Why Foran's bid for percentage pay is nothing new, homesick coaches, the Titans need Mead, and why talk of a player draft is dead in the water...
INGLIS PLAYS PERCENTAGES: Reports that Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran has asked to be paid 14 per cent of the club’s salary cap in any new deal in order to benefit from likely future cap rises was largely met with surprise, but the tactic isn’t a new one and is quite widespread around the NRL with similar deals already in place.
One such man being paid a percentage of South Sydney’s cap is superstar centre Greg Inglis, and it seems many more players are likely to follow a similar path this season.
Incidentally, there are reports club CEOs were told at a meeting, last Tuesday, of an anticipated incremental cap increase of 10 per cent over the next five years – starting at $5 million in 2013. That would see the salary cap reach $7.32 million by 2017.
FAMILY SACRIFICE: The coaching game is a tough gig and in recent seasons we’ve seen the likes of Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett forced to leave their families behind to take up an opportunity in a new city. The latest to follow that trend is Canberra Raiders assistant coach Justin Morgan.
The former Hull KR head coach has always wanted an opportunity to coach back home in Australia but it will be another 12 months before his wife Natalie and two daughters return from England to join him while they wait for eldest daughter Tiarne to finish school.
‘WE NEED MEAD’: We hear Gold Coast are set to enter negotiations with injured winger David Mead to ensure he remains a Titan long-term. Mead, who will be sidelined for at least another month with a broken jaw, is already signed until 2013 but it is believed both the club and player are keen to extend his contract further.
DRAFT GETS COLD SHOULDER: Despite reports that players and agents were backing renewed calls for a player draft system to be introduced, it seems there are plenty of agents that are in fact vehemently opposed to the idea. Leading manager Allan Gainey is one who told us this week he instead preferred a one-month trade window mid-season. He dismissed the concept of a draft as unworkable.
“I think it’s restrictive,” he said. “How can a club organise its salary cap if we wait until season’s end with a draft? The salary cap goes up and down and all over the place depending upon incentives and match payments earned. We’ve also got 25-year-old players with a wife and two kids – you can’t leave it until then. The clubs need to know where they stand with all players and where their salary cap is.
“All this brouhaha about it – I don’t think the players have any problem with the current system and I don’t think many clubs do either. People move around. It’s just exaggerated because it’s rugby league. People ask: ‘How can you pack down in a scrum with a guy that is going somewhere else at the end of the year?’ That’s rubbish – players don’t think like that. It’s nothing. These are professional people who are only playing for a short period so they’ve got to do their best while they can.”
Gainey said it was laughable to suggest that every player would agree not to take legal action given that a draft system has already been proven untenable in court.
“You just can’t say ‘Mate, you’ve got to go there’. You don’t have to do anything! A draft might work for underage players – but not for established players.”