NSW coach Brad Fittler called for clubs that win the minor premiership to receive extra salary cap.
Under the current rules, the Sydney Roosters will pocket $100,000 for finishing in first place at the end of the home-and-away season.
But Fittler’s idea would not reward the teams financially, but rather increase their personel spendings, which would help clubs retain their best players.
“The thing that matters most to clubs is salary cap spending, and the thing I would do is allow for the minor premiers to have half a million or a million dollars salary cap exemption,” Fittler told Channel 9 on Sunday.
“Because you come first what happens is all your players become more valuable to other clubs, so you don’t have the ability to keep them at your club.
“If you give them an exemption — a million dollars, $500,000 — all of a sudden your good players could stay at the club.”
NRL legend Peter Sterling also agreed that the prizemoney is not a sufficient prize to reward clubs for finishing on top.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while, that there’s not due recognition for the team that is in front after what is a very tough 25 rounds,” Sterling said.
“It’s been $100,000 for as long as I can remember. I don’t know where a million dollars would come from, but I think the fact Melbourne rested players this weekend shows first or second didn’t mean that much difference to them.”