1. I've seen that again and again, but never reasoned out. Do these players get Rugby Union or NRL level salaries whilst their team mates get ordinary money? Would they be resented? Who would these players be?? Does Tomkins and other top stars refuse a move to a bigger stage to earn the same money staying in Superleague? The assumption is that they go only for the money and will therefore stay for the same money? Will they? Don't they also have ambition for stardom, the International stage and travel? Which clubs can and will afford heavily overpaid top players and which clubs can't/won't? Did Leeds and Wigan pre-1996 actually have all the marquee players because they could outspend the rest? Will the games top 10 stars all be happy to do this? Will top stars sign for a bottom SL club because that club is the only one with a "marquee" place open?
Examples of the marquee player exemption are pretty straight forward.
Club W could have a star player on their books who is tempted by the riches on offer in RU/ NRL, club can register said player as their exemption with the RFL and pay him whatever they want. Said player might actually want to stay with club X but the imperative to earn sufficient money to guarantee a comfortable life post RL might over-ride this.
Club X could be looking to attract a block busting international name from RU to raise the profile and performance of the club (and sport). Said club can afford the outlay required but given the need to match the combined club and country salaries earned by England international RU players, they could not sign him and keep within the existing cap. Therefore they register him with the RFL as their marquee player.
Club Y are interested in bringing back to England from the NRL an England qualified player to build their team around over the next few seasons. Said player has very strong family roots in the county in which club Z is located and would like to come back home. Club Z can afford to pay said player an amount that matches his NRL salary but to do so would put them way over the cap. A marquee exemption would have allowed them to sign this player.
Club Z has been going through a couple of years of transition off field and on field are in desperate need of a half back to bring back the old style flair and pazzazz that has gone from the style of play. Things are flagging a bit and fans are crying out for a big name signing to turn the situation around. As we know top draw half backs are rare things these days and the best are in the NRL. Between them, the chairman and the coach decide that the only suitable player out there, guaranteed to put bums on shiny new seats and bring back the entertainment, is a former Kiwi captain. Only problem is this player earns a fortune in the NRL and club Z just cannot match that and stay onside with the SL cap. Solution is to sign him as club Z's marquee player.
I for one would be very happy to see Sam Tomkins, Chris Ashton, Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall all playing in Super League and as things stand we won't without some major changes.
It is up to clubs to work out their internal pay scales and deal with the issues of top stars earning more than others, but I would think any player would expect a player like Tomkins or Marshall to be earning the very top. Of course not every club will feel the need for a marquee player or be able to afford one, but why should the likes of Wigan, Saints, Salford or Leeds be prevented from doing so just because Cas haven't got the money?
Edited by foozler, 29 April 2013 - 02:32 PM.