The NRL have discovered that off field spending leads to on field success. Whowouldathinkit?
The NRL are set to introduce an off field salary cap to stop poor clubs going broke and spending money they don’t have on things like paying fired coaches salaries well after they have left the organisation, overseas “study trips”, high performance units etc.
Let’s go back to the coaching merry go round. An off field cap will slow the merry go round and grind it to a halt as clubs won’t want to be paying two coaches under the proposed system as they simply will not be able to afford it. Let’s take Jason Taylor. After weeks of poor performances, the Tigers may feel the urge to give him his marching orders but won’t be able to due to off field cap restraints. And what if the club is only into the first year of a multi year deal with the coach? Will a caveat be included in his contract to ensure they can be released at the conclusion of each season, regardless of how far along they are with their contract and not receive the remaining salary they signed on for? Any manager worth his salt would never agree to this clause being inserted.
The AFL have introduced this “equalisation tax” upon their clubs so it only stands to reason the NRL would do the same.
The Knights, Tigers and Titans will love the sound of this deal as they get additional funding from the games governing body to pay for off field expenses, to the tune of 130% of player payments between the beginning of the agreement in 2018 through 2022.
I’m sure the Broncos, Melbourne and Roosters will be none too pleased though. Especially Brisbane. If the off-field cap is set at a rumoured $1.125 million per season, will the Broncos be able to afford Bennett’s salary alone under this cap?
At this stage there are more questions than answers and there is sure to be a high level of resistance by some of the more successful clubs, who will no doubt see this is as a way to punish the successful and reward mediocrity and poor performance
If only it were that simple. There are underlying geographical and socio economic issues at play here as well. Brisbane is a well established, one team town with seemingly unlimited resources. The Roosters are a wealthy eastern suburbs team with a rich benefactor and Melbourne were long bankrolled by News Limited. Newcastle is a blue collar town that cannot compete with the likes of Brisbane and the Roosters when it comes to both on and off field spending. Neither can the struggling Tigers and Titans, who would only be spending a fraction of what the bug clubs are on off field expenses.
This proposed system is an indirect equalisation tax on the richer clubs and will there be loopholes to siphon off unspent money under this off-field cap as a quasi marquee player allowance?
The devil will certainly be in the detail of this agreement, should all 16 clubs sign off on it.