As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary wants to see the NRL introduce trade windows to help give players and fans more clarity on contract situations as he believes the system in place now is “messy”.
With plenty of news surrounding contract situations around the league and the season starting in a months time, the Panthers boss wants to see more clarity to clear the confusion that seems to be taking place more times than not.
Cleary said he worries about where the current format is heading and wants to see a change.
“I just think we can do it better than how we’re doing it at the moment,” Cleary told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I worry about where it’s going to head. Other sports do it and it seems to be successful for them. It creates interest, it creates media, there are plenty of ways how you could package it up.
“Fans can get really involved in the process; it’s like fantasy league, that creates fan interaction and that’s what they are into.
“[Contract] values could be more accurate, recruitment processes would be better and more accurate. It feels like it could be better.
“I don’t have the whole answer, I haven’t looked at it that much, but it’s a bit messy at the moment.”
Cleary added that the current system of a free-for-all market is adding a lot of confusion for current players and it’s not something that is easy on the mind of a professional athlete.
“You get a lot of situations where guys are confused: ‘Am I going or am I staying? Am I on the market or am I not?’” Cleary said.
“That’s one thing we have tried to do, to be nice and upfront about everything. There’s nothing worse than going out playing and then you pick up the paper and you’re getting shopped.
“The easy thing to say is you wouldn’t be able to police it properly. They used to say that about the salary cap, but they got a lot better at doing that.”
Cleary would love to see two or three windows a season and said although there is the potential of early issues, it’s something that will get better as time goes on.
“You’re probably going to get some teething problems in the first couple [of windows], so it’s important to not just say it doesn’t work and dump it,” he said.
“It’s the sort of thing that would become better over time.”