Parker cold on cooling-off period
The NRL's round-13 rule regarding the player contract 'cooling-off' clause is still six weeks away, with a solution for the issue far from settled.
In the wake of Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans on again, off again, on again $5 million deal with the Gold Coast Titans, calls have been made to scrap the controversial rule which has polarised opinion amongst the rugby league community.
Under current player registration rules, the Sea Eagles have until the end of Round 13 of the Telstra Premiership season to convince their star halfback his future lies at Brookvale.
However, Cherry-Evans has reportedly informed Titans' chairwoman Rebecca Frizelle that he intends to honour the contract he originally signed at the beginning of March.
Brisbane workhorse Corey Parker has called for a shorter cooling-off period or a designated trade window in an attempt to solve the problem.
"[That issue] has obviously been very topical of late. In my opinion I think there needs to be a cooling-off period like any contract has," Parker said.
"In terms of the timeframe I personally think Round 13 is too long. As a game and a code… the rule in some degree needs to be blamed because you do get until Round 13.
"There does need to be a cooling off period but I think it's too long."
Previously NRL players who had signed with a different club mid-season were given until June 30 to change their minds but that rule has since changed to Round 13 – giving players until June 8 to renege on their deals.
Parker sees a trade or transfer window process similar to soccer as a genuine alternative to the current half-season period.
"The trade window is an idea that's been floated around at the moment. What that does is then have everything finalised before that trade window [closes] and stuff happens within that," he said.
"We live in an environment and we're naive to think that if you’re coming off contract that [player agents] working for you are not doing work prior to [a trade window] and now.
"I suppose that [trade window] would hold that temptation to pull out of contracts. There will certainly be deals being done prior to that window, that's just the way it is."
As a one-club player, Parker has never dealt with a contract circus similar to that of Cherry-Evans.
Although the 306-game veteran says the player/club merry-go-round can work both ways – certain players can leave if they find themselves out of favour with their current team – or they can stay and fight for a place in the side.
"Player's [can] cut contracts but a contract's still a contract – if you've got a two or three year contract and for whatever reason the club doesn't want you and you don't want to go – they've still got to honour that contract.
"I guess on that side of things it's still a valid contract and I suppose from the individual's point of view if that is the situation you find yourself in, it's probably not going to be in your best interests to hang around anyway unless you come to some sort of arrangement to move on."