The NRL Chief Executive David Gallop says that both he and the NRL have no intentions of altering the salary cap, or the concessions involved with it, in light of a new saga, this time involving Braith Anasta.

Gallop also says that there are no plans by the NRL to to increase concessions for the long-serving players, with an extra $200,000 allowed to be allocated who have spent their careers at one club.

Gallop did say however, that in Anasta’s case, it appears unlikely that similar concessions will be made in his case, despite the players constant loyalty to the code.

”There isn’t a veterans system like the AFL has but there is a fund for rep players and you forfeit that if you leave the game for another code,” Gallop said.

”Generally, if you’ve stayed in the game more than 10 years you are a rep player anyway and you get that payment once you leave.

”We have increased concessions for long-serving players at one club from $100,000 to $200,000 already.”

What’s the rationale for the one-club player concession as opposed to an NRL stalwart who has played at two or three clubs?
David Gallop: ”The view for some time from the clubs has been rather than introduce more and more concessions, we should be aiming to lift the cap ourselves. And I think we’ve done a reasonable job of both.”

Is that a possibility in the near future?

”Clearly there is going to be more money brought into the game over the next few years through broadcasting rights and that will benefit the clubs, players and the grassroots of the game.

”So I guess that’s something for everyone to look forward to in the near future – players included.

”There’s certainly more money to come into the game which will put clubs in better positions. It’s a tough industry because it’s a very elite competition where not everyone can be part of it forever.

”There’s going to be changeover and that’s why when you look at Nathan Hindmarsh and Darren Lockyer, you have to be pretty in awe of their longevity.”

So there’s a method to the madness?

”Well, it’d be nice to get to a point where rather than talking about how the salary cap is always forcing players out, that we actually talked about how it’s actually giving the clubs the opportunity to be in the market for the best youngsters and to be able to pick up players who in two or three years’ time will be the superstars of the game.

”If we didn’t have a salary cap then the clubs with the most juniors would keep them. It would be nice if the game got to the point where we talked about the benefits of the cap.”

What are the benefits for fans from the NRL’s point of view?
”We’re going into potentially the closest competition ever; just consider the teams that missed the eight last year – real powerhouse teams like the Broncos, Bulldogs, Parramatta and Souths. Those kinds of teams didn’t even make the eight so I think the fans, when I talk to them when they come up to me at the beach, I think they now get the importance of the cap and how good it is to have eight close games each weekend.

”It’s probably just a few old hardheads who don’t want to accept it. And it does have some difficult aspects, like third-party deals. But if you didn’t have restrictions on what associates of the club could pay players, then you may as well not have a salary cap.”

By ricky

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