Players waiting on salary cap news
Some of the biggest names in the NRL will hope to benefit from the new billion dollar TV deal, but player managers are holding fire as clubs wait to find out how much extra money they’ll receive from the new windfall.
Several superstars such as Johnathan Thurston, Matt Bowen, Greg Inglis, Robbie Farah, Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney are all off-contract at the end of the 2013 season and are expected to benefit significantly financially.
The ARLC’s new broadcast agreement, signed on Tuesday, will see the Nine Network and Fox Sports pour $1.025b into their coffers over the next five years.
While the extra funding is expected to take the game forward, all parties are waiting with baited breath to find out how much extra money will be distributed to clubs.
The new windfall will see an increase in the $4.4m salary cap, which is expected to rise to just over $5m for next season and up to $6.5m by 2018.
However, there are concerns among some player representatives that clubs want their annual grants from the ARLC to rise to $7m to cover operating costs in addition to their cap for first and lower grade players.
They fear this could see players not earn as much from the new deal as first hoped.
“I’m worried that some clubs, who don’t want to go out and find ways to increase their revenue want to rely on hand-outs from the NRL to stay afloat,” said one player manager, who asked to remain anonymous.
“We are still waiting to be told how the new money will work and what the cap will be.
“The players are the ones that make the game what it is and they should be the ones that are rewarded.”
Clubs are likely to find out next week how much extra money they’ll have to play with in 2013.
Andrew Purcell, who lists South Sydney’s Michael Crocker and Canberra’s representative prop David Shillington among his clients, said the new deal should be great news for the players.
However, he hopes the new cap will ensure not only the stars at the top end of the game are looked after, but also mid-tier players – many who often earn as little as $55,000 a year.
“The proof will be in the wash-up of how it’s distributed,” Purcell told AAP.
“The players who sit at the front table of the game must be looked after of course, but the future development of the game must be looked after too.”
“Players who are 25-35 on a club’s roster have sat at the back of the bus for a long time.
“We have to make sure that there is an increase in the minimum wage for players over the age of 21.
“These are the guys that are training four nights a week and getting beaten up on a Sunday, and over the course of a season they are just as important to a club.”
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