The NRL has warned it is ready to put a microscope on Kade Snowden’s next contract just as it did with Greg Inglis if the in-demand prop turns his back on a lucrative offer from Cronulla and signs for another club.
Snowden was given the weekend to mull over his next move following the mess where he agreed to terms with the Sharks only to back out at the last minute amid speculation that mining magnate and potential Newcastle Knights owner Nathan Tinkler had made him an offer that was too good to refuse.
“Obviously, we have a careful look at every contract that is lodged but where there are last-minute manoeuvrings, naturally, curiosity kicks in,” NRL chief executive David Gallop said.
“Private sponsors and even owners of clubs are a stark reminder of the reason to have limitations around third-party payments to players.
“Hopefully, Kade can sort his situation out quickly and part of that would seem to be the need for a resolution to the Tinkler proposal to take a stake in the Knights.”
Alarm bells sounded at NRL headquarters after Inglis walked out on a deal with Brisbane Broncos and signed for South Sydney, with the Rabbitohs attempting to pass off the star centre’s contract as only $190,000 under the salary cap.
An investigation determined the rest of Inglis’s deal – which consisted of third-party arrangements and took his contract above $500,000 – had been guaranteed to him and therefore had to be declared under the cap, too.
Snowden agreed to terms for a two-year deal at the Sharks for about $700,000, but baulked at signing after an alleged 11th-hour offer from Tinkler for $1.6m over four years to join Newcastle.
Tinkler has put a proposal forward to buy the Knights and the club was later forced to issue a press release saying they had not approached Snowden, given the mining magnate does not yet own the Knights.