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Smith's suggestion for salary cap review

04/05/2010 11:08:34 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne captain Cameron Smith had a suggestion as NRL club chief executives prepared to discuss possible salary cap changes on Tuesday.

"Make it bigger," said Smith hopefully.

Club bosses were meeting at NRL headquarters in Sydney and expected to discuss options after chief executive David Gallop said the time was right for a "complete review" of the salary cap system.

Gallop linked the review to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the players and the NRL which is due to expire on October 31 with the parties to renegotiate terms on how much funding goes to the players.

But it also comes in the wake of the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal, with the NRL hearing plenty of criticism of the current cap system after the Storm were stripped of two premierships and banned from playing for points in 2010 for long-term cap rorting.

Smith, one of the Storm stars whose contracts have come under scrutiny by NRL cap investigators, made his off-the-cuff suggestion on his weekly spot on Sydney radio 2KY, admitting he had not yet thought in depth about possible cap changes.

He agreed more flexibility in third party payments to players was an area that needed attention.

"That's been a bit of an issue for the last couple of years," said Smith.

"Guys have had opportunities, particularly the high profile blokes to earn money outside the salary cap and for some reason a lot of times the NRL knocked it back and that's why we're finding it hard to keep our elite players year after year.

They're looking at moving overseas or moving to a different code where the restrictions aren't that tight and where their base salary is higher to start with.

"I'm not too sure how we go about it but I think the NRL needs to look at ways to do that because again this year we have a guy like Israel Folau who may be a chance of leaving our game.

"If he was to leave it would be a massive blow for us."

Smith has said he understood his payments fitted under the Storm's salary cap and the NRL has pointed its finger of blame at club officials for the breaches.

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