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There has been a lot of debate over the last few days over how the NRL should spend money collected through fines.

As a general principle, people who are fined do not have a say in where the fine money is paid; the fines are simply a penalty that is incurred for having breached a rule. They are themselves a deterrent and not a way for the party who has been fined to direct funds where they would like.

The NRL retains “fine money” and directs it to a range of opportunities from One Community to associated charity events, charity donations and grass roots programs that are not otherwise budgeted for.

In the process we entertain applications from those clubs who have been fined for a portion of the money to be directed towards one-off community or grassroots programs in their area that merit support.

These do not include programs that the club is otherwise engaged in as this simply amounts to an off-setting of the club’s existing costs (the net effect of which would be that no penalty has been suffered).

While there are a multitude of worthy charities and causes in need of funds, the NRL focuses on causes in the Rugby League community, One Community programs and charity partners.