I have been following the game for decades, from the early days at Belmore supporting the Berries to current days supporting the Bulldogs. It is a game, which I love, and game, which I have grown up with. Having the pleasure of seeing the greats play thru the years, players such as Beetson, Langlands, Brass, Price, Kenny, Sterling, Lamb the Hughes boys and the Mortimber boys and of late Steve Price and Sonny Bill Williams. The days of yesteryear is when we as supporters owned and loved the game, which they called rugby league, RUGBY LEAGUE was a game built around a club along with its members and most importantly its juniors. The game was never about the mighty dollar creating wealth it was about the foundation, the grass roots, and the juniors. The juniors bring to the club its true wealth; all clubs had their juniors, which developed the bases of the 1st grade team. If you were to ask the true supporters of the game what is lacking in the game today, and most would say loyalty, that is loyalty at the grass roots.
The salary cap unfortunately does not offer the loyalty for both the player and the clubs; in fact it puts commercial restraints on both. The salary cap is a product of the NRL. Who is the NRL? Who owns the NRL? Who pays the wages of the NRL? I am sick of the NRL! I want my game back! It does not belong to the NRL! The game is mine and all supporters alike! I want it back!
Do away with the NRL and the salary cap and bring back rugby league! Bring back the rules of old; Make the scrums competitive, the play the ball competitive and get rid of the strip rule not mention the video referee, bring back the big hits! Reduce the cost to the clubs, such as travel, accommodation, the day-to-day running, and its overheads. Reduce the cost of game entry fees, making it affordable to all; we need make our game commercially attractive to bring back the corporate dollar.
Take the game back to its strong hold areas such NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG.
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Start a new competition, which promotes and encourages loyalty and has juniors as its foundation employing sustainable growth.
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Employ an import rule, which caps the amount of imports allowed to any club. (Any player other than a junior or scholarship player)
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Have NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG run its own competition; say 8 teams each over 16 weeks, plus the finals;
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Then the grand finalist from NSW, QLD, NZ & ENG enter into a Super competition; bringing together Â 8 elite teams to formulate the strongest competition equal to the State of Origin of old status.
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Introduce a transfer rule similar to that of the Premier League in England football. Compensate the clubs for their development of their juniors of equal value of the signed contract to the alien club.
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Employ a governing body, which has the interest of Rugby League, its clubs, its players, its sponsors, its growth and most importantly its fans; NOT media juggernaut!
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Expand the game in time; develop the game in the other cities and countries thru the implantation of junior development within a plan over 5 -15 years.
In summary, what the game is experiencing now is not about Sonny Bill Williams it is about a game, which has been lost to the media dollar. In time I believe that we will be thanking the likes Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Gasnier for brining the current problems of the game to a head.
It is about time we stop the bleeding before it is too late, if it is not already too late. Â I WANT MY GAME BACK!