QRL’s budget is around $1.7 million, about $300,000 less than NSW’s.
Player payouts for both states are the same, having been negotiated with the RLPA and ARLC.
Budgeted payouts to players are $765,000, or a payout of $15,000 per Origin game for 17 players.
The Blues’ accommodation costs are higher than usual due to a decision to allocate a room to each player to mitigate Covid-19 risks.
NSW air travel is also higher than usual as the second Origin game takes place in Perth. However, Queensland’s travel costs would be similar.
QRL general manager Rowan Sawyer confirmed the Maroons plan to spend $300,000 less than the Blues, but did not specify what items were included in his budget. For example, Trodden revealed that the salaries of Origin-specific staff, such as doctors and physiotherapists, were not itemized in the budget submitted to the ARLC, but the estimated expense of $200,000 was included in the budget. final cost of $2 million.
Sawyer said medical staffing costs were included in the QRL budget but were not quantified.
Food and drink costs don’t seem excessive for three weekly camps of 17 players plus reserves and staff as players have seen their match payouts halved from $30,000 per Origin match to $15,000 due to COVID-19 cuts.
Years ago, when Origin players were paid $5,000 a game, the point of view was “let’s give them a good camp and shout them out to a few restaurants”, setting a standard for food and drink which has been maintained.
However, in rugby league’s ongoing political wars, costs are often cited to justify actions.
When Laurie Daley was fired as Blues coach, a $1,500 bar bill while at camp with the Star Casino team was cited as the reason.
The Blues’ spending on planned entertainment doesn’t seem excessive either. After all, post-game features contribute to the game’s story.
Who can forget that the immortal John “Chook” Raper commanded a young Russell Crowe and a pair of alluring women at a rally in Brisbane following a devastating loss? Luckily Rusty – unknown to Chook who hadn’t seen Romper Stomper – later returned to invest in the game.
Not included in the QRL budget are expenses funded by the Former Origin Greats (FOGs), the former organization of maroon players. FOGS contributes approximately $100,000 per year for the hiring of a guest speaker, the payment of a specialized trainer or a dinner for the partners. The group of former Blues players does not offer the same support.
Regardless of the cost-benefit analysis, the $3.7 million spent by states on the Origin series is dwarfed by the gigantic return of television, portal and sponsorship revenue.
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