Talks between NRL & RLPA continue over Remuneration Declarations

The NRL has today received submissions from the RLPA relating to Total Remuneration Declarations that have been required as part of future contracts.

The NRL will continue to suspend the implementation of the Total Remuneration Declarations pending a meeting with the RLPA, provided that it can be arranged in the next few days, but it does not believe the RLPA submissions provide an effective step to greater accountability.

The submissions appear to be based either on a view that: a player doesn’t know what he expects to be paid; or that a club and player manager may somehow collude to insert extra benefits above the amount that a player is aware of.

“Pleasingly, the RLPA does recognise the need for greater transparency on the part of players and agents but by seeking to avoid the logical step of signing a statutory declaration they have put forward a process that is both complicated and half-baked,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr. David Gallop, said today.

“It is one that does not actually provide any further onus on the player or his manager to attest that the contract amount is accurate.

“Indeed if a person was not going to provide the correct information in the first place, why would they do so after a fourteen day period?

“The existing contract already provides for the NRL to seek declarations where it may require them and the Total Remuneration Declaration simply requires it as a matter of course going forward.

“If the RLPA wishes to advise its players to check with the NRL that the contract matches their understanding of the deal before signing the statutory declaration then we would be happy to support that.

“There have however clearly been cases where players have not fulfilled the existing obligations of the contract by signing two separate agreements.

“The NRL has not sought to take action in relation to these only because the players may not have known the extent to which that breach affected the cap.

“The statutory declaration is a final reminder to the player to ensure that he and his manager each understand the importance of declaring that the information is honestly put forward and is to the best of their knowledge accurate.

“It is not something designed to catch people out on the basis of unwitting technicalities but it is unashamedly designed to make people think twice, particularly in circumstances where the alarm bells should be ringing anyway.

“People sign statutory declarations for passport applications, mortgages, contested parking fines and even parking permits. Every player in the AFL signs a similar declaration.

“The sinister notion that has been attached to a statutory declaration in this circumstance is a scare tactic to avoid the simple responsibility that the players and their agents agree to be up-front about what is in the contract.”