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NRL announces salary cap changes

The NRL today announced changes to the salary cap.

Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle said the changes follow a comprehensive review of the salary cap rules involving consultation with clubs, players, player managers, corporate partners, fans, media and other stakeholders.

Mr Doyle said the changes, to take effect from 2015, will include:

Making it easier for clubs to put long serving players into careers with those clubs  as they approach the end of their playing days; 

Increasing the veteran player allowance by up to 50 per cent.  This move recognises that clubs and players should be rewarded for long service.  The allowance will now apply to players serving six years with a club (previously 8 years.) The allowance will be on a sliding scale with a maximum $250,000 per club in 2015 and $300,000 in 2016;

Promoting player welfare with a new allowance for clubs who need to field a player outside their roster to replace a player who has suffered a concussion;

Allowing clubs to exclude termination payments from the salary cap where the club has approval from the NRL to terminate a player for behavioural issues which have brought the game into disrepute;

Regulating transfer fees – either by including them in the cap or through other mechanisms. However the June 30 transfer window will remain in place;

Giving the NRL CEO discretion to compete with other codes to recruit or retain players in exceptional circumstances; 

Simplifying the salary cap structure by rolling in the existing marquee player allowance and the sponsor servicing allowance into the base cap;

Developing a rookie player system for the next CBA to improve the welfare of young players and provide a talent pathway;

Introducing a new reporting regime to monitor football department spending.

The changes are subject to formal negotiation and agreement with the RLPA.

Mr Doyle said the 2015 changes were in addition to the reforms introduced this year which included an increase in the second tier salary cap and new measures to improve the governance of the salary cap. 

“The salary cap has played a key role in making our game so competitive and strong,” Mr Doyle said.

“In fact, since the cap was introduced, all 16 clubs have finished in the top four - and nine different clubs have won the premiership.

“But we recognise we need to keep updating the salary cap to make it more efficient and these changes are aimed at keeping our competition even while ensuring clubs remain financially viable.”         

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