Robinson blasts RFL for being ‘short-sighted’

Huddersfield Giants star Luke Robinson has condemned the RFL for failing to attract the world’s best players to Super League.

Robinson criticised the RFL for failing to increase the salary cap over a number of years which he believes has resulted in the wages of Rugby League players not increasing in line with inflation over the past decade.

He also believes that their failure to allow clubs to spend more money has seen some of England’s best players leave for the NRL or rugby union, with the Burgess brothers, James Graham and Josh Hodgson among those to have departed Super League in recent times.

Beyond that, with the NRL increasing their salary cap continuously, Robinson thinks it is now ‘unrealistic’ to expect the world’s best players to ply their trade in Super League.

Super League’s salary cap is currently £1.825 million, half of the NRL’s estimated $7.5 million (£3.675 million) cap.

“When I was with England in 2011, Nigel Wood came and spoke to us about certain issues,” Robinson told Pulse 1’s Robbie Hunter-Paul show.

“Jamie Peacock basically confronted him. With inflation, everyone else’s wage has gone up in every other job, and he said from what he could understand when he was back in his early days at Bradford, our wage hasn’t gone up.

“The bonuses are still the same, the money everyone is getting paid annually is still the same, yet in any other walk of life, if you’re a metal sheet worker, a postman, everything has gone up with inflation apart from our job. I think that needs addressing.

“I understand that there needs to be a restriction because certain clubs would run away with it and we don’t want a one-sided division, but we probably do have that a little bit now. I do think it (the salary cap) needs to go up purely for the fact that at the start of my career Australians and New Zealanders came here but now it’s the opposite way. We don’t get big names over here. If they come over here they’ve either done something wrong or are coming to the back-end of their career.

“We’re asking them to leave their family, leave the beach and leave the sun, and come for less money. That’s not going to happen. It’s not only that, but we’re losing them to rugby union as well.

“I understand that we can’t all of a sudden say right the salary is £10 million because we can’t bring in that revenue, but we should increase it. What mind-boggles me is the fact that the RFL are making so much money every year and growing and expanding, yet the club’s aren’t.

“I think the RFL and others are quite short-sighted in the fact that by increasing the money we get better players and by getting better players we create a spectacle which increases everything. I just think they’re very short-sighted.”