BETTER DAYS: Northern United players celebrating a try in 2015.
BETTER DAYS: Northern United players celebrating a try in 2015. Marc Stapelberg

UNITED WE STAND: Northern just another symptom

IN Behind the Desk this week we discuss the fall of Northern United, after the club was scrapped from the NRRRL 2017 season after accruing mountain of financial debt.

Moose Elkerton writes that Northern United are just another example of how the game is letting itself down in the bush...

IT IS a tough time for the Northern United club, especially for the players who are without a jersey in 2017, but also the people of the Bundjalung nation who the club was formed to support and represent.

While the cause of their departure from the NRRRL rests on mismanagement of finances, I can't help but think the club has merely become a symptom of a much larger problem.

The club has been at the mercy of the recent rise in player payments in bush football.

As contracts for players have soared it has become tougher and tougher for clubs to ensure they have the roster to win titles.

Without the support of Country Rugby League stepping in to help the club, the mountain of debt has continued to grow to now Everest heights.

We have now seen three clubs in the NRRRL take a season-long recess in less than two years, and if the CRL cannot see a problem festering in the north they need to take their city blinkers off.

In under two weeks time Lower Clarence Magpies will host a rugby league summit*, an opportunity for clubs to come together as one unit and discuss where we are going wrong.

Things are not going to get easier on their own.

Clubs need to unite for the common goal. If there is one thing Northern got right, it was unity.

*The Grassroots Rugby League summit coordinated by Cr Debrah Novak and hosted by the Lower Clarence Magpies will run from 9-5pm on Saturday, February 18 at the Angourie Sports Complex, Yamba.

To register head to grassrootsrugbyleague.com.au and also fill out the survey before attending.



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