The coal board spent a fortune training me to be an (abjectly shocking) accountant! If I'd left their employ they'd have been seriously hacked off and my notice period would have been dreadful. But there would have been sod all they could have done about it. And i wouldn't have to wait til I was 24!!
I suppose what the Bosman rule did was as DMS has just said. Bring sport in line with the rest of the working public. - why should it be different??
The reality is I was such a poor accountant I'm surprised they didn't offer me an incentive to leave!!!
First off just to say Robin/DMS (and MLP I suspect) you're quite right the old transfer system was untenable under European law and in reality we have to make the best of what we have. Some companies "try" to install contract clauses something like "you can no be employed by a competitor for a period of 6 or 12 months after leaving your current employer". This is to try and stop people like me taking my knowledge / customer contact info and using to the detriment of the company I currently work for (rather than the training that I have been given). However in reality these clauses are virtually untenable, because they fall foul of the restriction of trade laws, which is where the Bosman rule comes in. The 24 year age limit is a similar type clause, which if seriously challenged I suspect would be difficult to uphold.
However that all said in reality what Colin states is true, IMO the lack of a transfer fee for players has been to the detriment of the smaller clubs (and not just in Rugby League). And if we could find a system that allowed compensation to be paid without falling foul of international employment law that would be good. Though I suspect that it would not be possible to do.
The reality is that as a club we have to find a way of being able to develop youngsters and maximise the benefit of their development. This could be longer contracts for younger players, getting SL sponsorship to develop players (you can argue that dual registration is the start of this - though I don't like it personally, thin end of the wedge and all that), getting external sponsorship to develop players (maybe dual registration with companies outside RL - you can argue that this is true already with part time players, but maybe we could do something more formal), etc.
For me we as a club have only started looking at maximising some of this revenue over the last couple of years, though not being in the know I'm probably wrong. For me it is these forms of funding that will see us progress as a club.
However wrong the Bosman ruling and the way we have been treated by SL is irrelevant at this point in time. We need to look forward and how we can maximise our potential as a club and not just linger and look at the past, which will only stifle us as a club. I see us doing lots of good things, we should concentrate on making them better.
I'm sure I'll think of something funny to say soon.