NRL clubs to look at salary cap changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL clubs to look at salary cap changes

By Ian McCullough 04/05/2010 07:43:49 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop has urged Johnathan Thurston and Israel Folau to not turn their backs on rugby league, but insists the sport cannot be held to ransom by big-name players.

Gallop met with club bosses from every team apart from Melbourne, who did not attend the discussions in Sydney on Tuesday, with a review of the salary cap top of the agenda.

In addition to rubber stamping the appointments of Newcastle and Canberra CEO's Steve Burraston and Don Furner to an expanded Collective Bargaining Agreement committee, the clubs also gave their backing for the need for a salary cap.

The committee, which also includes Sydney Roosters CEO Steve Noyce, Brisbane's Bruno Cullen and South Sydney's Shane Richardson, will be looking at ways the cap can be reviewed after submissions from clubs are received by May 21.

Gallop acknowledged that the cap needed to be looked at but urged clubs to explore the option of third party payments from non-club sponsors to keep their star players in the game.

"There is a misconception in the game that third party agreements are not allowed," Gallop said.

"There is a limit on third party agreements with clubs and club sponsors, but beyond that it is pretty much unlimited, there is millions of dollars being paid to players outside the cap."

However, Gallop said the current format cannot be changed until the new television deal comes up for renewal in 2012 and urged players such as Thurston and Folau to stay in the game.

"We'd like them to stay in rugby league, but we can't throw cash at them outside of the salary cap rules, we haven't done it in the past and we can't make exceptions for them," he said.

"There is a big opportunity for the game and a big new injection of funds, hopefully we don't lose players to rival codes.

"But it is really important that we continue to operate ... so there can't be exception to the rules."

Richardson said he hoped the review will lead to a more flexible system.

"We want the salary cap to be more workable and not just about (salary cap auditor) Ian Schubert and David Gallop," Richardson said.

"It is important that out of these talks and the submissions that come in from different people, including sponsors and members, to nut out the best way forward.

"One of the great things about rugby league is that over the years we have been flexible to change the game and this is an opportunity now."

Cullen said the Broncos have managed to attract a large number of interested parties who want to become involved with the club.

"My board last week sat down to meet about the Melbourne issue and where we were with everything and when we put on the table the number of third parties involved they were quite shocked.

"There is probably three or four million dollars over and above the cap ... and we worked out we could get much more out of that and we are just one of 16 clubs."

However, Cullen remained hopeful, rather than confident, it would be enough to keep Folau at the club.

"There is a flicker of hope yet but I am not to sure what Israel wants to do," he said.

"He is obviously seriously considering leaving but until he does we will get down on our knees and pray."

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