League Not Part-time Occupation

The National Rugby League Board has unanimously reinforced the view that clubs could not release players for ‘guest contracts’ to rival codes either directly or by creating off-season ‘windows’ between contracts.<br /><br />While the Board accepted any player’s individual right to change codes, there remained a clear view that a player had to fully commit to one code or another at any given time.<br /><br />“In essence the Board’s view is that Rugby League is not a part-time occupation,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said Monday.<br /><br />“The game and its commercial partners invest millions of dollars each year in creating an environment that is unmatched in intensity and excitement.<br /><br />“You can’t maintain that while allowing rival codes, rival sponsors and rival networks to market NRL players at the same time. <br /><br />“The Board feels that there can be no question, therefore, that the NRL has a clear stake in this issue.<br /><br />“We also have to be careful not to allow managers and clubs to open artificial arrangements that circumvent the salary cap.”<br /><br />The NRL Board today also endorsed the progress of the ‘two-referee’ model being introduced in the 2009 Telstra Premiership.<br /><br />It said that the progress of the model through the trials had been extremely positive to date.<br />