The big fire sale going on now in Melbourne is sure to benefit someone in Super League. These players whom I have labelled "second tier" are not second rate. They are just not in the class of the Big Four. However they are all top quality players who would grace the roster of any Super League or NRL club.
With Ryan Hofffman headed to Wigan, Brett Finch headed to either Wigan or Hull KR, and Anthony Quinn probably headed to Wigan, the quality of Super League is sure to rise in 2011. Many other Melbourne Storm players are to be released on to the market, but cannot be fitted within the salary cap of many top NRL clubs.
The problem that I see is that --- because of Michael McGuire's personal connections with all the Melbourne players, and Ian Lenagan's deep pockets ---Wigan may end up with most of the top Melbourne players, and thereby introduce an unhealthy dominance such as we used to see prior to Super League. The only other club that has the money to challenge them would appear to be Warrington.
Will this be healthy for Super League?
Of course not.
It is not a problem of Wigan being strong. It is a problem of Wigan being too strong for the good of rugby league.
Only when we have a tight contest between at least six clubs --- and those clubs include Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Leeds and Hull FC -- will Super League crowds and TV viewership be able to grow further.
If the top tier competitiive mix includes Bradford, Les Catalans, Harlequins and Crusaders, then that will be even better. However the financial problems faced by all three expanion clubs will be an issue for them.
But it is imperative that while Wigan is going to be strong, at least we do not have a overwhelming dominance of Wigan over the rest --- fed by the Melbourne Storm fire sale.
Edited by ParisSurtout, 13 July 2010 - 07:34 PM.