NRL must be more transparent with player contracts
This all started when I tried to write a column about which 25 players I would want on my team for 2013 subject to the $4.4 million salary cap. Then I realised how hard the task was without an accurate idea of what each player is worth.
No club releases accurate data relating to player contracts as they are not compelled to do by the NRL.
The amount a player earns has always remained a secret between the club management, the agents and the players.
Only some of the highest paid players have their salaries reported and they can be inaccurate, due largely to the influence of third party deals.
No one seems to understand how much NRL players are actually getting paid.
For bigger sports leagues with salary caps, like the NBA and the NFL, there are sites dedicated to the details of every player’s contract, allowing fans to understand how much these athletes are getting from their beloved clubs.
If fans are shelling out money for merchandise, tickets and membership, shouldn’t they have a right to know what their club is paying their star players?
In the wake of the Melbourne Storm saga, surely transparency can only be good for the game. This would also significantly clear up uncertainty surrounding third-party deals.
For good or bad, focus will also be put on a team’s front office. If they make a good deal by paying less for a good player, fans will know their administration are shrewd negotiators. If they spent too much, fans will be able to put pressure on their team, making the board think twice before offering big deals in future. Just ask the Eels about Chris Sandow, the Panthers about Michael Jennings.
I think fans genuinely have the right to know how much their players are paid, whether some of the contracts are justified and they should be able to recognise when players are basically robbing the teams with their poor performances. They should also be able to campaign for solid players who are due to earn more.
In the long term, this will benefit both the clubs and the players, while cutting down the impact that agents can have on recruitment decisions.
Clubs will have a better understanding of the market price for a certain type of players and be less prone to overpay players just because their values have been inflated by agents that are good at ‘hyping up’ their clients. This will also provide an incentive for players to perform, given that they now have to justify their salaries to the fans as well.
Wouldn’t you want to find out how much some of your players are getting paid?
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