Why the NRL should stop cannibalising teams
As an avid fan of the NRL it perturbs me that the hierarchy of the Rugby League seems to endorse the actions of some clubs who rather than “grow” their own players from juniors prefer to cannibalise other teams that have nurtured junior growth resulting in success by hard work, including spending many dollars that resulted in a champion player being unearthed.
The latest example of this trait is Mal Meninga of the Titans massive attempt to steal David Fifita from the Broncos by offering a huge financial deal to the young player of $1,200,000 per season.
This player has been with the Broncos for years and appeared to be happy playing for them. That was not acceptable to the cellar dweller Titans who deemed it necessary to obtain a talent that David is.
Don’t get me wrong, I support a player in earning the maximum dollars for his short career nor do I see anything wrong with a club strengthening it’s playing staff.
The objection that I have is that a club that nurtures young players is actually financially penalised for doing the right thing by spending years and money developing grass root level champion players.
We are told by the press that the new NRL is changing rapidly.
The one thing that really needs change is this problem area, we need to make all clubs develop junior players and to protect those that do, why not introduce a penalty for those that pirate original developed players from clubs.
The penalty would be in the form of a transfer fee, payable to the club that is being pirated. As a suggestion make the transfer fee the equivalent of one years signed contract sum that also has to come out of the salary cap.
To stop the rorting of the system make the total penalty come from the end figure paid at the end of the contract as an example; original signed contract $500,000 for three years but bonus payments of $300,000 for extra two years brings the total penalty to $300,000 divided by three plus original equals a total transfer fee of $600,000.
The transfer fee paid to the damaged club would be salary cap free and would help to supply the NRL with new talent which ensures it’s longevity.
It should force clubs for financial reasons to develop their own players which can only be good for the game.
That would also allow new franchised clubs a player source also as a by-product bring club loyalty back as it was.
Robert Henderson, Sharon