NRL Rd 5 - Eels v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Matt Burton of the Panthers looks dejected after an Eels try during the round five NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium on June 12, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The reason for Penrith’s premiership charge has been built off the recruitment and development of local talent.

The Panthers, along with the Broncos, are responsible for producing most of the current NRL players across the league.

It’s worth mentioning of the 17 who ran out onto ANZ Stadium for the Grand Final, 13 made their NRL debuts with the Panthers.

But now Penrith are struggling to keep them all.

The Panthers have been left frustrated following Matt Burton's departure to Canterbury as they are not going to receive any compensation in return.

“You get no compensation for it,” Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher told Channel Nine.

“Other clubs just come and make a big offer for them and away they go. All the hard work has been done by the coaching staff at the Panthers.

“I think you should (get compensation). I think if somehow along the line, if he’s paid X amount of dollars to go there, part of that to the first year should go back to the club that developed him.”

Penrith are adamant on keeping Burton for this upcoming season, denying the Bulldogs of gaining the young gun 12 months prior to his contract.

“An exception would only be made if a compromise highly in favour of Panthers was agreed to between the two clubs,” Fletcher said.

“But at this stage he will be playing with the Panthers next year, and he understands that.”

Burton is the perfect example of Penrith’s commitment to develop players from the central west of NSW.

The Panthers now face a serious fight to keep all of their local talent with a number of big names off contract at the end of next year.

Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo have  been offered long-term deals while centre Stephen Crichton weighs up his future.



  1. Sounds like that bulldogs over spent with regards to Matt, and the money was to good to refuse. The Panthers do need compensate, as the current situation is wrong.

  2. To say the the Panthers, along with the Broncos, are responsible for producing most of the current NRL players across the league is laughable. This journalist is way, way, way off the mark. If any club has a right to complain it’s the Warriors, who have been plundered for years by NRL clubs. It comes back to one thing: The almighty dollar. I do think though that clubs wanting some kind of compensation when they lose a home grown player is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the immediate problem that a club like Penrith is facing.

  3. I agree budgielegs.
    It’s Penrith, Brisbane, Newcastle, NZ , North Queensland that produce virtually all of the players in the NRL. A few others from here or there is all.
    As for mr.eel, Parramatta would hardly be able to field a first grade side , except for Penrith. There are far more Penrith juniors in the eels lower & junior grades than you know. West’s, the same & the Bulldogs are starting to go that way.
    Parramatta producing heaps of good juniors, is a thing of the past. I’d like to see it happen again! So the purely poacher clubs would have someone else to get players from.
    Unless you have a huge corporate backer & rich individual backers , this is what happens.
    The Sausage King at the Bulldogs, supplied a lot of extra money outside of any cap restrictions. To make sure Burton was going there.
    I’ve been saying this exact thing for ages, that Penrith are saying now. There’s no way that Penrith can stay at the top or near the top of any competition. Simply by producing top juniors. As the other clubs come poaching the best players continually & Penrith don’t have the big corporate & individual backers . Those who will just pay extra privately, to keep a lot of the best players there.
    There should absolutely be a transfer fee paid directly to the club , when that club has developed their own juniors & juniors in areas they put a lot of time , money , effort into. When another club just wants to steal them away. It should be easily $100,000 for a first grader.

  4. Others , who don’t agree with a transfer fee . Only say that, as they follow the clubs who are the kings of poaching other teams top juniors & players in general.

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