SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Angus Crichton of the Rabbitohs is sent to the sin bin during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Here we are at the start of another season after a year that saw high profile player mid-season moves and announcements of departure that rocked fans and clubs and left everyone in the depths of frustration and disparity, so what is the answer?

There has been a number of suggestions that the NRL needs to fix this unruly enigma on the game which threatens the stability, popularity and future success of the game.

Other sporting codes like the AFL have for a number of years had a transfer system that has seemingly worked a treat for their sport so why not us!

What about an option that required players coming off contract and their clubs to commit to each other and/or to make a decision prior to the start of the last season of their contract or failing to do so will be put on the market at a fixed rate and be offered to the lowest placed team first and then the next lowest until a club agrees to terms with that player.

Players who are on a yearly contract would have a requirement to advise prior to the end of the current season.

This way both player and club have time to plan their future and this will then take some of the power away from player managers who create a lot of the media hype around player movements and the flow on the headaches for club officials and fans.

SEE ALSO:  Johns calls for NRL cull

The clubs and players would be required to register their commitment or intentions with the NRL prior to the start of their final contracted season and the NRL would publish this via the media prior to the start of the new season.

This way at least, players, clubs and the fans move forward with clarity as to what is happening with them, their club and the team from day one instead of the mid-season innuendo and subsequent bombshell that eventually is dropped on clubs, fans and players dramatically.


  1. Have a trade window, where teams can trade players throughout the season until a deadline possibly June 30th. Having a trade window would be good, because you can trade a player you know won’t resign and actually get him for something rather than have him sign somewhere else and lose him for nothing. Have an end of season Free Agency, where players can test their value and decide from there what team they want to sign with. Also possibly bring in an draft and scrap every junior development system. That way all the talent is spread across every team.

    • Well said WT Nation there should be 2 windows during the current season for the following season

      1st all of June

      2nd straight after Grand final till end of December

      Signing for 2019 in 2017 is bad especially for the diehard fans and the creditability of the game players will always look for top dollar and you can’t blame them

      • You’re joking right?

        Scrap Jnr Development – Brilliant idea?

        And another joker talking about bringing in a draft?

        Who goes in the draft?
        What about players outside the draft?
        What are the consequences to development of the game?
        What are the consequences with even more bleeding of talent to external competitors?

        I’d dearly love to see a response but know that I wont – at least not an intelligent one.

        • In my opinion, I think scrapping development squads could be a good move. I think having a system like college football and college basketball, would make the game bigger. So having high school players graduate high school, then choose universities around Australia and New Zealand to play league. It’s a long shot and sounds crazy having universities start league programs, but i think it could make the game bigger. So players can stay in college for 1-4 years then declare for the draft. I’d say have a 7 round draft of 16 picks in each. Bottom 8 teams get the top 8 picks of each round, with team records deciding which order it goes in and the top 8 get the remaining 8 picks of the round with the premiers getting the last pick of each round. I think the bottom 8 teams will somewhat improve with a very high chance of getting very young talented players. For those players that go undrafted can still get picked up by any NRL club, Nsw Cup team or Qld Cup team or even over in the SL.

      • There is nothing wrong with the system we have. All the players that switched clubs over the off season have bettered themselves financially and are happy for the next chapter in their career. Most fans are excited with new hope for the coming season with their new signings. Next year will be one of the closest comps on record thanks to all the off season signings. The only signing I can see that somebody has signed for 2019 (one season in advance) is Crichton from Souths to the Roosters. This is the only way to go and what the NRL wanted from the beginning, for teams to sign and let players go to even up the comp. as a result of this off season. Saints Manly, Cowboys, Roosters, Newcastle, Parra, Penrith, Wests have all built up well to match Melbourne. Canberra and the Warriors will be better also. Like I said if, it ain’t broke then don’t attempt to fix it. And for God sake keep well away from that idiot AFL draft system. Its a restraint of trade, the players hate, it the fans hate it Ask Terry Hill, he is the clasic example, Back in the early 90’s the NRL trialed the dreaded Draft system. Hill got lumbered with the bad performing Roosters and he wanted out straight away. He wanted to play with a strong side and eventually the Nrl scrapped the Draft. Hill went to HIS choice of club which was Manly and won a comp. This system that we have is and always has been great. Just leave it alone.

        • I agree with your comments on the “AFL” style draft, and don’t have any issues with players changing clubs, other than so far in advance.

          For a start, when a player signs a contract a season in advance they are effectively asking for an early release, even if / when they say they are loyal to their current club. They know the position they are putting in their current club in, and are leveraging it.

          Secondly, it’s not good for the sport, and often not good for the player himself. What team wants to develop another clubs junior?

          Lastly, and using Crichton as an example, if he backs himself as much as clubs are backing him today, why the rush to sign on his 2017 form? In all honesty the Roosters, and other clubs, seem to have more faith in him than he has in himself.

        • It isn’t and hasn’t been great WoodChook. There are a lot of issues in the game and they all come as a result of the NRL copying other sports practices without any foresight to the consequences.

          – In their prime quality players leaving for other codes is a problem that never existed like it does today;
          – The high turnover of players between clubs;
          – The inequitable application of TPA rules.

          All of these problems have come about from the game administration copying a blanket salary cap from other codes.

          It has had 0 positive impact on the game. The game is NOT more even than it used to be. The disparity between bottom of the table and top of the table is consistent with what it was before the salary cap was introduced. Clubs having cycles of success and leanness hasn’t changed. The major reasons we don’t have more back to back premierships have nothing to do with the Cap – They lie more in the fact that it’s a 16 team comp rather than a 12 team comp, the season is longer with more rep commitments leading to greater risk of roster impact and the top 8 system doesn’t favour top teams making the Grand Final as much as the top 5 system used to. On the other hand the Salary Cap has bought no end of Cap Drama’s, created an inequitable TPA situation, led to significantly increased player movement which only disenfranchises fans and has led to more players leaving the NRL for elsewhere than ever before in the game.

          The system sucks and has always sucked. And it will never be fixed by copying other sports approaches.

        • Fantasy Butt, what are you talking about? there is nothing wrong with the off season splurge of players swapping teams. Its been going on since before 1908 when the Roosters snared Dall Messenger from Rugby Union and its still working 109 years later. Nothings changed. In fact there was 8 teams in 1908 and each side raided at least 13 players from the union to form the League. that makes 184 players signed before a ball was kicked off. This is the grass roots of how our great game was formed. So maybe 50 players swapped teams this off season. So what, it happens every year. Another thing that you have got wrong is that the rep season is shorter. We don’t have city 1st’s and 2nds vs country 1st’s & 2nd’s anymore. and we don’t get the three test match series from England or NZ any longer

          Your dreaming why there is no more back to back premiers, it is solely due to the fact of the salary cap. Why do you think the Bulldogs have imploded? or Melbourne Brisbane and the Roosters lost so many superstars? Almost every year we see the defending premiers letting two or three of their winning players leave to fit them into the cap. The result is no back to back premiers. Nick Politis hit the nail on the head when he said the Roosters have to make some tough calls sometimes they don’t come off like when they let Maloney go who went on to lead Cronulla to win the comp. But the bottom line is there is no more double premiers because of the salary cap. Every single side that has won the comp in the past 40 years have purchased it by recruiting at least half of their side from other teams. Player movement is part and parcel of rugby league. Nothing has changed and people who want a draft need their head examined. As for the theory of no back to back winners due to a 16 team comp, well the fact of the matter is come semi time there is a country mile between the top four and the rest of the pack as was with a 12 team comp. Except for the very RARE occasion when a team comes screaming in from eighth place like this season just past.

    • There’s never been a draft system?

      How would a draft work?
      Who goes in the draft?
      What about players outside of the draft?
      What are the consequences to Jnr Development from a draft?
      What are the consequences with further bleeding of talent to external competitors with a draft?

      Or is it just some random idea that you parrot along with a chorus line of other parrots?

    • Why? lets just say use Cooper Cronkas our e.g. He has been in a strong winning team for 15yrs and he wants a move to Sydney to continue playing for a strong team. How ever the Draft will dictate to him that the Tigers will be your future from now on because they finished lowest out of the Sydney teams. But that is if the Draft worked liked that. It doesn’t. He will be ordered to play for Newcastle because they have first pick at him finishing last. How stupid is the draft.

  2. * Make players accountable for their contracts. They sign a contract they stick to it.
    * Have a trade / signing period between the second week of October and the 31st of December for the following season only. This will stop the Hunt, Ponga, Crichton circus from happening again
    * Have a trade window from the middle of June until the end of June for players to seek opportunities/game time elsewhere.
    * I agree have a Draft system if none of the above are good enough. AFL system works well so the NRL should look at using this also.
    Happy New Year everyone.

  3. I know this is completely off topic but still cant believe how underpaid these players are.Concidering the “elites” of the game are paid 1mil a yr is simply not good enough. Look what about the squad players, they are paid like 100k, once there done in the nrl what are they supposed to do with there life. Huh nrl step up honestly. Look at the way soccer players are paid. The worst of the worst of the game ar basically paid the same of the likes of our “eites”, just embarrassing.

  4. What are you asking for emos? Are you asking for every NRL player to be set for life?

    As a response to your question “once there done in the nrl what are they supposed to do with there life”? How about work?

    All clubs offer the younger guys the guidance and opportunity to study or pursue a career. It works out well for the clubs as it keeps the younger guys out of trouble. If players chose not to pursue this it would be their problem and not the NRL.

    Also I am assuming you are talking about Premier league or Euro Soccer players not Australian based Soccer players. If you compare apples with apples you may not be so embarrassed next time.

  5. Leaving aside the “off topic” comments, I can’t say I disagree with any of the what is said above. The problem is that every measure ever introduced into the game that was for the benefit of the game ($200 a win/$2000 a season in the early seventies, the 13 import rule, the head bin rule of the 80s – remember Paul Shaw in the 1987 Grand Final?, no contract for next year to be signed before 30 June this year, – and of course the salary cap [or in Easts’ case, the sombrero]) was rorted no matter how much the measure was done for the good of the game. Sadly the players and clubs will continue rort anything and everything intended to be for the good of the game.
    In particular I agree about the draft, but it only works in the AFL because there is is consensus with the players association to keep it. I suppose it’s a bit too much to expect the players and the clubs to act in the best interest of the game and US as fans.

  6. Trade or transfer windows would be a start – outside of these it should be “business as usual”.
    Any club should have the right to medically bin a contract if the player agrees and then they have to sit 12 months out regardless. I say this for guys who blow an ACL or shoulder etc yet the club is disadvantaged for the rest of the season.
    As for pay scales the checks and balances are there – albeit we loose some players to union or super league when the AUS dollar is low in value or the player rosters are full.
    Third party payments should be capped like the salary and i dont believe in any back ended contracts …

    • I agree with trade windows, and can see how that would work, within a well thought out framework

      I agree, in principle, and to a lesser extent, with a medical binning of a player. By that, the issue you could have is where do you get a $1 million player from mid season, without causing havoc / player merry go rounds etc. I’d agree that the club should be able to promote a player into their 30 to cover a seriously injured player, but not trying to buy 1, even from another league (SL, union etc), or watch that get abused.

      As much as I hate the inequity of TPA’s, you can’t cap them at club level, but it could work (conceivably, with player buy in) at the player level. For example, for a cap to be effective it has to level (more level) the field, and so reduce, or at the very least, stop any increases in TPA’s for a lengthy period, in order for it to be effective. Now at a club level, and in a club that is at the max salary cap and TPA cap, a player being offered a sponsorship deal could (and it will happen) have it rejected by the club, because of their overall position, but if that was the only deal for that particular player, it’s hardly fair. If it was done at the player level, at a max of 30% of that players salary for example, and the player/s were penalised for any breaches (the lion share at least), it would be much fairer to the players (they would all still have access to some TPA’s) / clubs / supporters (the club doesn’t get penalised for players breaches).

      • yeh – capping the 3rd party payments against the salary is a good idea…
        btw I hate 3rd party payments,

  7. Personally, I find the whole movement of players to be really frustrating – same with coaches. I sometimes wonder why any of these guys even bother signing a contract. For me, if a player has a shorter term contract (1-2 years) – OK trade window opportunity mid-year. But if the player is on a contract for 2+ year to run on it – no go. I think the player managers have a bit to answer for in this whole fiasco.

  8. Doesn’t matter what system they bring in.
    Clubs like the Storm, Broncos and Roosters will still find a way around it like they currently do.

    • What are you on about Kev – Two of the clubs you mention, Storm and Broncos – Storm in particular – sign less talent from elsewhere than any other clubs in the comp?

    • key markets kev. two of those clubs bring in a disproportionate amount of tv and corporate revenue into the game for the same amount of effort. the nrl using ‘growth of the game’ as the mandate and ‘revenue’ as the measurement metric for that growth has an interest in making sure two of those clubs are successful enough to maintain the interest.

      the third club limits the afl market share in sydney and stops the sydney media tearing up due to a lack of sydney representation in the top four. maintaining that sydney market share also maximises revenue. no point losing sydney to make ground in other markets.

  9. Offering players at a fixed rate to lowest placed teams…. WOW.

    The biggest problems in the NRL have come about due to the games administrators lack of creativity in just copying what other codes/sports do with no foresight to how the approaches will play out.

    Firstly – you need to consider the transferability of skill sets of NRL Players compared to other sports. We have had players not only leave the NRL for England and Union but now also for AFL and even NFL.

    This ridiculous suggestion would only increase the bleed of high quality players from the NRL that the present blanket salary cap approach has created.

    Henry Olivio – I started to read this article with some level of interest based on the Story Title. I must say – it’s as big a flop as Stan’s recent hyped up release of Romper Stomper. And proof of the biggest problem in our game.

    We are not the AFL, NFL, ESL, MBL, NBA or any other sport. We at the NRL. It’s time the administrators of the game STOPPED trying to employ other sports approaches and took a hard look at the unique factors and circumstances of our own game, the problems that have arisen in our game over the last two decades, the attitudes and desires of their market – the supporters/fans, and started putting their own thinking caps on for unique solutions that have been thought trough. Throwing random darts at the board hasn’t worked and never will.

    Any response Henry?

  10. Lot’s of people throwing the draft dart at the board again lol.

    Questions for the draft advocates (Not that I expect any answers).

    Who goes in the draft?
    What about the signing of players outside the draft?
    What are the consequences to Jnr Development?
    Are you aware of the absolute cultural and logistical differences between US Sports and Australian Sports?
    What are the consequences with potential further bleeding of quality players to external competitors?
    Are you aware that NRL players have proven to have greater transferability of skill sets than most other professional athletes?

    • Who goes in the draft? – any player that has it in their contract when they sign.
      What about the signing of players outside the draft? – apart from point 1 all players off contract in their last year
      What are the consequences to Jnr Development? – dunno how this would get measured…
      Are you aware of the absolute cultural and logistical differences between US Sports and Australian Sports? – this will occur anyway.
      What are the consequences with potential further bleeding of quality players to external competitors? The draft window should allow current players of potential to secure new contracts but i think if it is a pool of players they may loose some value – so this is is an issue in that a draft may actually drive them to look for contacts outside of the nrl.
      Are you aware that NRL players have proven to have greater transfer ability of skill sets than most other professional athletes? I think union guys have more opportunity with the english french RSA and local NZ comps but agree with what you are saying

      • Who goes in the draft – Your answer was “any player that has it in their contract when they sign”. If they’re going in the draft then they have no contract and are unsigned – so you haven’t answered this question at all.

        What are the consequences to Jnr Development? – dunno how this would get measured…
        Are you aware of the absolute cultural and logistical differences between US Sports and Australian Sports? – this will occur anyway.

        What will occur anyway? Your response is indicative of the fact that you aren’t aware or have never actually thought about it. This question is highly connected to what are the consequences to Junior Development.

        US Sporting Culture is entirely different to Australian Sporting Culture. In our culture sport is primarily weekend club driven – especially Rugby League. In the US and Canada sport is primarily High School, College driven. They have three clearly delineated levels with High School, College and Semi-Pro/Pro. Each level has no connection to the one beneath it and no vested interest in players on lower levels. That’s why a draft works – There!

        The US also as a result has a much higher age of athletes going Pro than we do. We have 19 year olds and even 18 year olds debut in the NRL. Over there very few go pro before they are 22-22.

        NRL Clubs have vested interest in players all the way down – especially NSW Clubs. Take Penrith as an example, they are responsible for all Jnr Rugby League in the district. They have Development Officers employed in the club that work with PJRLF Clubs AND all primary and high schools participating in Rugby League Competitions. They are also heavily invested in unearthing and developing players through Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg Rep Competitions. Queensland Clubs have similar as do the Warriors and Melbourne.

        Given the variable ages that players progress to NRL who do you draft – Do you draft all the SG Ball players and equivalent? Many aren’t ready. Do you draft all the 20’s? Many of those aren’t ready either. Who do you draft?

        Hypothetically lets say they decide to draft all the under 20’s – Can a club bypass the draft signing Nathan Cleary at 18 and give him a debut? Are you starting to cotton on to the magnitude of this can of worms yet?

        And what happens to player development? Think about it – Clubs put so much into what they see as their future players over quite a few years. If they aren’t even going to get to reap the benefits of that investment then how much incentive do they have to keep doing it?

        And then the game will also – without a doubt – lose future star players who don’t want to be drafted to North Queensland or New Zealand or wherever else and will seek other opportunities overseas or in other sports.

        Both the draft and the salary cap are disincentives to player development and seek to bring mediocrity to the game by trying to force all clubs to be even when all clubs will never be even anyway. The game should be structured in a way that encourages all clubs to keep raising the bar. The reason why Melbourne are always on top is because they focus on early talent recognition and long term development better than any other club in the NRL. Their are numerous players in the NRL today that has years of development invested in them by Melbourne even though there were players in front of them that they would likely never displace and Melbourne have always been happy to let them take opportunities elsewhere: Nathan Friend, James Maloney and Ben Hampton are just a few examples of that.

        The NRL needs to adopt it’s own uniquely tailored solutions rather than seeking to just copy others. Copying others hasn’t worked and never will.

        As for the transferability of NRL players skill sets, we’ve not only had players leave for English Super League and Rugby Union but also for AFL and even for the NFL.

        • Without writing in a condescending way let me respond…
          We dont have the depth that the American systems have to allow If players want to be included in a draft. The draft in the USA has has like 250 + players that allows the weaker teams first choice.
          The NRL has less than a dozen mid season signings.. so the topic was about control measures.
          The suggestion of having players contracted with a draft or as i said “transfer” clause was to stop the majority of players wanting to back out of current contracts, new players / old players alike.
          If you are talking about including emerging juniors i think its only fair that the clubs who developed them should have first rights to sign them.

        • Draft works ok in the AFL, what’s the USA got to do with anything. Players union backed the draft in the AFL which is why it works. No reason we couldn’t do it in NRL.

  11. You raise some good points and I’m all for discussion that can bring about awareness and change for the betterment of the game that centres on the areas of a sport that need to improve. One big challenge to this seems to be the lack directive and vision from its leaders at the moment. Spotlighted by the fact that whenever a thought or suggestion is raised in regards to changes within the game the general response is along the lines of i “we need to consider on a wider scale how this will impact the game now and into the future too many decisions are made without due consideration” Perhaps the powers that be should read some of these forums for ideas,
    Thanks for your input

    • Whilst I don’t agree with the “fixed price – offered to the weakest club first” concept, I like the article.

      I’m a realist, or at least I think I am / try to be, so I know it’s not an easy fix, but it definitely can be improved, and whilst won’t be perfect, can be improved significantly from current standards, with low/no risk.

      How many people, like those of us on this site for example, would jump at the chance to volunteer their input, and whilst you’d get some “totally out there” suggestions, you’d get some gold too, and with that, and some forward thinkers, not to mention the world of actual real life systems / processes from other sports, this couldn’t be as good as it gets, surely?

      It’s not that hard.

      • What if it’s the player that nominates the price, then it could work.
        Honestly why does the competition strive to be equal? Where the goal is so every team can possibly win every year
        In theory it penalises success and rewards failure.
        The games management has been misguided and short sighted for years

  12. Fix the current state of the game first , cmon what other sport on the planet has such inequities in the draw to start with , it’s ridiculous, add to that the overpopulation of Sydney clubs , crowds are poor , choice of venues is laughable, the current status of player movement shows no balance towards clubs who have spent thousands on development, marketing is nonexistent, the billion dollar game 😂😂😂 did I mention the outrageous player salaries

    • Agree too many syd clubs.
      Will it be a merge or a cull ? Both ?
      Manly & Newy
      Souths & roosters
      Dogs & Tigpies
      Parra & Panthers
      Saints & Sharks
      Canberra can represent nsw country, a country qld team to replace the titmen and a perth wild card ?
      12 clubs .

        • Bahahahahaha. 😂 Nice try WoodChook. Nick Politis tried that on once already and failed. Souths now have the backing of James Packer and Russell Crowe so the Rabbitohs are no longer in a weaker position than the Roosters. The only difference between the two clubs is that Souths develop their own own juniors and prop up the Roosters junior system and the Rabbitohs have a salary cap and the Roosters don’t.

          If a merge is coming it will be 50/50 and Crowe and Packer won’t take a back seat to anyone, especially Politis!

          Did you enjoy your Cooper Cronk/Angus Crichton New Year Foghorn Leghorn?

        • SSTID-1970 The merge would be perfect. Lets face it, The chooks can’t produce juniors because Souths have taken practically all of East Sydney. How can Souths truly be South Sydney when they have half the eastern beaches of Sydney. If you deadest look at a compass south is not on the Big E, henceforth south Sydney the big thief’s have been nicking our juniors since 1908. A merge would rightfully give those juniors back to the Roosters and out of good will, we will keep the Sydney from South Sydney to keep those people who live on the east coast of Souths which is really East happy.

          Thanks for the Cooper Cronk/Angus Crichton New Year Foghorn Leghorn. Very Nice mate.

        • You mean juniors like Nat Butcher, Egan Butcher, Brock Gray, Grant Garvey and Paul Momirovski WoodChook?

          Sure, let’s merge. The new entity can be called the South Eastern Rabbitohs (Emblem: Rabbit), jersey: Cardinal and myrtle stripes with white shorts and red and navy blue stripes. Done deal. Do you want to shake on it? Or are you just taking the piss? After all it is the ONLY way the Roosters will get to touch the Glorious heights of the Rabbitohs! LOL

          Did you have a good New Year WoodChook? Have you ordered your Angus Crichton Roosters jersey to sit along side your Cooper Cronk No. 7?

        • What do you say 13rooster, are you up for the change? No longer the need for the obsession of chasing the white rabbit and 21 golden trophies! They say there is a fine line between love and hate and the reason the Roosters supporters hate the Rabbitohs so much is because deep down you LOVE us and you want to have what we have. This way you will have so much more to crowe about. 😉

      • Manly don’t need to merge , there are problems though for Easts Souths and the clubs out west , Newie are fine , the rest need to merge

      • Manly and Newie? that will do me. A logistical nightmare to say the least.
        Parra and Penrith? Both have strong leagues clubs backing them, that will never happen.

        Whilst I agree there are too many Sydney clubs, I honestly can’t see any mergers that will work. Maybe relocation, but who? Souths 😉

        • If it was forced on every club.. half of them are in dire straits/straights as it is..
          Ok parra and Penrith are big clubs but its for the good of the game and everyone is affected (in Syd) so no shows of favouritism.
          Maybe in the year 2028 ?

        • @ eels47

          I think Souths have been cultivating a following in Perth for a reason and similarly games have been taken to Cairns with this in mind. IMO I think these are Souths’ Plan B and Plan C. A move to the Central Coast would also be a possibility but the NRL are not interested in giving the Central Coast a franchise. If Souths move I think the pressure will be on a merge between “the HAVEs” the Sea Eagles and the Roosters.

          Kraken’s estimate of the game in it’s present state only having 50 years to survive is optimistic at best. I think 20 years is more realistic unless there is drastic change and a realistic adjustment in expectations among players concerning what the game can afford to pay them for their efforts. If the NRL gets this wrong soccer will overrun RL on the eastern sea board some time in the not too distant future.

          I personally support a draft system and although I understand the arguments against this, particularly the lack of incentive for clubs to be involved in junior development, but currently the system is not really representative of developing local talent when there are feeder clubs in other states producing junior talent far outside the boundaries of the club they are supporting. There is no preservation of club culture or loyalties in such a system.

          I agree with pedro that there is a world of difference between the US NBA and NFL draft systems and that of the AFL. The collegiate system in the US is the backbone of the the NBA and NFL draft systems. These college basketball and football competitions have their own dedicated and loyal following. In many instances there are people who support their alma mater (the team representing the university they used to attend) but do not support an NFL or NBA team. The support for the college system in the US is rivaled only by the sea of eager young aspiring athletes who look to be accepted into this system each year. The talent pool in Australia beyond being diminished by a much smaller population also has to compete with rival codes AFL, Rugby Union and Soccer for the little talent there is to begin with.

          In short, the US has a substantially larger population and talent pool from which to draw upon and a demographic that in many cases has the support of an entire state! The total Australian population is only 7.5% of the US’s total population. It is crazy, unrealistic and unsustainable for the game for players to expect to be paid in line with NFL and Soccer players overseas. There is just not enough people following and supporting the game to make this viable financially. This is why the NRL are driven by the need to expand or perish.

  13. The NRL needs to pay players the salaries directly instead of the clubs. All TPA contracts be non club specific and tye TPA s paid to the NRL directly and then forwarded to the player. Then no more excuses from players when they receive lump sum cash payments or boats/cars.
    Off contract players go to the highest bidder excluding TPA as they are no longer tied to a specific club

    If players don’t like it, don’t play NRL

  14. Scrap the cap and let the clubs pay what ever the player can get. Then we will have 12 strong clubs owned by the worlds richest. The players will earn what soccer players and gridiron players achieve, more people will be attracted to play the game due to the unbelievable cash it provides from the oil sheiks, etc.etc.etc.

    Fantasy Butt will see back to back premiers like the good old days.

    • Ha ha , players will earn what soccer players earn , Ronaldo makes more in 1 month than the NRL makes in 5 years , Rugby League will never ever reach the heights of AFL let alone Soccer , don’t get me wrong RL is number 1 for me but il tell everyone ALeague will soon take over NRL , wait n see

    • “Scrap the cap”
      The new Roosters motto. Too bad it doesn’t apply to them. Now THAT’s an oxymoron… Roosters and salary cap.

      Love your sense of humour Foghorn Leghorn.

      • ……ahhh STD, finding the whole Crichton saga a little too much to bare hey? He is going to ok sooo good in red white and blue 😂🤣😂🤣

        • @ Zero Tackle

          How many times do clowns who refer to my profile as STD need to be reported before you act? Even after they are reported by multiple profiles here and the post is removed they simply repost and the post is left and they are not banned for repeat infringements. Given the recent MULTIPLE security breach of this site which I have to date receive NO explanation for, security and moderation of this site is becoming a joke.

          I am awaiting a public confirmation on Zero Tackles’ stance on this sort of behaviour. This clown is clearly the same piñata that got punted before Christmas so why do you continually turn a blind eye to this kind of offensive harassment? If this sort of behaviour is OK please confirm this and I will happily take the gloves off and deal with this myself. Don’t place restraints on me and allow others free rein. Play fair!

    • scrapping the cap has plenty of merit. the main reason has to be the current lack of transparency. it smells like a rat because it is a rat.

      1. a salary cap restricts investment from the public who want to use a club to raise their public profile. this limits the money coming into the game to revenue only. why would I invest if I can’t influence on-field success. if you want the best talent playing the game you need to be able to attract them and retain them.

      2. economic research done into european soccer shows that clubs very rarely go bust. In well over 100 years I think if i remember correctly only six clubs in the UK have ever gone bust. There would be 150 clubs or so. Most in the event of economic hardship have been bailed out by either wealthy individuals or the community. bristol city, glasgow rangers, etc. albeit they do have lower divisions to drop to for when they can’t afford players anymore. the whole big brother club protection thing is a crock.

  15. part of the reason the current system is how it is due to the fact their are other markets looking for nrl players. eg japanese rugby, super league, etc. any move to restrict a players future earnings or job security may leave to players going to other markets. eg if I was a decent player with a few good years left and I was in a position where i had to wait until the season ended to then find a club, or i could go to japan for a guaranteed amount i know which option i’d be taking.

    the only way to fix this is to have a soccer style transfer market, which would mean more players would be moved around before a contract was completed but at least the rights holder to that contract (incumbent club) would get some benefit in lieu of player development. its not perfect but it would be better.

    any comparisons to afl or nrl are just of the mark because clubs are richer, and there are no secondary player markets.

  16. The article assumes that it’s a problem. While I share the sentiment, I think that clubs just need to accept that if a player wants to go, then they are gonna GTFO regardless of any deal that was made years ago under completely different circumstances.

    Players transfer for a broad range of reasons and I don’t think it’s a fair assumption that clubs should be able to hang onto players who want out. As a Roosters fan (believe it or not) I’ve seen quite a few players ditch us with little/no notice. Think RTS, Watson, Sammy P + Anthony Mitchell (when we were up against the ropes facing a spoon in mid-2009), Jennings, Maloney, Moga, Linnett, Shackleton…etc. On the other hand, you get players who misbehave and/or lack form so have to be released after being signed as stars… think Nate Myles (aka ‘Pyles’), Willie Mason, O’Meley, Hodges, SKD, Carney, Paul Carter, Anthony Watts, Jayden Nikorima…etc. Relationships between players and clubs change over time and the NRL is a VERY VERY fast-paced profession where one can go from outhouse to penthouse in 6 months (or the reverse). A contract is there so that one party can get a remedy if circumstances change and the other has to break the contract. I don’t buy the mentality that a contract should not be broken under any circumstances… you need good business-minded managers running the show, not ex-players who think everybody should be loyal to them no matter what (but not vice versa when they are injured/lacking form).

    IMO rather than whinging about players leaving, teams need to be more gracious about it (maybe they’ll come back if you behave yourself?), keep some cash under the cap (rather than maxing out & getting all mad when you get stuck), be gutsy/risky in signing players from outside the box and #1 priority… build the club up so it’s attractive to awesome players!!!! People love to hate the Roosters, but Uncle Nick always gets his man because we have awesome facilities, terrific coaching staff (Robbo, JT, Fitzgibbon, Johns, Mini…etc) and we have signed 2 or 3 marquee players who others can learn from. People love to hate us, but TBH most sound like sore losers in a game of cards saying ‘YOU CHEATED!!!’ after you’ve legitimately hustled out a win.

    So long as teams aren’t over the salary cap, I don’t give a stuff what their recruitment practices are. People complain that we signed Teddy mid-season? Yeah well the Warriors paid $850,000 for RTS mid-season… we just had to cop it and move on. We went through a transition in 2016 where we came 2nd last. Losing Maloney, SBW, RTS, Jennings, LOD, Burgess, Guerra, SKD, Copley, Nikorima, Hastings, Gordon, Pearce…etc freed up a LOT of money and I do not feel sorry for the Tigpies. They knew for sure that we had money to spend and were well within our rights to negotiate with their star FB. Rather than treating him, they gave him an unrealistic deadline to make up his mind, then spent the whole year booing him for his decision. Sorry, but the Tigpies’ blunder was self-imposed. Rather than using that $$$ to sign somebody else, they just sat around having a big fat whinge about it. A professional club has gotta have a better plan than that!!

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