NRL slams players union over cap 'claim' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL slams players union over cap 'claim'

By Laine Clark 13/07/2005 07:14:13 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop has accused players' union president Tony Butterfield of a "veiled grab for a salary cap increase" in the fallout over the new rugby league TV rights deal.

The NRL last month struck a deal with Channel Nine and pay TV outlet Fox Sports worth more than $500 million over six years (from 2007), representing a 60 per cent annual increase on the current arrangement.

In light of the new deal, Rugby League Players' Association president Tony Butterfield called on the NRL to increase junior football funding from $10 million to $20 million a year and for club grants to increase from $2.5 million to $5.2 million a year.

"We were limited by the broadcast rights, now that these new rights have been done this is part of the reason that we are standing up here today to flag the availability of these funds and where they should be allocated," Butterfield said.

The RLPA president's call came after he released an "independent analysis" of the rights deal by global investment bank Lazard.

Butterfield said the TV deal did not factor in a number of elements including revenue made from new technology such as mobile and internet services as well as sponsorship and merchandising.

He said the study revealed a surplus of $35 million to $40 million in the TV deal that could be "shared equitably between the code's stakeholders".

"We say based on figures provided to us by the NRL there is a substantial surplus taking into account the figures we are proposing that can still go into other areas of the game," he said.

"We believe it is all sustainable and will take it up with David (Gallop).

"I think players should be privy to these figures and it is a source of disappointment (that there is no transparency from the NRL)."

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