How the non­player salary cap will hit your team

The NRL is mov­ing on off-field spend­ing – and your club could get hurt

Rugby League Week - - News - BY TONY ADAMS

THE BRON­COS, DOGS AND Cow­boys will be the big losers if the NRL suc­ceeds in its bid to bring in a salary cap on foot­ball de­part­ments next sea­son. Con­cerned be­cause rich clubs have a mas­sive ad­van­tage over their poorer ri­vals in terms of money to spend on top-flight coaches and sports science, the NRL is con­sid­er­ing bring­ing in a level play­ing field sim­i­lar to the salary cap on player spend­ing.

A spe­cial RLW in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed that the Bron­cos spend more money on off-field fa­cil­i­ties than any of their 15 ri­vals, closely fol­lowed by the Bull­dogs and Cow­boys.

If the NRL is suc­cess­ful with the new cap, it’ll be a boost for the strug­gling Knights and Dragons, who spend less off-field than any­one else.

Ar­eas to be cov­ered by the cap – be­lieved to be around the $10 mil­lion mark – in­clude salaries of coaches, chief ex­ec­u­tives and other staff, over­seas study trips, sports science and high-per­for­mance units.

With most foot­ball clubs run­ning at a loss and propped up by grants from the NRL, rich bene­fac­tors and leagues clubs, League HQ is wary of sides plung­ing fur­ther into fi­nan­cial strife at the cur­rent rate of spend­ing.

It’s es­ti­mated that the big clubs out­lay over $10 mil­lion off the field, while their poorer op­po­nents spend less than half that.

Most clubs are be­hind the move to limit off-field spend­ing, but the rich sides feel the cap would be a backward step, drag­ging them back to the rest of the field.

“It’s not our fault that some clubs can’t keep up with the chang­ing pace of the game off the field,” a source from one of the game’s wealth­ier teams tells RLW.

“The top coaches get paid big salaries and you can’t be­grudge them that for the work they put in and the stress the job places on them.

“And they’re al­ways on the cut­ting edge of tech­nol­ogy, al­ways look­ing for that new bit of sports science that will give them the edge.

“But that sort of thing doesn’t come cheap – you look at what foot­ball clubs in Amer­ica and Europe spend and it’s mas­sive com­pared to rugby league.

“And a lot of it’s re­lated to player wel­fare and sports science to help them out. We have to think of what is best for our ath­letes.”

How­ever, the Sharks proved last sea­son that it’s pos­si­ble to beat the big boys de­spite mod­est bud­gets.

Wayne Ben­nett and Craig Bel­lamy are the game’s high­est-paid coaches, be­lieved to be on about $1.5 mil­lion a year. Des Hasler isn’t far be­hind on around $1.25 mil­lion, and Paul Green is also on seven fig­ures.

Nathan Brown and Paul McGre­gor are on un­der half that amount.

Bron­cos Bull­dogs Cow­boys THE BIG­GEST SPENDERS Storm Pan­thers War­riors Raiders Roost­ers Sea Ea­gles Eels THE BATTLERS Rab­bitohs Ti­tans Tigers Sharks Knights Dragons MID­DLE OF THE PACK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.