No salary cap exceptions for Thurston - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No salary cap exceptions for Thurston

By Ed Jackson 18/01/2010 04:37:27 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop insists there will be no salary cap exemptions made to keep star halfback Johnathan Thurston in the game.

Thurston and agent Sam Ayoub held a meeting with Gallop and North Queensland chief executive Peter Parr on Monday morning in Sydney, with several reports indicating the Queensland and Australia representative is thinking about a lucrative switch to rugby union.

But Gallop says there is no chance of the Cowboys star being granted special concessions when it comes to his contract to keep him in the NRL.

"We would love him to stay in the NRL however we're not in a position to bend the salary cap rules for any player," Gallop told AAP.

"We spoke about the opportunity to use his profile to promote rugby league particularly with his indigenous background.

"While the game will definitely have increased revenue in the next few years we need to balance the way that money is spent but clearly the elite players will share in that."

Ayoub, who said the meeting had been a positive one, claimed the issue isn't about getting concessions for Thurston, but ensuring a fairer deal for the game's elite players.

He says the current situation is limiting top players' earnings and forcing them to switch codes or head overseas.

"We accept that they're restrained by that fact," Ayoub told AAP when asked about the NRL's stance on the salary cap.

"We don't accept that they can't and shouldn't be able to do some things outside the cap.

"In saying that, we're not asking for Johnathan to be an exception to the rules.

"We're suggesting that some of those rules should be watered down to allow those elite players such as Johnathan to derive a greater income from the game."

Gallop said Thurston was facing some "big decisions" over his future and refuted suggestions Ayoub was making up interest from other codes to force up his client's value.

"I've got no doubt there is interest for a player of his calibre," he said.

"But leaving rugby league would be a big call.

"I certainly think that with his profile, particularly in Queensland and his success at Origin level, there'd be plenty of opportunities for him to stay involved in the game and benefit from the networks rugby league has in Queensland."

Ayoub said there was no deadline on Thurston, who's contract with the Cowboys runs out at the end of this season, making a decision on his future.

He said the next step would be to hold meetings with "other parties" and make a decision from there.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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