The NRL has declined to increase the prizemoney for the minor premiers and finalists, defending the $1 million on offer over the next five weeks.
The governing body was on Thursday forced to rebuff claims financial rewards for the top performing clubs were meagre following criticism from Melbourne co-owner Matthew Tripp.
Tripp labelled as embarrassing the $100,000 prize awarded to the minor premiers ahead of his club’s showdown with Cronulla for top spot on Saturday night.
NRL boss met Todd Greenberg met with the chief executives of all 16 clubs at Rugby League Central on Thursday and said the issue was not raised.
Asked if there would be an increase in the prize purse, Greenberg said: “No, not at all.
“You talk to the clubs today, there’s $1 million in prizemoney and we’ve spoken to the 16 clubs and said `Do you want to take this in a different direction?’ And the answer was no.”
The Storm moved away from the controversy on Thursday with chief executive Dave Donaghy refusing to take issue with it at a press conference alongside Greenberg.
“From a selfish side of it, you’d certainly want more but it’s part of a wider package that’s available throughout this period,” Donaghy said.
“It’s better than zero. If I was greedy you could always want more. There are incentives the further you go.”
The NRL trumpeted the $1 million in spoils – including $400,000 for the grand final winner – and $1.5 million worth of incentives available to clubs during the finals.
This included $100,000 for the minor premiers, the $20,000 given to the first two teams eliminated, $30,000 to those ousted in the second week, $100,000 for those omitted in the third week and $200,000 to the grand final losers.
By comparison, the AFL offer $71,000, $110,000, $330,000 respectively for first, second and third-week losers, before $660,000 is given to the runners-up and $1.2 million to the premiers.
No minor premiership prize money is awarded by the AFL.
The NRL also said a pool $1.5 million was available to clubs in corporate hospitality and cash incentives for reaching gate and attendance targets throughout the finals.