Wells warning on player salaries

Castleford Tigers head of rugby Jon Wells has warned that Rugby League may have to encounter a significant levelling-down of player salaries.

The majority of professional players have now agreed pay cuts through to the end of June, though many senior executives at boardroom level envisage those cuts will have to go through until the end of the season at least.

Many also fear a long-term impact for the sport’s finances, which Wells has conceded may now become an unfortunate reality.

“I presume there will be a significant levelling-down exercise in that regard in Rugby League,” he told League Express.

“There will be questions the game needs to ask itself sooner or later. Is your £100,000 player now an £80,000 player? Is the value of an £80,000-salaried player now somewhere around £72,000?

“All these things will depreciate, and I presume from a playing perspective, because these guys do deserve to be paid more, that the sport will have to drastically cut its cloth accordingly when it comes to player salaries. That may include calls to reduce the salary cap.”

Wells also issued a bleak warning that, as far as he is concerned, supporters may not get to witness a rugby game live in the flesh until 2021.

He said: “The club is already looking at ways we can mitigate against a glut of ticket demands, and what season tickets look like next year. We want to look after our fans, but I can’t see a sporting event in Rugby League with fans this season.”