South Sydney will have to ensure that they tread carefully in their deal with Greg Inglis, after the NRL announced that any third-party deals in Inglis’s contract will be looked upon with great interest by salary cap auditor Ian Schubert.
Inglis is set to sign with the Bunnies today, in a deal that contains a multitude of third-party deals.
Given that Souths owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes-a-Court have many contacts in high places, the club have used that to their advantage as they attempt to attract money as part of the marquee player allowance outside of the cap.
The NRL has already advised Souths CEO Shane Richardson however that any role/deal that is made with mining billionaire Andrew Forrest will have to fall under the cap given that it isn’t seen as genuine employment.
Inglis’s manager Allan Gainey says that Souths won’t have to worry about that though, as he says there are enough third-party deals in place without having to involve Forrest.
NRL Chief Executive David Gallop is monitoring the situation closely.
“If there’s a job offered to a player as a way of enticing them to a club we have to have a very close look at it,” he said.
“If, for example, a player is offered $150,000 for a couple of appearances, we’d be asking questions. But if a player does genuine work at a fair market value then we’re not looking to be difficult.”
What makes this deal more interesting, is that only two months ago, Souths CEO Shane Richardson said as late as August 27, that Souths had no room to move under the salary cap.
An un-named rival official has given support to the NRL’s investigation.
“When the boss says there is no money available under the cap two months ago and then they sign a superstar, without releasing another player, of course people are going to ask how it’s possible,” he said.