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John Drake

Salary Cap

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So there is no real evidence that the cap has evened things up like you said one of its aims was.Thebig name players still sign for the big teams or a team with a sugar daddy. The strength of cluns on and off the field has not really improved.We still most teams not being self sufficient.We still have clubs having money problems.So please show where the cap has been a success.

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the salary cap was set way too high initially.

for a salary cap to work, all clubs have to be able to spend it.

thats not even true today that all clubs spent it

once all clubs can only spend the same on players you will see an evening out of talent

the impact so far is seen on clubs like leeds and saints hitting a wall in their bids to stay on top and clubs like wigan or warrington who can also spend the same on the cap matching them on the park ie the salary cap is working at the top because these clubs can spend the full cap

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Thanks for the view on who has got wealth Steve, I suppose it then becomes down to what are they prepared to spend on their Rugby league clubs.

If you feel that Lenegan (Wigan) McManus (Saints) and Caddick (Leeds) could/would let loose with the cheque books (should we add Moran to that) then the effect of lifting the cap may well be (and this is what the norm is in unregulated pro sport funded by rich men) that all the best players gravitate to these four. If they all hold their nerve we'll have quite a mini league, if anyone drops from the bidding war for players it may end up with three or even two clubs right out there in front.

Do other clubs then chase the clubs far out in front, is it worth it?

Would the competition become a four, then three, two or even one horse race in time?

Under the cap the rich clubs of Leeds, Saints, Wire and Wigan can be kept up with by Huddersfield and Hull and other clubs have the chance to build and get near. I feel without a cap there will be clubs pulling away at the top and other clubs falling away at the bottom.

I agree. I think the cap holds clubs that have access to large amounts of outside financing in check. This stops them burning money and stops clubs that don't have that money being left behind or going for bust to try and keep up.

A few Wigan fans seem to think the cap is an evil idea designed to hold their club back. The truth is that the cap is a great idea designed to hold their club back.

SL is a competition that is developing nicely now. It's taken longer than I would have liked for people to see that sustainable development and investment in infrastructure is key to it all, but it does seem to be happening. I look forward to a more even and equal competition with a regular and frequent turnover of clubs in the top positions of the league table.

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Huddersfield have a sugar daddy in Ken Davy. He's bankrolled them for years.

HullFC are a great club with great support but unfortunately for them very poor management and and even worse coaching. They still do make a profit but with their wealth they must now be considered the leagues under achievers.

The SC hasn't worked, the Aussies now know that and are looking to replace it.

As I've said here before, we must look to replace ours too with a system that suits British Rugby League rather than at the last minute transplant the Aussie system which may well not fulfill the needs of RL in this country.

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As I've said here before, we must look to replace ours too with a system that suits British Rugby League rather than at the last minute transplant the Aussie system which may well not fulfill the needs of RL in this country.

Given the absolute and comparative strength and success of the game in Aus and here ( crowds, media, International success etc) I propose we hand over complete control of the British game to Aus as soon as possible.

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Huddersfield have a sugar daddy in Ken Davy. He's bankrolled them for years.

HullFC are a great club with great support but unfortunately for them very poor management and and even worse coaching. They still do make a profit but with their wealth they must now be considered the leagues under achievers.

The SC hasn't worked, the Aussies now know that and are looking to replace it.

As I've said here before, we must look to replace ours too with a system that suits British Rugby League rather than at the last minute transplant the Aussie system which may well not fulfill the needs of RL in this country.

the nrl is not looking to eliminate the SC thats BS

we are looking at exemptions to it

weve increased the marquee player allowance by $150,000, increased 10 year player exemption to $100,000 and there is now exemptions discussed for juniors.

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Given the absolute and comparative strength and success of the game in Aus and here ( crowds, media, International success etc) I propose we hand over complete control of the British game to Aus as soon as possible.

rupert took care of that in 1995 mate. now hes a yank i guess youve given over control to them

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A financial cap will not work if the ultimate aim is to create an even spread of talent. Some clubs will always be able to afford more than others whatever the financial cap is. So there will always be a disparity.

IMHO a better way would be for players to be graded into categories (e.g. A = full international of any age, B = SL over 21 with >40 appearances, C= under 21 or less than 40 appearances).

You could then restrict clubs to the number of players in each category they have - e.g. 7 x Category A, 10 x Category B, 8 x Category C.

If a club signs a Cat B player who is subsequently capped then he remains Cat B until the end of his current contract.

Under a system like this clubs could pay players what they like (or can afford) but there would only be a finite number of places at each club in each category so you'd get a better spread of talent.

Its similar to the 'average' system in speedway where each rider has a points average and clubs can only build a team up to a defined total combined average. This ensures the top riders are spread across the teams and stops the richer clubs from dominating.

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A financial cap will not work if the ultimate aim is to create an even spread of talent. Some clubs will always be able to afford more than others whatever the financial cap is. So there will always be a disparity.

IMHO a better way would be for players to be graded into categories (e.g. A = full international of any age, B = SL over 21 with >40 appearances, C= under 21 or less than 40 appearances).

You could then restrict clubs to the number of players in each category they have - e.g. 7 x Category A, 10 x Category B, 8 x Category C.

If a club signs a Cat B player who is subsequently capped then he remains Cat B until the end of his current contract.

Under a system like this clubs could pay players what they like (or can afford) but there would only be a finite number of places at each club in each category so you'd get a better spread of talent.

Its similar to the 'average' system in speedway where each rider has a points average and clubs can only build a team up to a defined total combined average. This ensures the top riders are spread across the teams and stops the richer clubs from dominating.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-...0721-10l50.html

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Great points.....

1. Fair view, but when Melbourne were detected look what happened. Not sure it's a good principle to abandon laws if the detection rate is low. If it was we should disband the police and scrap criminal law.

Not sure what to make of the Melbourne example, leaving a competition with no winner for two seasons and stripping all points from the current season in my view punishes the wrong people, administrators and players still have the over paid cash and are free to move on no doubt reaping in big signing on fees and decent wages as Melbourne move to get below the cap. To me it wasn't the club or the fans who cheated, but individuals, individuals who seem to get away scot free.

2. Hetherington once said 8 out of 12. Taking notes of various comments I feel Cas, Cru, Bradford and Salford spend short, and HKR Quins and Cats make the cap but don't have the advantage of that many quality home grown.

So if 2/3rd of clubs are up to the cap and we didn't go into the season expecting our Grand Final winner to come from all 8 of the teams, is it fair to presume that when all 12 are up the limit we'll still not have a competition were any team could realistically win?

3. Yes and drop lucky on a sugar daddy. I'd love all 14 clubs and NL clubs to have sugar daddies.
The key bit of my point you carefully edited around was "if the accounts are to be believed".

4. The sarcastic remark that the cap is ineffective becuase it's always Saints and Leeds is ok, but the fact is for me that the salary cap has nothing to do with the grand final contestants.

So what is it to do with in your opinion?

5. I suppose it could. Lenegan's

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The question for me is what do you want a salary cap to do?

For me the cap should be about keeping clubs financially stable.

For others it's about evening out the competition.

However both can be played around with by just looking at salarys.

There is an alternative system to deal with both of these, but it has little to do with Salaries.

For me the only way to ensure financial stability of clubs, is to bring in a criteria on the franchise system that forces clubs to break even over the 3 year period. That way if a wealthy business man wants bank roll a club and pay relations etc, they can do, but the liability will be held against the business man or his business not the rugby club. The losses that clubs are incurring at present against board loans are unsustainable. Unless a club can eventually turn a profit those chairman and board loans will eventually have to be paid.

The way to ensure an even distribution of playing talent is to have a draft system. It's not perfect but it's alot better than just picking arbitary numbers to keep a clubs players wages between. Especially when that can be circumvented by paying monies to others, still from the club accounts.

I doubt we will ever have a draft system, so I think evening out of the players across the competition is unlikely. However forcing clubs to be financially viable and break even over 3 years is entirely possible, now that we are no longer simply a sporting competition , but a franchise rule led sport. On field performance is not enough to ensure that you survive the top flight. Currently stadiums are the thing the RFL are enforcing, but once they are up to the standard with that, the RFL could decide that clubs being self sufficient is the next most important criteria. Whether they will try with so many clubs in dire straights is another matter.

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Whether you are for or against the principle of a salary cap, the timing of the salary cap being introduced into RL was woeful and has created problems ever since. A salary cap should only ever be introduced when the supply of SL standard player exceeds the demand. The RFL should have addressed player development and supply first. Member clubs would have had to have taken a more long term view and allowed the RFL to take a bigger slice of the SKY TV Deal money. Unfortunately, clubs could not see beyond their own self indulgent greed and the long terms problems this feeding frenzy created.

When SL standard Player Supply > demand THEN and only then do you introduce a Salary Cap.

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For me the only way to ensure financial stability of clubs, is to bring in a criteria on the franchise system that forces clubs to break even over the 3 year period. That way if a wealthy business man wants bank roll a club and pay relations etc, they can do, but the liability will be held against the business man or his business not the rugby club. The losses that clubs are incurring at present against board loans are unsustainable. Unless a club can eventually turn a profit those chairman and board loans will eventually have to be paid.

I do like that idea, I'd probably go a little further myself and cap the maximum amount a private individual can put in

to deal with the "sugar daddy" complaints and I'd also make club owners liable for any debts if its possible to do that as part of the license criteria to safe clubs who may have shiney new grounds from being mortgaged to the hilt by folk on ego trips who don't have the cash in the bank to finance it.

The way to ensure an even distribution of playing talent is to have a draft system. It's not perfect but it's alot better than just picking arbitary numbers to keep a clubs players wages between. Especially when that can be circumvented by paying monies to others, still from the club accounts.

I do like the idea of a draft, just not sure how you'd do it with UK talent, but we are in a unique position for sport in this country as a majority of our imported players come from Australia/New Zealand so that must give us some scope to play with. Fraught with issues as any system would be, if we could come up with a workable system it would make for a great spectacle, say stage it the week after the Super League Grand Final, live on Sky, for a sport with a subdued transfer market it would certainly create something of a buzz.

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The strength of clubs on and off the field has not really improved.We still see most teams not being self sufficient.We still have clubs having money problems.So please show where the cap has been a success.

I do not understand your point, but can say that if the cap was set at say

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So what is it to do with in your opinion?

I explained my thoughts in the paragraph below

"4. The sarcastic remark that the cap is ineffective becuase it's always Saints and Leeds is ok, but the fact is for me that the salary cap has nothing to do with the grand final contestants.

Hetherington knew what Superleague was all about long before the others. He was first to set up a serious young player development policy years ago, and with Caddick ensure full cap was available too. That reaped great rewards. Saints also managed to find full cap funding and they carried on their record of finding great young players to go with well chosen imports. As we know Wigan had a tendency to reject many of their good young players and rely on imports, Hull's youngsters largely didn't develop into real top players and Fartown and Wire spent too long shipping all their players in".

You suggest that if all clubs manage to get to be able to spend the full cap the Superleague will still be uneven. I would agree with you.

When all the 14 clubs can make full cap there will be those who easily make it with a strong local junior set up and those who have to scrape to make it and do not have the advantage of a strong junior set up etc.

So yes maybe when Salford are finally affording full cap Wigan will still be way in front of them.

But......... You cannot blame the cap for that.

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The way to ensure an even distribution of playing talent is to have a draft system. It's not perfect but it's alot better than just picking arbitary numbers to keep a clubs players wages between. Especially when that can be circumvented by paying monies to others, still from the club accounts.

I doubt we will ever have a draft system, so I think evening out of the players across the competition is unlikely. However forcing clubs to be financially viable and break even over 3 years is entirely possible, now that we are no longer simply a sporting competition , but a franchise rule led sport. On field performance is not enough to ensure that you survive the top flight. Currently stadiums are the thing the RFL are enforcing, but once they are up to the standard with that, the RFL could decide that clubs being self sufficient is the next most important criteria. Whether they will try with so many clubs in dire straights is another matter.

Great post and gives me the opportunity to agree on the draft system which Shrek championed as well.

If the RFL are going to control the clubs to create the ultimate competition why mess about trying to do it from the sidelines.

Control directly player recruitment and as always the successful model lies in the U.S.A.

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the salary cap was set way too high initially.

for a salary cap to work, all clubs have to be able to spend it.

thats not even true today that all clubs spent it

once all clubs can only spend the same on players you will see an evening out of talent

the impact so far is seen on clubs like leeds and saints hitting a wall in their bids to stay on top and clubs like wigan or warrington who can also spend the same on the cap matching them on the park ie the salary cap is working at the top because these clubs can spend the full cap

Very well put - however it's also the case that if you bring great young talent through it costs you less.

I think any side based on the very best local players plus good imports (Leeds and Saints) is a better and more affordable side than one largely shipped in across the board (wigan and wire in past seasons).

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Great post and gives me the opportunity to agree on the draft system which Shrek championed as well.

An overseas draft would be my preferred option, you'd get a spectacle unique to RL in British sport, you'd give the clubs finishing lower down the table a glimmer of hope in the off season and those at the top would, hopefully take a long look at youth they had on the books rather than taking on board a 13th or 14th choice Aussie/Kiwi.

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Advocates of the salary cap say it has / will level out the competition and it has / will ensure that club will no longer have financial problems. With the best will in the world neither raison d'etre are correct. So in essense what has / does the salary cap achieve? Nothing! but even worse deteriorating standards of RL.

First. The easy question. Finance. Clubs at every level still suffer financial difficulties. They always have and always will. Perhaps, it is intrinsic to genuine professional sport that clubs will more often than not run at a loss and require a philanthropic man / woman to boost their finances. Is there anything wrong with philanthropy? I often remember Geoff Fletcher at Huyton claiming that the perennial bottom club in RL were by far the most financially solvent. Is that what people want? Surely, if it is then they should campaign for amateurism and/or indeed follow local amateur clubs.

Second and this is something most fans struggle to grasp. The salary cap has yes creating periodically a more level playing field by making standards poorer but if you look at the GF, since 1998. Other than 1 single season (Hull). St Helens / Bradford / Leeds and Wigan have monopolised the competition so for all the so called levelling out the competition has remained for a decade + dominated by the Big 4.

Why hasn't the competition levelled out? Unless the clubs at the top make mistakes (Wigan have and Bradford are doing) then the clubs that started the salary cap era with the best squads tended to maintain that dominance. With little or no Union talent, with the best NRL players harder to attract AND a sport that simply produces too few SL standard young players you will never develop enough talent to create a vibrant SL of its present size, let alone expand it and intrrnationally GB / England will struggle.

With so few British SL youngsters available it takes clubs years to get anywhere if ever in terms of being able to win competitions. Many clubs do not even spend the maximum cap which is ridiculous. Part of the franchise system should surely be that for the term of your franchise you will spend the maximum cap and you will be able to offer a financial assurance that you can do so.

So clubs are spending less than the cap and trying to sign a very scarce supply of players who can through their shortage demand better salaries than if the supply of players was plentiful. The talented youngsters may leave their hometown area / club ASAP or they will develop and then leave to join a big 4 club as they seek some glory / silverware. Kyle Eastmond joining Saints as a 16 year old and Michael Shenton joining Saints at the peak of his career are obvious examples. Where do Salford, Castleford, Wakefield etc find the players to transform their fortunes. They do not exist. Certainly not in sufficient numbers.

A philanthropist / entrepeneur cannot come into our sport and instantly spend as much as he choose. Never again will a Wally Lewis be coming to Wakefield, a Peter Sterling to Hull, a Johnathan Davies / a Martin Offiah to Widnes. Steve Connor has the finance to transform Widnes overnight but he cannot. Some would say that is a good thing but how long / how easy is it to develop a top end SL squad?

The standard of SL in 2010 has been poor. Great games can be counted on the fingers of your hands. This downward trend is going to get worse as the quota regulations start to bite properly. So we have a competition with deteriorating standards, clubs still suffering financial problems and the same club dominant. Worse we have now ended promotion / relegation and thus limited the opportunity for a Featherstone or a Batley to enjoy a brief magical flirtation with SL.

We were promised by the Great and the Good that franchising meant young players could develop because results did not matter any more (not a great marketing concept BTW) but that was a blatant lie. Club chairmen / fans still want a winning team. Did Wrexham play Welsh youngsters in 2010? Why do clubs like Castleford and Hull KR take young players on loan?

So the salary cap has achieved nothing and actually weakened playing standards. Had the RFL and its member club got the player supply side correct first it may have worked but they didn't so it never will. Why not throw the Salary Cap into Room 101.

Would a capless SL / RL be better or worse? No cap would mean the BEST players could be signed from the NRL, from Union and standards of play would rise. Even the 'lesser' clubs could sign a Wally Lewis and have 15 minutes of glory. Maybe more fans would be attracted to the game. If clubs suffer financial difficulties then what's new. Better a SL with great players and rising standards.

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Just to add it is a very difficult task but well managed clubs will not hit a wall and standards will not level out. What happens is that a club establishes a quality starting XVII and pays them the best wages it can afford. Thereafter it develops young players on low contracts and periodically / steadily brings those young players through to replace an ageing expensive player. The young players contracts increase progressively. It is a very difficult process to manage but if done correctly it works perfectly to maintain a cyclical approach to managing a SL squad. Make a mistake (buy a poor player on big money) or suffer bad luck (star player gets a season ending injury) and that task become precarious.

Leeds had an awful season and probably blooded too many youngsters in a single season but it paid off long term. Leeds are now struggling to maintain their high standards. Interestingly, they adopted a sign lower league young players policy and it thus far has not worked. St Helens followed the classic route develop a winning team then bring youngsters through. I think Mick Potter has been unfairly criticised and Saints policy will pay dividende. Bradford show what can happen if you try to overcook the big name players and see them age / leave without developing youngsters behind. Wigan made too many changes season after season but in particular around 2006, possibly before they let a large group of experienced players leave and created a freefall scenario.

If people want low standards and a miniscule cap then go and watch BARLA instead.

Professional RL is about aiming high and raising the bar. If need be dragging the luddites kicking and screaming.

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An overseas draft would be my preferred option, you'd get a spectacle unique to RL in British sport, you'd give the clubs finishing lower down the table a glimmer of hope in the off season and those at the top would, hopefully take a long look at youth they had on the books rather than taking on board a 13th or 14th choice Aussie/Kiwi.

We struggle to get high class Australians / NZers as it is and you want a draft. Let me see giften young Australian wants to play in London, sorry future star we have a draft your going to Wakefield :rolleyes:

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We struggle to get high class Australians / NZers as it is and you want a draft. Let me see giften young Australian wants to play in London, sorry future star we have a draft your going to Wakefield :rolleyes:

Suits me, I'd be delighted to see only a handful of Aussies/Kiwis here, more spots for our youth to broaden the playing pool we get to pick from at an international level.

If any Aussie 2nd raters decide all of a sudden Wakefields not good enough for them and they'd rather stay down under, again fine with me. :rolleyes:

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Suits me, I'd be delighted to see only a handful of Aussies/Kiwis here, more spots for our youth to broaden the playing pool we get to pick from at an international level.

If any Aussie 2nd raters decide all of a sudden Wakefields not good enough for them and they'd rather stay down under, again fine with me. :rolleyes:

Where are these SL standard youngsters? We only have enough for what 4 / 5 teams and many of the very best ones are now leaving at 16 to sign / play Union.

You do realise the International Transfer ban was the worst thing to happen to standards of RL in Britain

I fully agree that we need to put our energy into youth development but franchises / caps / drafts do not achieve that.

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1. First. The easy question. Finance. Is there anything wrong with philanthropy? I often remember Geoff Fletcher at Huyton claiming that the perennial bottom club in RL were by far the most financially solvent.

2. Second and this is something most fans struggle to grasp. The salary cap has yes creating periodically a more level playing field by making standards poorer but if you look at the GF, since 1998. Other than 1 single season (Hull). St Helens / Bradford / Leeds and Wigan have monopolised the competition.

3. With little or no Union talent, with the best NRL players harder to attract AND a sport that simply produces too few SL standard young players you will never develop enough talent to create a vibrant SL of its present size, let alone expand it.

4. With so few British SL youngsters available it takes clubs years to get anywhere if ever in terms of being able to win competitions.

5. Where do Salford, Castleford, Wakefield etc find the players to transform their fortunes. They do not exist. Certainly not in sufficient numbers.

Great post Allan. Some replies.

1.Huyton aren't relevant to professional RL. In terms of solvency SL clubs have no record of insolvency, and philanthropy is parting with money for the benefit of others, rich SL chairmen put money in for their own amusement, so your start sounded good but on analysis it was an inaccurate and spurious analysis with respect.

2. You have slipped in that the cap "makes standards poorer" that's a slogan without an explanation - rather like the Father Ted "the salary cap doesn't work..period" mantra. As for the record on evening up it's excellent. In Superleague we have seen final appearances for Bradford, Leeds, Saints, Wigan - who led the league and may win SL this year, Warrington have won the cup twice, Fartown have been to the cup final twice and are in the PO semi, Hull have won the cup and gone to old trafford. SEVEN clubs have competed at the top and been able to win things and get to finals. Perhaps you want to contrast that with pre-cap days??

I am proud and excited when I see our pro clubs like these seven in action. I hope that the cap continues and allows other great clubs like Widnes and Catalans (who have been in a final) to build toward joining the big seven in the short term. The cap creates a point beyond which our big clubs can't go and that will facilitate other clubs who can be just as big, to catch up. Far from a failure the cap gives all our clubs chance to hit a great standard.

3. You know our game cannot afford Union talent, and that youngsters are attracted to the riches of soccer as well. We all know that. The cap simply isn't holding back tens of millions of pounds in the pockets of Lenegan, Moran, Davey, McManus that if abolished would see them financing a rush to Rugby League by talent in other codes.

I watch SL and am thoroughly impressed by it's strength, speed, excitement and player commitment, even at NL level. Yes we would have greater player strength if the game could offer the money but Union and soccer have far more money by a million miles than we do and that is not the fault of the cap. What we have is a great game and that's our strength that the cap showcases through creating more even matches. The blowout score Wigan win again games in the 80's were BORING. The cap creates excitement, competition and the talent that performs it does a great job. Your "talent" argument fails because even with no cap we can't compete with soccer and union, so we should play to our greatest strength - the quality of our game when played competetively.

4. Sure it takes years - took Fartown, Hull and Wire a good ten years to start to get to finals, Should take Widnes a few years and Catalans, then maybe in 20 years others will be coming through. It takes years UNDER THE CAP. Remove the cap and you will remove the ability of several clubs to EVER get anywhere. You have made another non-point with respect.

5. Castleford and Wakefield (and Fev) produce great RL players - as good as anywhere, They can collectively attract as many fans in that area as any club. It's not the salary cap that is responsible for that area not having potentially the biggest club in the league. As for Salford they once were THE club back in the early seventies. They are now building the ground and aiming to get back to the big time.

Is it the case you blame the cap for a lack of youngsters coming into the game? For an inability to buy Union talent?? For failing to offer takented kids big money?? For holding back the development of clubs??? It seems that you do, and I could understand that if it was the case that Wilkinson, Davey, Hughes, Hudgell, Caddick, Lenegan, O'Connor, Moran, McManus, Moss, etc were all sitting on millions and millions of pounds that the RFL through the cap were stopping them from spending.

But I don't think that is the case at all. I would guess only a couple of those would let loose without the cap then it's back to the eighties, and wage inflation rather than development.

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Where are these SL standard youngsters? We only have enough for what 4 / 5 teams and many of the very best ones are now leaving at 16 to sign / play Union.

You do realise the International Transfer ban was the worst thing to happen to standards of RL in Britain

I fully agree that we need to put our energy into youth development but franchises / caps / drafts do not achieve that.

I don't think we should over estimate how high the standard of Super League is. Would replacing journey men overseas players not good enough for the NRL or to tempt an offer from Union or Aussie Rules with kids who may not be up to international standard, but at least given a chance really make for a much weaker competition?

We often sight things done in Australia is being the way to go wether it be Salary Cap or coaching methods, but one thing they didn't do is stuff the NRL full of 2nd rate Brits who'd never get near a GB shirt!

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