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Martin Offiah on the Salary Cap


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8 hours ago, Grand Est said:

It will get better athletes into the game. The seriously talented kids now will head for union at a very young age, either via private school scholarship, or union academies (or a combination of the two) even if they have played Rugby League at junior level.

And that will make them ' household names ' ?

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Offiah is right that our players deserve better pay, especially the lesser lights within a SL 17 who play week in week out but who get pretty meagre wages to do a tough, occasionally dangerous, job.

However, his comprehension of cause and effect is way off. That players aren't getting paid enough isn't anything to do with the salary cap: if it was, our clubs would be sitting on big piles of cash or club owners / shareholders would be making a killing. Neither is the case.

The reason players are underpaid is a long-term failure of individual clubs and the game as a collective to raise enough income for salaries to increase. I think you'd see the salary cap rise when the game's income increased, but the only times I ever hear loud voices within the game for increasing the salary cap is when a Koukash turns up and vows pay wages that the club in question's income can't support.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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How many Super League clubs pay both the full cap and 2 marquees? Leeds, Catalans (subject to Pearce signing), Warrington, Saints (?), do Wigan even have both marquee slot filled right now?

I don't think anyone is averse to SL players being paid more, especially those on the lowest salaries, but the fact is most of our clubs can't even pay the current cap and that is the biggest problem. 

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Insofar as he is saying that we don’t have household names any more, he is right. We all know that we won’t see an Offiah, or a Davies or an Ellery play in SL for more than 10 minutes. We can’t attract the best and we can’t keep the best. He was playing before the option of playing a much easier form of rugby paid more, when we played with seasons which overlapped between NH and SH, and the gap between the NRL and our league was much smaller. 

If we had to keep the cap, which I would abolish, as the downsides far outweigh any upsides that I can detect, then we could link it to revenues. In that way it would stop teams paying players so much they go into oblivion. 

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24 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

Insofar as he is saying that we don’t have household names any more, he is right. We all know that we won’t see an Offiah, or a Davies or an Ellery play in SL for more than 10 minutes. We can’t attract the best and we can’t keep the best. He was playing before the option of playing a much easier form of rugby paid more, when we played with seasons which overlapped between NH and SH, and the gap between the NRL and our league was much smaller. 

If we had to keep the cap, which I would abolish, as the downsides far outweigh any upsides that I can detect, then we could link it to revenues. In that way it would stop teams paying players so much they go into oblivion. 

It's a complex debate, but one of the differences between now and the era in which Martin Offiah played is that players today are so much less accessible.

Whereas when we began League Express in 1990 it was incredibly easy to make contact with players, and most clubs helped us to do so. But nowadays clubs often actively try to prevent the media from speaking to players, other than in highly controlled circumstances.

When Martin played I had his number and the numbers of most other leading players and I could phone them at any time.

Now, however, the clubs discourage players from talking to the media without their permission, so the national media turn elsewhere.

I'm sure that football and other sports exert the same degree of control over their players, but because they are more prominent they know that the media will always feed off the crumbs they throw them.

The problem for Rugby League is that there is no compensating focus on actively trying to raise the profile of our leading players.

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7 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

It's a complex debate, but one of the differences between now and the era in which Martin Offiah played is that players today are so much less accessible.

Whereas when we began League Express in 1990 it was incredibly easy to make contact with players, and most clubs helped us to do so. But nowadays clubs often actively try to prevent the media from speaking to players, other than in highly controlled circumstances.

When Martin played I had his number and the numbers of most other leading players and I could phone them at any time.

Now, however, the clubs discourage players from talking to the media without their permission, so the national media turn elsewhere.

I'm sure that football and other sports exert the same degree of control over their players, but because they are more prominent they know that the media will always feed off the crumbs they throw them.

The problem for Rugby League is that there is no compensating focus on actively trying to raise the profile of our leading players.

Some disreputable "journalists" and websites probably don't help the cause of those who are more diligent in their work.

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Couple of ways we could improve the salary cap:

- Introduce a minimum as well as a maximum cap. Clubs who can't reach the minimum should have that as a black mark against their right to play in SL, whether under a P&R or a licensing type system. If x club can't keep up, they shouldn't be in an elite competition.

- Salary cap should be indexed to inflation. Arguably, I'd say the marquee rule and some of the other exemptions have meant clubs have been able to spend more quickly than inflation, so the £1.8bn headline figure is a bit misleading, but clearly players' real wages shouldn't be falling year on year. As now, the cap can be increased or decreased outside of that by a vote among the clubs.

 

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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The lack of household names has absolutely nothing to do with the salary cap (although it should be higher). It is completely down to the state of international competition. In a minor sport, you need the international game to give very casual fans a team to support. Look at, say, Jonny Wilkinson. He played for Newcastle Falcons in 2003. He was pretty well known, but I wonder if the vast majority of people could mention a single other Falcon?

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Whilst I think the salary cap needs adjusting and maybe abolishing I just can not see the logic that it will help the household name conundrum.

When he himself was at his peak and maybe an household name the non RL sport arena was less competitive and hence more media interest in our sport.  That is the major professional spectator sports in this country was RL, soccer and cricket.  In the winter the media would be looking at two of those sports. Thus the sports media space was not so crowded and soccer was nowhere as high profile as it is today.

So we have a significantly more high profile soccer world from both a league perspective and very much more international arena than ever existed back in his day. Plus others sports have grown and not least women's sport and the likes of cricket play far more international games of various sorts than ever, plus the significant growth of RU internationals as well as its own professional impact. In additional we have American sport that has more interest here than previously or in his time.  Take the likes of what was a rather specialist F! even that has significantly grown.

For me you can not ignore the far more competitive sporting arena and hence having to compete for media interest against a far different backdrop. Even just taking soccer on its own it in itself is light years ahead in its profile than it was back in his peak - gosh  their seems to be internationals every month nowadays consuming media interest....

Edited by redjonn
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24 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Whilst I think the salary cap needs adjusting and maybe abolishing I just can not see the logic that it will help the household name conundrum.

When he himself was at his peak and maybe an household name the non RL sport arena was less competitive and hence more media interest in our sport.  That is the major professional spectator sports in this country was RL, soccer and cricket.  In the winter the media would be looking at two of those sports. Thus the sports media space was not so crowded and soccer was nowhere as high profile as it is today.

So we have a significantly more high profile soccer world from both a league perspective and very much more international arena than ever existed back in his day. Plus others sports have grown and not least women's sport and the likes of cricket play far more international games of various sorts than ever, plus the significant growth of RU internationals as well as its own professional impact. In additional we have American sport that has more interest here than previously or in his time.  Take the likes of what was a rather specialist F! even that has significantly grown.

For me you can not ignore the far more competitive sporting arena and hence having to compete for media interest against a far different backdrop. Even just taking soccer on its own it in itself is light years ahead in its profile than it was back in his peak - gosh  their seems to be internationals every month nowadays consuming media interest....

For RL to have household names again, it needs enough money to be able to raid RU for top players like it did for Offiah and Jonathan Davies.  I'd suggest that most (if not all) of the household names in the game back then were RU converts.

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I wonder if other sports have fans championing paying players more. 

The obvious place for this increase is for us to fund it. 

I wonder if people could make a difference - spend more at your club, buy the more expensive seats, attend more central events. 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

I wonder if other sports have fans championing paying players more. 

The obvious place for this increase is for us to fund it. 

I wonder if people could make a difference - spend more at your club, buy the more expensive seats, attend more central events. 

You pre purchasing a GF ticket for next year? Law of averages says it may be ..... 😄 

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On 26/10/2021 at 22:19, RigbyLuger said:

When Offiah was in his pomp, women's football didn't have the profile it has now, neither did sports like netball and mens football wasn't as dominant as today. There was no social media, no reality TV creating "stars" either.

The world has changed.

 

Correct, also if his career was to start again today, he wouldn't go anywhere near a rugby league pitch. 

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22 minutes ago, Agbrigg said:

Correct, also if his career was to start again today, he wouldn't go anywhere near a rugby league pitch. 

And he's only famous now because of being in the right place at the right time and smart enough to exploit that. Still waiting for Schoey on Strictly!!!

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On 26/10/2021 at 23:19, RigbyLuger said:

When Offiah was in his pomp, women's football didn't have the profile it has now, neither did sports like netball and mens football wasn't as dominant as today. There was no social media, no reality TV creating "stars" either.

The world has changed.

 

And Rugby league did not

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14 minutes ago, Wigan Riversider said:

I would pay to watch him play in the game today as he was a one off once in a lifetime player.

Always thankful that I had the opportunity and privilege to watch him play before and after he played for Wigan.

He is literally my icon. As a young kid watching this guy play was amazing. No player before or since has had the same impact on me.

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4 minutes ago, Scubby said:

He is literally my icon. As a young kid watching this guy play was amazing. No player before or since has had the same impact on me.

A phenomenon, as was Ellery. I was fortunate and privileged to see him play before and after he left Wigan.

Martin and Ellery in the same GB side: we nearly won the Ashes.

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Offiah is one of my favourite players to. But I am disappointed that he thinks players don't have credibility because they are not earning millions of pounds a year.

Yes, say they deserve it but don't say they don't have credibility when they are earning less.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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