The AFL will eat itself. It used to be one of my mate's favourite sayings. But it seems far more apt for the NRL. Especially given revelations of how close it is to extinction.
If they don't keep playing games the NRL could go bust.
And yet just a couple of weeks ago all the news coming out of Sydney was how the clubs in the Harbour City were gunning for NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg's head.
He had to go and there was talk he wouldn't see the 2020 season out.
Why? Because they wanted more money. Screw the NRL trying to squirrel away a few cabbages for a rainy day. They wanted a bigger cut of the pie. That was their dough.
They were the ones putting on the show. They were the reason behind the billion-dollar television rights. It was all about them.
So Todd had to go. Bring in someone else. Anybody. Just as long as that someone understood. Gave these Sydney clubs what they want. Put a few more coins in their skyrocket.
But now it's all quiet on that western front. Those same clubs have suddenly gone quiet. Realising the financial predicament the game - and by extension them - are now in.
While they are the ones putting on the show, they are also the ones that have put the game in this precarious position.
You might always be able to back self interest because at least you know it's trying. But that doesn't mean it's always a winner. It certainly hasn't been for the greatest game of all.
First the clubs went after former ARLC chairman John Grant. He cut a deal to give the clubs more money to keep his job at the head of the commission.
Clubs now receive about $13 million every year - $3 million more than the salary cap. Even the megarich Brisbane Broncos get the same grant as everyone else.
It's in stark contrast to the AFL, which provides more funding to the poor clubs - like your GWS Giants and Gold Coast Suns - and less to the rich ones - like Collingwood.
The NRL's financial position is also in stark contrast to the AFL, which seems better suited to surviving a complete shutdown of their 2020 season - although they're also facing an uncertain future.
Not only has the AFL got some cash reserves, but it also has assets - like the Docklands Stadium they recently bought.
New ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has constantly stated his main goal was to change that situation and build the game's assets.
But V'landys has potentially come to the game too late.
He's stated how catastrophic it will be if they can't complete a full NRL season - all 24 rounds and finals - plus the State of Origin cash cow.
Catastrophic. It's not a good word.
Those same clubs have also been going after the independent part of the commission. Why? They want more input into the game. Translation? More money.
The NRL's already facing a hit to their bank balance with games played in empty stadiums this week. No revenue from ticket sales.
Clubs are staring down the barrel of refunding members, corporates and fans for pre-purchased tickets and packages.
No revenue from food sales. Merchandise sales will also take a hit as fans hunker down indoors and reduce their contact with the outside world.
The NRL has been forced to foot the bill for chartered flights to allow clubs to fly in and fly out on game day to avoid the public at airports.
But if the games stop? Then we'll have what will currently be very happy television stations starting to ask for their money back.
You don't just kick billions of dollars into the game if there are no games in return.
That's why players have been forced to self-isolate. That's why players are wearing face masks to press conferences.
If just one player or staff member of an NRL club contracts the COVID-19 virus then the clubs will go into lockdown and be unable to play. And the games will grind to a halt.
It would be weeks before they could resume. That spells trouble for the NRL.
It's not surprising the Sydney clubs have gone quiet. Funny what staring death in the face will do. Self interest after all.