Executive director Brendan Schwab said that the leading union, which represents over 85,000 professional athletes around the world, is disappointed major sports are suffering so considerably from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is incredibly disappointing to see sports on their knees. Sports — which are over a hundred years old — on their knees within weeks, if not months, of that crisis breaking," he said.

Schwab also noted the "dramatic changes" occurring in sports broadcasting as organisations move towards streaming services. "Whether that actually increases or decreases revenue remains to be seen," he said.

Speaking about the NRL's announced prospective May start date, he warned caution and noted that a slow approach will best ensure consolidation of women's programs.

The NRLW has already suffered a 50% drop out of clubs registered for next season, assuming the season proceeds this year.

"We do worry that some of the great areas of progress in the lead-up to the pandemic — including in relation to women's sport — they may be affected," he continued.

"And so it's very important that when sport comes back together that it has a wholistic view, it just doesn't focus on winning today and maximising revenue today.

"I think in Australia there is a focus on rugby league, but you do need to appreciate that every sport league is facing a huge dilemma and is desperate to get back as soon as it possibly can and the players want to play.

"There is a considerable determination to make this work, but sports that have greater liquidity are clearly not under the same day-to-day pressure as those sports which are facing a liquidity crisis."