The Roar
The Roar

Josh Bailo

Roar Rookie

Joined May 2020

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Thanks Paul, I really appreciate you saying that. I think you are spot on with that last comment. I have heard it referenced before and said in the article that for a lot of these guys club land acts as an extension of high school which over time I think becomes a problem for them.
In a way I feel sorry for some of these guys because they go through their careers really not having to worry about anything except footy, then hit their 30’s, retire, and really have no idea what to do with themselves.
Coaches, agents etc. all have their own agendas and jobs to do, so everything for these guys is footy related and because some of them make great money at such an early age, they are often fairly poor at managing it, and not everyone around them always has their best interests in mind.

Lessons NRL players have failed to learn

No. Well, I guess I could try and make out I do if I was trying to big note myself because I am a sole trader. But the truth is I am just a fairly average plasterer who has a boss and gets paid hourly. The only thing I have in common with a business owner is that I get paid into an ABN.

Lessons NRL players have failed to learn

Your probably right about the NRL dragging their heels Paul. I have no experience at all when it comes to industrial relations, but know that the NRL over the years has a track record for being slow to react to certain situations. So perhaps it was better for the players to react quickly as this situation might have been inevitable in the end.
I just felt in this instance though that given the circumstances they could have just gotten on with things and maybe waited for it to become an issue before making it one. But again you are probably right in the sense that perhaps it was better from the players point of view to be pro-active and not re-active in this situation.
The article was written more to vent the fact that I feel sometimes, certain players, not all the players, in fact probably just a small minority of them, don’t understand or fail to consider that the game is not all about them and there are others involved who are just as important, especially the fans. Perhaps I could have used a better situation to emphasise this point.
Also, I really didn’t want or mean to pick on James Graham. I personally love the bloke, especially the fact that he has the guts to speak up on issues involving the game. I only used his interview as an example because he was one of the few that did speak up and voice his opinion.

Lessons NRL players have failed to learn

Hi Paul, and thanks for taking the time to comment. I think a large portion of the playing group must have shared James Graham’s view as a date to recommence training was put back till after a meeting was held between the NRL and RLPA. Reports at the time also suggested that the players were at odds with RLPA in regards to starting back at training and would not do so until they knew what they would be getting paid. I don’t know how much of that was just rumour or fact but in hindsight it must have had some merit as the players did not return to training until after they were given an 80% pay guarantee.
I do agree with you Paul in the sense that in the end a fair compromise was reached without too much blood being spilt, and that the players before the season commenced absolutely should know what financial benefits they would receive, but when this was happening they were only being asked to resume training in a time span that they had already been paid for.
The point I was trying to make is that it was simply the wrong time for the players to threaten a no show. They only needed to go about their business and wait for their union and the NRL to iron out all the details, and if the NRL begun to stall then bring the hammer down, but to play hard ball at that stage was not a good look and to me looked as though any player who was unwilling to return, failed to understand the situation.
You said that “Graham was voicing was a desire to understand why the NRL was making an offer when there were few if any financial numbers from the NRL for the players to see. Effectively he wanted to understand the business”.
Again that is fair enough Paul, but again is something that could have been addressed in time. After all the players at the next meeting took the 80% guarantee without knowing all the financial details, as the NRL had yet to agree to terms with Channel Nine or Fox Sports.

Lessons NRL players have failed to learn