Why Moore’s sad staff call should give NRL real jolt
Queensland rugby league great Billy Moore has been hit hard by the crippling COVID-19 crisis after he was this week forced to let go of 85 per cent of his staff at his Sunshine Coast restaurant.
Moore owns Augello's Ristorante and Pizzeria in Mooloolaba, which is currently operating on a skeleton staff after 35 employees were let go over the past two days to keep the business financially viable.
The recent lockdown measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus has meant Moore can only serve takeaway at his restaurant - causing a severe drop in revenue.
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The former Maroons legend used his predicament to call on the current NRL players to accept a pay cut so that the NRL could survive for several more months.
"On Monday, this is the reality, I stood down 35 staff," Moore told Fox League Live.
"We do takeaways now but only on a skeleton staff ... and we're going to do that until we're told to close.
"Interestingly for rugby league, currently the staff in my restaurant are being paid zero, or maximum 20 per cent of what they had a week ago.
"The reality for me, especially for the players, they must understand anything less than a 75 per cent wage cut is living in fairyland.
"Rugby league must now consider this."
The NRL and Rugby League Players Association met on Wednesday to discuss the pay situation, with those involved describing it as "aligned, productive and collaborative".
Moore said the players had to accept the reality of severe pay cuts to help the NRL survive financially.
"We need to make sure we have enough money in six months' time," he said.
"The players' wages will bounce back very quickly but they must realise their duty of care is not only to themselves and family, but to the fans of the game.
"We need to make sure the game is in the best health and I mean severe wage cuts, knowing they will get it back."
Originally published as Why Moore's sad staff call should give NRL real jolt