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The National Rugby League has welcomed a commitment from the NSW Opposition Leader the Hon Barry O’Farrell that would give leagues clubs greater opportunity to support football clubs.

Struggling under the weight of NSW poker machine taxes, Leagues Clubs have been forced to strip over ten million dollars from NRL teams since 2005.

The proposed change would see Leagues clubs allowed to have their contribution to professional football clubs recognised as the genuine community investment it is by acknowledging the funding is a commitment by members to support Rugby League.

Current funding to professional football clubs receives no government recognition and cannot be included in any level of ‘community funding’ by the Leagues Clubs.

“Leagues clubs were established to help communities fund their football club and that is what this change will allow them to do,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“Increasingly the current system is making it impossible for them to achieve their primary purpose.

“These changes would ensure that club’s maintained their strong community commitment through Category 1 funding but that they could also support the football clubs that are at the heart of their members.

“It is a step that will prove vital to the future of some of our clubs and our clubs strongly support the policy.”

Clubs NSW estimates that the changes will see Leagues Clubs able to contribute up to an extra $10.2 million over the next four years.