Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith has insisted he would never consider manipulating an illegal way around the salary cap, because he has felt first-hand how it feels to be playing against a team with such an advantage.
Smith was the coach of the Leeds Rhinos side that lost the 2005 Grand Final to West Yorkshire rivals Bradford when the Bulls won 15-6 at Old Trafford.
The Bulls were then deducted two competition points the following year after they were found to have breached the cap in 2005, which Smith remembers only too well and which makes him dead against breaking the cap.
“I was a coach of a club who lost a Grand Final to a team that was guilty of that,” Smith said, when asked about the cap.
“I would never knowingly participate in a team that would do that – nor would I support or encourage people to do that, because I know the other side of it.
“I know how it feels to be maybe robbed of a title because of it.”
Smith conceded that it can be difficult to prove clubs have broken the cap, but he says cheating must be stopped at all costs.
“I’ve heard rumours – but only rumours – about under-handed deals being done,” he added.
“I’ve heard of different sorts of payments being made to different players, but it’s only rumour.
“Unless somebody comes forward and actually states ‘this is what happened’, I don’t know that any of us can really prove it.
“Until somebody comes forward and says ‘this is how I was paid and this is what was put on the books’, I presume it is very difficult.
“If there are people cheating we need to come up with ways and means to stop it.”