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Salary Cap


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#181 Steve May

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 23 2010, 06:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If a League has access to vast numbers of talented players then comparative wealth becomes far less important. The scarcer player supply is then the more important / useful wealth becomes.


I think this is absolutely true. I recommend that everyone reads "What sport tells us about life" by Ed Smith. It is an excellent book and one of the chapters covers the economics of sports wages. In it he reviews some of the work done in comparing the competitiveness of sports in relation to their labour policies.

QUOTE
The evidence suggests that the strongest factor in keeping leagues balanced isn't lower wages or labour restrictions but the breadth of talent coming into the sport. A small talent base - meaning fewer players entering the game with enough basic ability to become great players - leads to a concentration of excellence at the top.

...

The key to the competitive balance story, concludes The Wages of Wins, is not league policy, but simply changes in the population of athletes the league draws upon.


I think the real story of Wigan's dominance of the 80s is that the player pool in British RL had become so denuded that there simply weren't enough high quality players to fill the teams playing at the top. Those that were good moved to Wigan partly because of the pay, but also because Wigan was the place to win things and good athletes are motivated by silverware, not pieces of silver. It became self-fulfilling, Wigan won things so you had to move to Wigan to win things. It was a waste of time playing with the second-raters who populated all the other teams.

I think in the light of the economic studies into wage policies you have to conclude that the salary cap isn't a major factor driving a levelling out of the game. If it's occurring at all it's more likely to be related to the huge increase in playing numbers in the community game and the massive improvements in the systems that bring through elite young players.

That doesn't mean the salary cap is worthless. Far from it. We still have a small player pool to choose from and it seems that the evidence shows that where this is the case labour restrictions can improve the competitiveness of a league. So until such time as every club in the league is able to field a predominantly "home grown" side it's probably worth sticking with for its levelling effect, limited though it is.

The second reason for having the salary cap I think is a much stronger one. Quite simply it stops clubs from overspending. Regardless of how arcane the rules are and even if some clubs are finding loopholes the general principle prevents an outbreak of the kind of spiralling wage inflation that could lead to massive financial damage to a number of clubs, big and small.


Lastly, the evidence presented in studies on labour controls within sports leagues clearly shows the importance of widening the available player pool. It seems obvious when it is said, but it nonetheless needs to be said clearly and often, the health of the game depends almost solely on the ability the game has to attract young players and successfully develop them into elite athletes. The importance of that simply cannot be understated.

That's me.  I'm done.


#182 Steve May

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (getdownmonkeyman @ Sep 24 2010, 10:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think Tony Smith has been a watershed to Moran, investing in the infrastructure is as important, if not moreso than focussing solely on the first team. That is also my impression that Leneghan has at Wigan. If there are players who are available and would benefit the club and the coach has expressed a desire to have them; go and try to sign them, but not at the expense of the overall infrastructure.


I think it took Ken Davy at Huddersfield about 8 or 9 years to realise this. From 1994/5 to 2002ish he tried to bring in big name players to build the first team and got nowhere. From there on in he's been much cannier about investing in the club overall and that is reflected in the club's success.



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#183 The Parksider

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (getdownmonkeyman @ Sep 24 2010, 10:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I feel a little sorry for Moran in this. Only one facet is seen in his investment; transfer fees. What isn't seen is his investment (and I put that loosely as our income streams are quite good) in bringing in John Bastian to head up and co-ordinate the junior set-up. An additional physio, a nutritionist (only had one for the past 12 months) or another person to do the stats/video analysis. I think Tony Smith has been a watershed to Moran, investing in the infrastructure is as important, if not moreso than focussing solely on the first team. That is also my impression that Leneghan has at Wigan. If there are players who are available and would benefit the club and the coach has expressed a desire to have them; go and try to sign them, but not at the expense of the overall infrastructure.


Cheers GDMM

It seems that nearly all the money men are in there to invest in their clubs within the salary cap and buy into the concept of real investment and not rampant wage inflation.

That leaves a situation given what you say about Mr Moran and confirm about Mr. lenegan, that if there is a money man who we are to date not sure about wether he will spend millions if the cap is removed, it is Mr. McManus.

So remove the cap and maybe watch saints go.

perhaps they will be in the Grand Final for eternity?


#184 shrek

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE
Seems you want to have a go about my "academy" but don't like the "reformatory". I mean no offence but if people want to be sarcastic, I don't mind standing my corner. I'm sure if we (all) met face to face we'd be a bit less inclined to "have a go" at ach other. I'll apologise first - sorry if you have taken offence.

I appreciated your points on policing the cap, and also your point about something far more above board and transparent like a draft, I'd go for that for sure....


Apologies you took it that way if it came across as either sarcastic or as "having a go" that wasn't the intention it was just something I threw into a post to address another poster who you'd earlier referred to as a good student of the game.

#185 The Parksider

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE (shrek @ Sep 25 2010, 12:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Apologies you took it that way if it came across as either sarcastic or as "having a go" that wasn't the intention it was just something I threw into a post to address another poster who you'd earlier referred to as a good student of the game.


Kind of you...No probs.....

#186 Allan Marsden

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE (Steve May @ Sep 24 2010, 11:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think this is absolutely true. I recommend that everyone reads "What sport tells us about life" by Ed Smith. It is an excellent book and one of the chapters covers the economics of sports wages. In it he reviews some of the work done in comparing the competitiveness of sports in relation to their labour policies.



I think the real story of Wigan's dominance of the 80s is that the player pool in British RL had become so denuded that there simply weren't enough high quality players to fill the teams playing at the top. Those that were good moved to Wigan partly because of the pay, but also because Wigan was the place to win things and good athletes are motivated by silverware, not pieces of silver. It became self-fulfilling, Wigan won things so you had to move to Wigan to win things. It was a waste of time playing with the second-raters who populated all the other teams.

I think in the light of the economic studies into wage policies you have to conclude that the salary cap isn't a major factor driving a levelling out of the game. If it's occurring at all it's more likely to be related to the huge increase in playing numbers in the community game and the massive improvements in the systems that bring through elite young players.

That doesn't mean the salary cap is worthless. Far from it. We still have a small player pool to choose from and it seems that the evidence shows that where this is the case labour restrictions can improve the competitiveness of a league. So until such time as every club in the league is able to field a predominantly "home grown" side it's probably worth sticking with for its levelling effect, limited though it is.

The second reason for having the salary cap I think is a much stronger one. Quite simply it stops clubs from overspending. Regardless of how arcane the rules are and even if some clubs are finding loopholes the general principle prevents an outbreak of the kind of spiralling wage inflation that could lead to massive financial damage to a number of clubs, big and small.


Lastly, the evidence presented in studies on labour controls within sports leagues clearly shows the importance of widening the available player pool. It seems obvious when it is said, but it nonetheless needs to be said clearly and often, the health of the game depends almost solely on the ability the game has to attract young players and successfully develop them into elite athletes. The importance of that simply cannot be understated.


Excellent post Steve

I asked would it make any difference if we had a salary cap or not. IMO if we removed it then we would increase the the potential supply of labour but more important the quality of labour. V the NRL with a cap we could easily attract many of their best players if we had no cap and increase playing standards in SL V Union we could as we have always done sign talented Union players if we had no cap and playing standard would increase. So immediately playing standards would increase.

Likewise, under the salary cap injuries to key players cannot be overcome, a team lacking key players due to injury suffers a loss of form and playing standards in SL decline. Castleford and Bradford are two obvious examples of clubs that have suffered owing to injuries to key players.

The evidence presented in studies on labour controls within sports leagues clearly shows the importance of widening the available player pool. It seems obvious when it is said, but it nonetheless needs to be said clearly and often, the health of the game depends almost solely on the ability the game has to attract young players and successfully develop them into elite athletes. The importance of that simply cannot be understated.

Why can fans not grasp the above concept?

#187 Allan Marsden

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:26 PM

QUOTE (getdownmonkeyman @ Sep 24 2010, 10:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You will have to expand on this paragraph. How would SL be able to attract players from a competition that has far greater wealth, as a collective sport as well as individuals involved.

If it came to a peeing up the wall competition between SL, NRL and RU Sl's level would be by far the lowest.


GDMM, The NRL is restricted by its own salary cap. If we did not have a cap and they did then we could sign players that we would not normally sign. Union 'has a cap' (To be honest I am not sure if it a genuine cap and just a token gesture) BUT the KEY is we could raise our own salaries which makes us more competitive in the labour market. At the present time young RL players are walking away. If we had no cap then they and some Union players would be willing to move to SL / British RL.

No cap also open the door to genuine investors from the U.K or Overseas to invest their money in the game. At the present time no incredibly rich person will invest in a sport that prevent you using that wealth.

These are short term solutions BTW

The real solution would have been to address the player supply issue. You should never cap salaries in anything when demand for Labour far outstrips supply. Addressing the supply issue should have been the RFL first priority before introducing a cap. Personally I would abolish the cap but have a home grown player requirement.

#188 Father Ted

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:59 PM

Agree totally with Allan M.
The NRL are looking at a system which will address the player pool and availablity rather than the monetary based cap. We should do the same.

It is only two seasons ago that the RFL/SL did away with the 20/20 or 20/25 rule which had the effect of reducing the number of British players in SL. It was supposed to level out and distribute the players to all clubs but failed in that.
Interesting that my club, Wigan, are now looking at having a squad of 35+ full time professional players next year ranging from the 30+ age group like Fielden, Coley & Carmont to lads in the U20s who have only just turned 18. Wigan gave debuts to five players from their academy this year.

We need to replace the cap with a model that suits British Rugby League and the need for more players to be brought through academy set ups.
It must reward "home grown" talent in the squad whilst discouraging the signing of players from other clubs be they from SL or overseas.
The RFL/SL need to work on this soon and initiate a system which will suit the needs of British Rugby League rather panic when the NRL introduce theirs and simply copy it.


#189 The Parksider

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:29 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 27 2010, 06:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I asked would it make any difference if we had a salary cap or not. IMO if we removed it then we would increase the the potential supply of labour but more important the quality of labour. V the NRL with a cap we could easily attract many of their best players if we had no cap and increase playing standards in SL V Union we could as we have always done sign talented Union players if we had no cap and playing standard would increase. So immediately playing standards would increase.

If we did not have a cap and they did then we could sign players that we would not normally sign. Union 'has a cap' (To be honest I am not sure if it a genuine cap and just a token gesture) BUT the KEY is we could raise our own salaries which makes us more competitive in the labour market. At the present time young RL players are walking away. If we had no cap then they and some Union players would be willing to move to SL / British RL.

No cap also open the door to genuine investors from the U.K or Overseas to invest their money in the game. At the present time no incredibly rich person will invest in a sport that prevent you using that wealth.


It's a well constructed argument Allan but is it the real world?

I hear the idea if we didn't restrict the spending we could buy up Union players again, and we could take all the best NRL players, and we would attract more young players to the world of increased salaries through higher spending/salaries.

But immediately I felt that it falls flat on it's face because the anecdotal evidence is that far from being reigned in by the cap many of the money men struggle to meet it and others are not keen to throw their money about beyond it.

The argument therefore lacks the substance of a series of rich people willing to part with millions.

You intimate they are there and will not "invest" in SL because of the restrictions in the "investment" that can be made.

In the brave new world of Mo Lindsay stardate 1995, SKY money and Superleague was created to provide vehicles for mass investment in a sport that was more exciting than Union or soccer, at investment levels way below that required if Soccer, a great value for money "playground" for rich sports lovers.

You say they are out there just waiting for the cap to be lifted.

I feel with respect the truth is they never even came in the first place.

So the cap is important to set a spending level where we can achieve a competetive game because the big money men never came and we can't expect too much of our little money men.

When wigan turned pro who followed and how well did they keep up??

Widnes bust, Leeds nearly bust.

History often tells the real story.









#190 The Parksider

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:01 PM

QUOTE (Steve May @ Sep 24 2010, 11:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the real story of Wigan's dominance of the 80s is that the player pool in British RL had become so denuded that there simply weren't enough high quality players to fill the teams playing at the top. Those that were good moved to Wigan partly because of the pay, but also because Wigan was the place to win things and good athletes are motivated by silverware, not pieces of silver. It became self-fulfilling, Wigan won things so you had to move to Wigan to win things. It was a waste of time playing with the second-raters who populated all the other teams.

I think in the light of the economic studies into wage policies you have to conclude that the salary cap isn't a major factor driving a levelling out of the game. If it's occurring at all it's more likely to be related to the huge increase in playing numbers in the community game and the massive improvements in the systems that bring through elite young players.


It's a well constructed slant, but the movement of the best players to Wigan was certainly first and foremost because they consistently paid the biggest money by a long chalk.

The situation was Wigan came from the second division and built and built, paying the money building the team and THEN started to win things.

So the first and foremost attraction was just money, plain and simple.

Today we see players who will pick to play at saints or Leeds because they win trophies. That's not a primary reason to go to these clubs. It's the fact that the Hulls and Huddersfields may be able to pay the same wages but Leeds and Saints are winning NOW so on a short term contract the silverware merely swings a decision between two equal offers.

The player supply argument sounds a decent one and once there are enough quality players coming through could there be a certain levelling of the game through that??

The thing is that no matter how much the number of quality of players rises it never will rise evenly across the SL playing staff. there will always be a best 25 and the richest club can buy them. there are some brilliant soccer players in the Villa and Spurs sides, but they are "second raters" to the Chelsea and Man Utd players in a sporting world of no player shortage at all. Milner to City......

Also in an unfettered system the richest clubs can not only attract the best players, but quickly discard the non performers and ship in anyone who is on form. Out of chelsea and Manchester City go players who have cost millions, but that's of no concern to the real rich men of that game.

As the mighty Wire look to add to their squad an unshackled approach could be for them to simply pick whoever was not doing it, pay up the contract and bang in a big transfer fee to dislodge whoever they wanted from wherever they wanted

For Superleague to benefit from no salary cap it needs enough - nine or ten REAL rich people, in places other than the M62 to be able to outbid Rugby Union and the NRL clubs, so that the competition isn't devalued by just a couple of clubs set to run away with things forever, and Superleague gets the worlds best Rugby talent per se.

Even then like the premiership it will be the same people winning all the time, because even mega fortunes are disparate.





#191 Allan Marsden

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:11 PM

Parksider,

I think that unfortunately is the nature of sport and clubs go into administration ad infinitum with or without a cap. So the age old argument by supporters of the cap that it promotes financial stability is clearly not true. Equally true that despite administration / problems etc; clubs rarely fold permanently. There is generally somebody out there willing to invest (waste) money on sport / RL.

Simon Moran / Steve Connor are wealthy men. Do you think they would invest more without a salary cap? I would imagine such people and many more would sign far better players without a cap than with a cap? Likewise I hate the way an injury totally destroys a club's season. That does not promote high standards / quality.

We honestly don't know re foreign investment. Football club were not foreign owned in 1995 either IIRC and given RL is a comparatively cheap sport, surely we would see some. We will never know whilst the cap is in place.

I am sure Widnes fans will never swap the 1988-90 Era. Whatsmore Widnes raised the standards of RL in this country by doing so. If the bar is set higher then the clubs below will improve whereas if you keep the bar at a low level for year after year are you not promoting stagnation and mediocrity?

Whether on advocates a cap or not it's timing was flawed. You cannot introduce a cap when supply is in such a deficit. Far too many fans grew obsessed with stopping Wigan and whomever and their jealous reaction was a cap when the reality was as Simon pointed out if quality players are few in number they gravitate to the successful club and reinforce their dominance. Shenton illustrates that. Interestingly because I think many supporters of the cap are of a certain generation they don't cry foul of Saints signing Shenton / Mccarthy-scarsbrook. The bottom line IMO is that if the supply of quality players doubles, triples etc then fans will have no need to be bitter and twisted and will get a greeater variation in the clubs that are successful and their own club / the overall standards will get better and better. Unfortunately EVERY club in RL served their own self interest and wasn't prepared to take a smaller cut of the SKY cake to put more money into player supply. IMO this was incredibly short sighted and detrimental to the game. Hence, fans saying oh club X is evil, club Y is evil but my club are wonderful are totally misguided.

Until we address player supply, a salary cap has the effect of dumbing down standards. Player supply is everything IMO and I much favour a home grown rule over a salary cap. I have yet to see any benefit of the salary cap in it's present guise only negative impacts.


#192 The Parksider

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (Father Ted @ Sep 27 2010, 07:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We need to replace the cap with a model that suits British Rugby League and the need for more players to be brought through academy set ups. It must reward "home grown" talent in the squad whilst discouraging the signing of players from other clubs be they from SL or overseas.


How well such a model would suit Wigan, Saints and Leeds who already bring through good young players. How badly such a mobel would affect expansion clubs, and clubs who have not put the investment in young players.

The fact is that all this would do is change the current system of the best clubs picking up all the best imports to the best clubs picking up all the best youngsters.

Unless you make large allowances for home grown LOCAL players in which case it will be Saints-Wigan every year for many years to come. Suits you??

The salary cap is not required to enforce the development of young players, the licensing system and quota system does this. Once they come through the cap will ensure an even spread.

I have a problem with rewarding professional clubs as regards young players when it is the amateur clubs that actually find and develop them.


#193 The Parksider

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 27 2010, 10:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. The age old argument by supporters of the cap that it promotes financial stability is clearly not true.

2. Simon Moran / Steve Connor are wealthy men. Do you think they would invest more without a salary cap? I would imagine such people and many more would sign far better players without a cap than with a cap?

3. I am sure Widnes fans will never swap the 1988-90 Era. Whatsmore Widnes raised the standards of RL in this country by doing so. If the bar is set higher then the clubs below will improve whereas if you keep the bar at a low level for year after year are you not promoting stagnation and mediocrity?

4. Whether on advocates a cap or not it's timing was flawed. Until we address player supply, a salary cap has the effect of dumbing down standards. Player supply is everything IMO and I much favour a home grown rule over a salary cap. I have yet to see any benefit of the salary cap in it's present guise only negative impacts.


1. The cap cannot stop any club going bust if that club cannot afford to meet it in the first place. The problem of financial stability is not overspending because the cap does stop that. All financial instability is clearly due to underspending. The clubs struggling to compete financially like Cas and Wakey etc are not really affected by the cap because they can't spend it, and the licensing system will sort that. Where clubs CAN spend full cap it clearly stops overspending thus achieving financial stability.

And this is the rub - If a Moran or O'connor have money burning holes in their pockets why don't they invest heavily in amateur Junior RL. Go fund some clubs on the cheshire side of Warrington or in Runcorn.

2. Who are the "far better players" available for Moran and O'Connor to sign. Do you mean the best NRL players and top Union players, Even if they had the millions to do it, and the players came and the players succeeded in our game you stilll would have Widnes and Warrington winning everything for as long as those rich men wish to outspend all comers.

3. Widnes brought Union talent and overseas talent to the game as did Wigan. Without a cap they could do this again. The "standards" however only rose in those teams because of those imports. Nicking players off union and the NRL doesn't raise any standards across the game unless a lot more rich backers are also doing it. You can only name two and that's debatable what they may put in. It's lovely to think we can unleash these rich men, but there's no evidence they or anyone else is straining at the bit. Where is the pressure from the clubs to break free from the cap, where are the rich men murmuring their desire to pour millions into RL??

4. As I have explained player supply is at one end of the spectrum and involves junior development in which the licensing system and quota system place a pressure on clubs to do this. The cap is at the other end of the spectrum, and as explained before even it you have 10X more RL players of a higher quality available to SL the richest man can still buy the best 25. That's why there's only a few places between Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd.....and Spurs, Villa and Blackburn - but the gulf is massive.

#194 Allan Marsden

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:52 PM

Parksider not enough time to reply in detail. I enjoy your considered thinking BTW even if we probably disagree.

Just one quick note. Until the salary cap, We have always imported players from Union. We needed them. The 1920s, 30s ........ 50's, 60's, 70's etc

The one point I do agree with you on is that unfortunately development areas will always have to have different player rules / quotas etc. However the caveat to that is if we had more players of a certain standard in the heartland then that would help expansion clubs and likewise without a cap they could sign better overseas players.

#195 The Parksider

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:38 AM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 27 2010, 10:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Parksider not enough time to reply in detail. I enjoy your considered thinking BTW even if we probably disagree.

Just one quick note. Until the salary cap, We have always imported players from Union. We needed them. The 1920s, 30s ........ 50's, 60's, 70's etc

The one point I do agree with you on is that unfortunately development areas will always have to have different player rules / quotas etc. However the caveat to that is if we had more players of a certain standard in the heartland then that would help expansion clubs and likewise without a cap they could sign better overseas players.


It's always nice to agree and certainly I agree on player supply as an important facet of improving the game in terms of the standard and competetiveness of Superleague. Here in Leeds we have a few junior clubs who have appeared/are starting to appear across the north of the city that has almost been a Union preserve. Clubs in places like Wetherby, Cookridge and Harehills would have been unthinkable years ago. My lad went to secondary school this year and a large number of kids presented for the School Rugby team. On finding out it was Union there was a mass walk out and the team scraped 15 for their first match!

Yes I'd like Superleague clubs to bust a gut to encourage, nurture and arrange finance (they don't have to give money they can help clubs raise money) for junior RL in their areas, and given the rise of junior RL outside the heartlands I'm very excited about what the future could bring.....


#196 foozler

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:44 AM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 27 2010, 06:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
GDMM, The NRL is restricted by its own salary cap. If we did not have a cap and they did then we could sign players that we would not normally sign. Union 'has a cap' (To be honest I am not sure if it a genuine cap and just a token gesture) BUT the KEY is we could raise our own salaries which makes us more competitive in the labour market. At the present time young RL players are walking away. If we had no cap then they and some Union players would be willing to move to SL / British RL.

No cap also open the door to genuine investors from the U.K or Overseas to invest their money in the game. At the present time no incredibly rich person will invest in a sport that prevent you using that wealth.

These are short term solutions BTW

The real solution would have been to address the player supply issue. You should never cap salaries in anything when demand for Labour far outstrips supply. Addressing the supply issue should have been the RFL first priority before introducing a cap. Personally I would abolish the cap but have a home grown player requirement.


My understanding is the English RU premiership does have a cap, the current figure is 4.5m but am unsure of how rigorously it is policed by the governing body. They receive significant funding directly from the RFU for elite player release, elite youth development is subsidised by the RFU funded academies and apparently the latest TV deal is worth something like 1.5 million per club per season for the next 3 years. To a great extent, international RU is what keeps many British pro club/ regional RU teams from going under.

My feeling is the RL cap system in place does a job for the time being which is to prevent the widening of the gap between haves and have nots to ensure a more competitive league. A secondary benefit, as mentioned, is that clubs with wealthy owners (eg Wire) or healthy profits (Leeds) have to look at other ways of growing the club, such as upgrading stadium infrastructure or developing world class training facilities.

Hopefully a time will come when all the SL teams are playing in modern stadia, have the top training facilities and the youth structures in place and all clubs finances are on a much sounder footing. At this point, it will probably make sense to review the cap upwards and maybe the RFL can divert money away from the top flight and invest greater sums in the lower divisions.

I find it interesting that people argue for the cap to be scrapped so we can attract more NRL/ RU players. I thought we already had too many journeymen Antipodeans playing in British RL? If the argument is that we can get the top NRL players at a younger age, is money, especially with the current poor exchange rate, going to be more important than opportunities to play rep football?

With regards to RU, I would have thought the better medium/ long term strategy is not to blow big wages on top stars who may/ may not make the switch successfully but to get the RU stars of tomorrow playing our game at youth level and help them see the light. This seems to be the plan in Wales and the South East, the trick of course is the subsequent professional pathway.

Edited by foozler, 28 September 2010 - 09:45 AM.


#197 The Parksider

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (foozler @ Sep 28 2010, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My understanding is the English RU premiership does have a cap, the current figure is 4.5m but am unsure of how rigorously it is policed by the governing body. They receive significant funding directly from the RFU for elite player release, elite youth development is subsidised by the RFU funded academies and apparently the latest TV deal is worth something like 1.5 million per club per season for the next 3 years. To a great extent, international RU is what keeps many British pro club/ regional RU teams from going under.

My feeling is the RL cap system in place does a job for the time being which is to prevent the widening of the gap between haves and have nots to ensure a more competitive league. A secondary benefit, as mentioned, is that clubs with wealthy owners (eg Wire) or healthy profits (Leeds) have to look at other ways of growing the club, such as upgrading stadium infrastructure or developing world class training facilities.

Hopefully a time will come when all the SL teams are playing in modern stadia, have the top training facilities and the youth structures in place and all clubs finances are on a much sounder footing. At this point, it will probably make sense to review the cap upwards and maybe the RFL can divert money away from the top flight and invest greater sums in the lower divisions.

I find it interesting that people argue for the cap to be scrapped so we can attract more NRL/ RU players. I thought we already had too many journeymen Antipodeans playing in British RL? If the argument is that we can get the top NRL players at a younger age, is money, especially with the current poor exchange rate, going to be more important than opportunities to play rep football?

With regards to RU, I would have thought the better medium/ long term strategy is not to blow big wages on top stars who may/ may not make the switch successfully but to get the RU stars of tomorrow playing our game at youth level and help them see the light. This seems to be the plan in Wales and the South East, the trick of course is the subsequent professional pathway.


It's a key point that if you want to attract the best RU talent you have to compete with clubs operating to a cap over twice the size of that in RL, augmented by a bigger slice of SKY money and backed by more money men than RL have.

It's a non-starter to scrap the cap to get at established RU talent who may flop badly in RL - clearly.

So I have to applaud your clever line about getting the same talent at junior (youth) level.

Now that really IS investing in players, and long may the franchises, licences and the cap help things go that way big time.

As I have said many of the kids new at secondary school here walked out on the "rugby" session at school when they found out it was union. Those who stayed did not understand the rules and the regimented way in which everything had to be done.

They thought they'd be chucking the ball about, charging at each other and jumping on each other!!

The strength of RL is the game itself and chasing players to double their wages for nothing is crazy.

#198 foozler

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:28 PM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Sep 28 2010, 05:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's a key point that if you want to attract the best RU talent you have to compete with clubs operating to a cap over twice the size of that in RL, augmented by a bigger slice of SKY money and backed by more money men than RL have.

It's a non-starter to scrap the cap to get at established RU talent who may flop badly in RL - clearly.

So I have to applaud your clever line about getting the same talent at junior (youth) level.

Now that really IS investing in players, and long may the franchises, licences and the cap help things go that way big time.

As I have said many of the kids new at secondary school here walked out on the "rugby" session at school when they found out it was union. Those who stayed did not understand the rules and the regimented way in which everything had to be done.

They thought they'd be chucking the ball about, charging at each other and jumping on each other!!

The strength of RL is the game itself and chasing players to double their wages for nothing is crazy.


Exposing kids to our great game, especially those in non traditional areas is the key to the long term health of the sport. Hopefully the Sport England money will go a long way towards this with development officers getting the sport up and running in schools. I don't actually see too many "top" RU players that could make the switch anyway.

I think one of the biggest challenges we face is actually selling the north of England itself. It is highly unlikely that top level pro RL will ever have an even geographic spread in England and will remain a predominantly Northern sport, just as pro RU is predominantly a Southern sport (and becoming even more so). Get people to understand that actually up North is a great place to live and that you can have a quality lifestyle for significantly less than elsewhere and it becomes easier. People overlook the fact that top RU stars can earn 200-300k per year but to do so they will probably need to be based in the South East/ South West where everything costs a whole lot more. Liverpool, Manchester & Leeds are great cities with plenty going on and surrounded by great coastline (obviously I refer to Liverpool), there's some beautiful countryside not a million miles west of Wigan and in Humberside and you can find great homes and schools if that's what you need.

I mention this because for all the youth and amateur/ semi pro development, the North is where the action is and people will have to be prepared to move if they want to pursue a top RL career. This was the point of professional pathway that I alluded to. Yes it would be nice if Quins RL were coining it in but they're not and it's unlikeley they ever will in London; Quins RU seem to be getting crowds of 10-12,000 for home games so I'm not sure why we think Quins RL should be posting the sold out signs. There are plenty of examples of people moving country to play a sport not played in their own country (Samoans in the NFL anyone?) so really there should be no reason for players to not move around England to play top RL.

Edited by foozler, 28 September 2010 - 09:31 PM.


#199 foozler

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Sep 28 2010, 05:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's a key point that if you want to attract the best RU talent you have to compete with clubs operating to a cap over twice the size of that in RL, augmented by a bigger slice of SKY money and backed by more money men than RL have.

It's a non-starter to scrap the cap to get at established RU talent who may flop badly in RL - clearly.

So I have to applaud your clever line about getting the same talent at junior (youth) level.

Now that really IS investing in players, and long may the franchises, licences and the cap help things go that way big time.

As I have said many of the kids new at secondary school here walked out on the "rugby" session at school when they found out it was union. Those who stayed did not understand the rules and the regimented way in which everything had to be done.

They thought they'd be chucking the ball about, charging at each other and jumping on each other!!

The strength of RL is the game itself and chasing players to double their wages for nothing is crazy.


Exposing kids to our great game, especially those in non traditional areas is the key to the long term health of the sport. Hopefully the Sport England money will go a long way towards this with development officers getting the sport up and running in schools. I don't actually see too many "top" RU players that could make the switch anyway.

I think one of the biggest challenges we face is actually selling the north of England itself. It is highly unlikely that top level pro RL will ever have an even geographic spread in England and will remain a predominantly Northern sport, just as pro RU is predominantly a Southern sport (and becoming even more so). Get people to understand that actually up North is a great place to live and that you can have a quality lifestyle for significantly less than elsewhere and it becomes easier. People overlook the fact that top RU stars can earn 200-300k per year but to do so they will probably need to be based in the South East/ South West where everything costs a whole lot more. Liverpool, Manchester & Leeds are great cities with plenty going on, surrounded by great coastline (obviously I refer to Liverpool), there's some beautiful countryside not a million miles west of Wigan and in Humberside and you can find great homes and schools if that's what you need.

I mention this because for all the youth and amateur/ semi pro development, the North is where the action is and people will have to be prepared to move if they want to pursue a top RL career. This was the point of professional pathway that I alluded to. Yes it would be nice if Quins RL were coining it in but they're not and it's unlikeley they ever will in London; Quins RU seem to be getting crowds of 10-12,000 for home games so I'm not sure why we think Quins RL should be posting the sold out signs. There are plenty of examples of people moving country to play a sport not played in their own country (Samoans in the NFL anyone?) so really there should be no reason for players to move around England to play top RL.


#200 dallymessenger

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:26 AM

QUOTE (Father Ted @ Sep 27 2010, 06:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Agree totally with Allan M.
The NRL are looking at a system which will address the player pool and availablity rather than the monetary based cap. We should do the same.


perhaps there is another nrl which isnt the one based in australia and nz you keep referring too

the clubs and david gallop are all in favour of a monetary based cap.




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