Revealed: How the Roosters work the cap
The Sydney Roosters are worth almost $2 million more than the NRL salary cap … but it doesn't mean they are cheating.
An analysis of the talent in both grand final sides reveals the Roosters have a squad that would be worth more than $11.4 million if their players were on the open market.
The NRL salary cap this year is $9.6 million.
However there are genuine reasons why the defending premiers have a more valuable side than most of their rivals, not just the Raiders.
● Players will take "unders" to play and learn under super coach Trent Robinson, the same as they would to play under Craig Bellamy at Melbourne Storm.
● Player agents will send players to Moore Park because of the strong culture which has been led by first Sonny Bill Williams, then Cooper Cronk and Kangaroos captain Boyd Cordner.
● Players will take "unders" to play at a successful club to play finals football and win premierships.
● Players will also take 'unders' to play at winning club to increase their State of Origin and international selection chances. (Players get $90,000 to play in an Origin series.)
For years the Roosters have been accused of rorting the cap but a proper analysis also reveals they are sharper at recruitment and develop players better than most of their rivals from under-18s.
An incredible 23 of the top 30 squad have been at the club since under-20s.
The Daily Telegraph has valued the Roosters team at $1.5 million more than the Canberra Raiders.
Champion fullback James Tedesco is an example of a player prepared to accept less money to win premierships rather than struggle at the Wests Tigers.
He is valued at $1.2 million but is only being paid around $900,000.
He went to the Roosters to become a better player under Robinson ahead of Ivan Cleary.
He went to a club run by Nick Politis because it was more appealing than working for Marina Go and Justin Pascoe at the time.
Centre Latrell Mitchell is another good example. He could get up towards $1 million-a-year at a club like the Canterbury Bulldogs but the Roosters won't go anywhere near that amount.
In the national capital, coach Ricky Stuart had the opposite problem when he first arrived.
Before this year, when they were no so competitive, he had to pay "overs" to convince players to move to the nation's capital.
It was then he decided to build his side around the best English players, who were already used to the cooler climate in Canberra and just wanted an opportunity to play NRL.
Sam Ayoub is one of the longest serving player agents in the game.
He knows the market better than most and the reasons why the Roosters can attract the best players.
"They are a successful club," he says, "They have a very strong board, senior management, coaching staff and quality leaders," Ayoub said, "That's what makes the culture great and appealing to football players.
"It's a fact players will sign there for less. Say eight players took $100,000 less to play there, they've saved $800,000 in the cap compared to what another club would spend."
He says the Raiders will get the same benefits from making the grand final and having a leader of the calibre of Ricky Stuart.
"Ricky's created a great culture and it's a far more appealing football club than it was when he first started," Ayoub said, "He won't have to pay as much as he used to for the best players."
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