Peter V’landys has sensationally accused NSW premier Dominic Perrottet on reneging on a handshake deal as the NRL considers legal options over the Sydney stadium stoush.
The venue of this year’s grand final also remains in doubt, with the league seriously considering moving the match interstate less than two months out from kick off.
Unhappy over the government’s decision to put suburban upgrades on the backburner, V’landys claimed on Wednesday that Perrottet had twice promised him this year the refurbishments would go ahead.
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Included in that is an April meeting in the premier’s office, where V’landys said the pair shook hands on the deal that would keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042.
The ARL Commission chairman said he had also spoken to Mr Perrottet later in the year over the phone, when he was told to trust suburban upgrades would go ahead.
But a furious V’landys said that grand final deal is now in doubt, after the government confirmed on Tuesday night that upgrades of suburban venues such as Brookvale and Shark Park were no longer a priority.
“We looked the premier in the eye, we shook his hand we did a deal and he’s just blatantly reneged,” V’landys told 2GB.
“That’s the summary. When you when you do a deal and you shake someone’s hand you honour that agreement.
“How is any organisation or business going to do it make an agreement with a NSW government when it’s got a precedent of reneging?”
The NRL had originally signed a deal in 2018 to keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042 with Sydney Olympic Park’s Accor Stadium to get an $800 million upgrade.
That rebuild was put off during the early stages of COVID-19, with a new $300 million stadium at Penrith then announced.
The NRL then claimed it agreed on $250 million spend at other stadiums, with V’landys adamant they were community projects as well to curb childhood obesity.
However Mr Perrottet told him on Monday night that was no longer immediately available in a heated meeting, before the NSW premier confirmed his stance on Tuesday.
“The NSW government remains committed to upgrading suburban stadiums however following recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is appropriate that further investment in stadia is staged,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The government has just received the Floods Inquiry Report, which will likely require a significant cost to the taxpayer and I note right now there are still 1366 people without a home in NSW due to flooding.”
But V’landys slammed the government’s reasoning, while also calling on Liberal MPs in Cronulla and Wakehurst to act.
“(When) they use the human tragedy of the floods, to spin their way out of why they’re reneging on it, it takes it to another level,” V’landys said.
“This is about the fourth or fifth excuse that has been given to us.”
© AAP 2022