Resolution of off-field issues set to spark late transfer frenzy


  • ForumSupporter

    Resolution of off-field issues set to spark late transfer frenzy

    Author

    Brad WalterNRL.com Senior Reporter

    Timestamp

    Wed 27 Feb 2019, 04:58 PM

    Brad Walter

    NRL clubs will not be granted dispensation to delay registering 29 players for the coming season on March 1 as they prepare for a late transfer frenzy after the resolution of a raft of off-field issues in coming days.

    After announcing 24 members of their 30-man squads on November 1, clubs have had until this Friday to register the contracts of a further five players and are permitted to keep one spot open until June 30 but some believe the transfer market is set to heat up and want to wait.

    The key developments expected to trigger last minute signing action include:

    • Anticipated changes to the NRL’s policy towards players facing serious police charges; and,
    • Expectations that Cronulla will be forced to operate on a reduced salary cap next season.

    If Thursday’s ARL Commission annual general meeting decides to stand down players, such as St George Illawarra lock Jack de Belin and Manly centre Dylan Walker, until the outcome of their court cases are determined those clubs are likely to receive salary cap relief to help them sign replacements.

    A decision on the NRL’s salary cap investigations into the Sharks and Tigers is also set to be made within days, with the possibility that one or both clubs will need to shed players before the start of the season.

    Star backs Shaun Johnson and Josh Dugan have been assured by Cronulla management that they won’t be squeezed out but the Sharks could be forced to release some mid-range forward talent amid speculation they could receive a penalty of up to $500,000.

    Manly centre Dylan Walker.

    Manly centre Dylan Walker.©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

    Rival clubs are watching the developments with interest and some are known to have their eyes on certain players if the Sharks or Tigers are forced to operate on a reduced salary cap in 2019.

    However, clubs are hampered in their ability to recruit players who may become available as they have to register the contracts of 29 members of their top 30 squads for the season.

    For some clubs, this means making decisions now on whether to promote development players into their 29-man list on upgraded deals or sign players who have been on trial contracts.

    There have been complaints that they would then need to restructure their rosters to accommodate any further signings, pushing more players onto the market in the process.

    However, any requests for dispensation to delay registering 29 players until after the sanctions against the Sharks and Tigers have been announced are set to be rejected by NRL salary cap auditor Richard Gardham.

    It is understood clubs who ask for dispensation will be told they can still leave one position in their 30-man roster available for another signing as they do not have to fill all spots until June 30.

    The decision could leave the Dragons and Sea Eagles in the box seat to sign replacements for de Belin and Walker if the pair are stood down after the ARL’s AGM as it is believed both clubs could have up to $400,000 available to spend.

    The compensation is about two-thirds of the value of de Belin and Walker’s contracts, as players have already been paid for the first four months of their annual salary.

    If de Belin or Walker are stood down by the NRL, they would remain on full pay until their contracts expire or the outcome of their court hearings are determined.

    Former Souths forward Zane Musgrove, who has been signed by the Wests Tigers, could also be stood down if the NRL changes its policy as he is in the midst of a trial following allegations of assault against a woman at a Sydney nightspot in November. He will next appear in Waverley Local Court in March.

    Former Rabbitohs forward Zane Musgrove has signed with the Wests Tigers.

    Former Rabbitohs forward Zane Musgrove has signed with the Wests Tigers.©NRL Photos

    Walker’s domestic violence case has been adjourned until May 10, while de Belin is not due to appear in court again until April 17 after a brief appearance earlier this month over aggravated sexual assault charges.

    All three have pleaded not guilty and it was reported on Wednesday that de Belin had refused an offer to stand himself down, meaning his immediate fate will be left to the NRL.

    Debate about whether the ARLC should change the NRL’s policy of not standing players down while they are contesting serious criminal charges has polarised the game but there is expected to be enough support at Thursday’s AGM to do so.

    De Belin has not been named for St George Illawarra’s Charity Shield clash against South Sydney in Mudgee on Saturday night for “player welfare” reasons and the Dragons believe it is in his best interests to be allowed to continue playing.


  • ForumSupporter

    No mention here of Musgrove’s contract not being registered….odd…



  • So deBelin wont be able to play and saints still have to pay him. Thats totally unfair on the club if he’s found not guilty.



  • Musgrove would surely be the easiest decision to make around standing down as there is CCTV footage.

    Walker has an independent witness testifying, while DeBerlin will be a he said, she said scenario.

    Watch the NRL completely balls this up



  • Yep. Against the clubs and players wishes and while they will be given cap dispensation, they will realistically be paying 2 players for the same spot on the roster which impacts their bottom line.

    Can they recover this money from the NRL?



  • @Harvey:

    Yep. Against the clubs and players wishes and while they will be given cap dispensation, they will realistically be paying 2 players for the same spot on the roster which impacts their bottom line.

    Can they recover this money from the NRL?

    A good question. They are really struggling with this off feild behaviour, I feel they are going to end up with a huge mess, probably cost a few of them their jobs.





  • These clowns are clueless. All reactive, on the spot decision making. Absolutely hopeless leadership. No forward planning, no thinking through proactively what do we do in situation x etc. just roaming aimlessly and making inconsistent decisions on a whim. Clubs threatening court action is a sign they have lost all faith in the leadership of the NRL. YOURE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH GREENBERG.



  • @Tiger_Steve:

    These clowns are clueless. All reactive, on the spot decision making. Absolutely hopeless leadership. No forward planning, no thinking through proactively what do we do in situation x etc. just roaming aimlessly and making inconsistent decisions on a whim. Clubs threatening court action is a sign they have lost all faith in the leadership of the NRL. YOURE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH GREENBERG.

    The worst bit is he tried to get Debelin to stand himself down. How pathetic.



  • I think Greenberg is on thin ice. He is being increasingly sidelined.
    The Commision is taking more proactive role so that shows they are now loosing confidence and patience.



  • Watch out for that hole in the ice Toddy.



  • Where’s my saw?



  • Had staff at work tell me that cam Smith may not be playing Rd 1 as he is the last signed and they are over the cap

    Any truth to that one ??



  • The NRL usually suspend a large portion of these types of fines and penalties. I’m tipping the NRL will suspend just enough of the Tigers cap penalty and fine to not effect the current roster, as it seems the Tigers were some way under the cap anyway. The Jennings ruling points to this.

    Who knows with Pascoe depends on the details, but the precedence seems to be a 12 month suspension for a first offense if the NRL’s guilty finding stands.



  • its real thin at the moment


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