League players slam contract changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League players slam contract changes

By Steve Jancetic 17/08/2010 07:38:25 PM Comments (0)

The NRL has given the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) five days to explain why it wants a new policy decreeing future playing contracts be accompanied by statutory declarations from the players thrown out.

RLPA boss David Garnsey said he was "appalled but, regrettably, not surprised" after the NRL failed to consult him before instigating a measure which will make players legally accountable for payments they receive.

The push for statutory declarations is part of the fallout from the Melbourne salary cap scandal - and while Storm players were cleared of any wrongdoing - the league has still seen fit to put the onus on players.

Now they, along with their agent and the club chief executive, will have to sign statutory declarations - to ensure their payments are salary cap compliant.

"We have been very public this year in outlining the need to make people more accountable in terms of the contract payments that are submitted," NRL chief executive David Gallop said.

"It is entirely consistent with the fundamental obligation that already exists in the contract. It seeks to protect players and agents from any innuendo around their knowledge of salary cap cheating.

"The RLPA can't seriously be saying that players are prepared to sign a contract which promises the terms are accurate but that they won't sign a declaration that swears the same thing."

But having claimed they were already left out of the decision-making process regarding salary cap changes brought in last month, Garnsey is livid at the RLPA's continued snubbing.

"This is yet another example of the NRL's culture of non-consultation," Garnsey said.

"(It) is all the more extraordinary when you consider that we have been in negotiations with them for two months in relation to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"Apparently nobody at the NRL considered that this was an important matter to bring to our attention.

"It is clearly a significant matter that we should have been given a reasonable opportunity to consider."

Garnsey, who learned of the new rule via the media and has yet to receive official notification from the NRL, has written to Gallop calling for the new guidelines to be removed.

The RLPA claims the implementation of the rule is contrary to terms in the current CBA, in which the NRL is obliged to advise the RLPA of any intention to amend rules.

The NRL has agreed to suspend the implementation of the new guidelines for seven days as it awaits the RLPA's response.

"Technically, the RLPA is entitled to have been made aware of any change to the rules but the extent to which this is a change of any substance is debatable," Gallop said.

"That said, we will suspend the use of the clause for seven days so the RLPA can make submissions regarding the change."

The Players Agent Association released a statement via its chairman Steve Gillis seeking an explanation from Gallop, describing the move as an "ambush" by the NRL.

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