarantine requirements on all arrivals in Australia from midnight last night. Both sides are expected to fly to Australia today after Phoenix defeated Victory 3-0 yesterday, with the New Zealand side forced to be based in Sydney for the remainder of the competition.A fan wears a mask during the Round 23 A-League match between Wellington and Melbourne Victory in Wellington Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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