The Roar
The Roar


What's with the salary cap anyway?

Kieran Foran of the Eels. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)
Roar Guru
25th April, 2016
4081 Reads

Do we have a cap or don’t we? How this third party arrangement is supposed to work really baffles me and I hope the punters can help me out on this.

So the Parramatta saga continues and I have to stick it to the NRL here because this has gone on way too long.

There has been plenty of hyperbole running around in media based on very little factual information. Also, where exactly are all these leaks coming from to the newspapers? Do they Sydney papers have a mole inside the NRL investigation unit?

So we have a salary cap that is supposedly there to keep a level playing field. In reality it means that clubs don’t have to sponsor junior talent anymore because loyalty died with the Super League war.

Now we have a poach-athon going on every pre, mid and post-season. Clubs that nurture the talent through the grades don’t have any incentive to continue to do so as they reap no benefit for bringing a junior through as they are at the same mercy of the cap as every other club.

So third party deals or payments are supposed to have absolutely nothing to do with and can not be organised by a club. This is something the Eels are supposed to be in trouble for doing. Please tell me how exactly is that supposed to happen in reality?

Let’s look at a hypothetical in the Kieran Foran contract with Parramatta. So the Eels coach and management sit down and decide they want to make a run at Foran. They look at the cap and decide they can spend say up to 900k over four years without going over.

After some back and forth behind closed doors with Foran’s manager they realise that 900k is not at the market rate to drag the Eagle away from Manly and that likely another 300k is needed to get him to move.

What is supposed to happen now?


Is the process supposed to be now that Parramatta now leaks to the media that they are in strong negotiations with Foran’s management and now sit back and wait for a random third party, such as a rich Parra fan, to come along and offer Foran an extra 300k to move to Parra?

Is that it? Or what am I missing here?

You can’t tell me that every single marquee player signed to a club involving large third party deals such as Foran, Cherry-Evans, Sam Burgess, Sonny Bill Williams, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Greg Inglis, the Melbourne Trio, Johnathan Thurston and who ever else, went through without the club having some sort of involvement in the negotiation of those third party deals to be registered with the NRL.

If you believe that then I have some very special snake oil to sell you.

Now the Eels have been pretty transparent it seems since the flags started to be raised about Scott Seward and the previous few years during and after the departure of Ricky Stuart.

They currently have a four-point penalty deduction hanging over their heads as a result. While the new revelations are hard to decipher with newspapers ready to print what ever they like and quite willing to try and infer that Parramatta is some how involved with the Panama papers just to get a click.

All I can understand so far is that the former CEO was involved in organising part of the third party deals.

Please don’t tell me that Parramatta is being compared to Melbourne and the Bulldogs for that, or what exactly am I missing here?


The third party deals framework needs to be reformed, and soon.