Hayne says cap overhaul is a must - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne says cap overhaul is a must

By Ben Horne 26/04/2010 07:13:33 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne has expressed sympathy for the Melbourne Storm's situation and has called on the NRL to look at overhauling the salary cap to give clubs a better chance of retaining players they have developed.

Melbourne stars like Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk have never played for another NRL team and have been in the Storm system since they were juniors.

But Melbourne's attempts to hold onto their own appears to be one of the key causes of their salary cap breaches totalling $1.7 million over five years.

Hayne is resigned to a similar thing happening at Parramatta, with long-time team-mates Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu facing the possibility of being squeezed out because of money pressures.

At the moment, there is no dispensation in the salary cap to help club's retain long-serving players and juniors they have developed. Hayne declared this has to change.

"I think there's something that needs to be done to the salary cap, I'm not sure what and that's not my position to comment on what to do but it has been an issue for a long time," he said.

"It does seem like it's a major issue especially when I think you play with mates you've played with the majority of your career and then you see them have to leave a club they've been brought through.

"That's a sad thing about the salary cap and maybe something they can look into.

"There's a lot of players at Parramatta that I've played with for a long time and to see them squeezed out because of salary cap it's hard to explain, (but) I suppose it does put you off ..."

Hayne said the NRL needs to give more credit to clubs for the time and effort that goes into developing talent.

The NSW and Test superstar agreed that talent need to be spread across the competition, but is adamant concessions need to be made in regards to retaining one-club players.

"Especially if a club's developed you too, you do grow close to the coaching staff and the area," he said.

"The coaching staff do put a lot of time into developing players to see them become better players and you really don't get rewarded for developing into better players because then you've got to go because of the salary cap."

When asked about the Storm's specific situation, Hayne wasn't as forthcoming and said it was important for he and his team-mates to focus on Friday's clash with the Bulldogs.

Hayne said he didn't feel Parramatta were robbed of a grand final berth in 2006 and a Premiership last season and wouldn't want to be handed a trophy as a result of Melbourne's punishment.

"No, you really want to earn it, I think being given one is a bit different from earning one," he said.

Meanwhile, Cronulla enforcer Paul Gallen has highlighted one of the central problems with the NRL's salary cap - that most players wouldn't knock back financial inducements even if they knew they breached the rules.

"I'm sure that they might have known," Gallen said when asked if Storm players would have had knowledge that they were playing a part in breaking the salary cap.

"But at the end of the day I would have found it hard to knock back and I think a lot of people would have too," he told BigPond Sports Weekend.

Gallen's remarks are a worrying sign that not all players fully realise the seriousness of the penalties that can be dished out to NRL clubs for illegitimate player payments.

And that is despite the Storm scandal that included the club effectively being rubbed out of this year's competition, fined $500,000 and forced to return $1.1 million in prizemoney on top of losing premiership and minor premiership crowns.

Not to mention the subsequent loss of major sponsors such as ME Bank and HOSTPLUS in the wake of the controversy and question marks over the club's future.

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah said players tended not to ask whether everything they were receiving was above board.

"It's very confusing for the people that run the club, let alone the players," he said.

"As a player you're just happy to get your money and all the perks that come with it, you don't ask too many questions."

Storm management remain the major focus of the NRL's investigations into the club's dodgy accounting practices and no hard evidence has yet surfaced that players were aware of the scam.

But Gallen's attitude is hardly going to fill rugby league fans with confidence in the salary cap system.

An NRL spokesman said: "The players are aware of the rules and aware of the risks."

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