<big>NRL considers stardardising player match fees in bid to reward have-nots and rein in big-spending clubs</big>
Josh Massoud The Daily Telegraph January 06, 2012 8:55AM
The NRL has raised the prospect of directly paying match fees to prevent clubs from over-spending and bridging the income gulf between star and standard players.
With the Independent Commission and TV rights deal still to be finalised, the precise details of the 2013 salary cap are set to remain a mystery until midway through this year.
But a much-improved broadcast agreement is expected to trigger a much fatter grant for the 16 clubs, most of which record substantial losses each year.
Instead of lifting the salary cap commensurately, NRL officials have proposed to pay players a set match fee from a central fund to ensure clubs use the increased grant to improve their bottom lines.
The idea was met with a mixed response when raised by salary cap auditor Ian Schubert last year, but does retain some support as the Independent Commission prepares to launch.
The NRL would pay players a set fee each time they take the field - on top of their club contracts.
No exact figures have been raised, but players on match payments currently receive between $3000 and $5000 per first grade appearance from their clubs.
It’s imagined the fee structure would give minimum contracted players - currently on $60,000-a-season - a bigger slice of the income pie.
“It was talked about last year, but there’s nothing on the immediate radar at this stage.”
Tigers director David Trodden - who represented the clubs during the protracted Independent Commission negotiations - was on Thursday confident the new regime will finally be in place by the end of this month.
After a brief stalemate over funding levels, all 16 clubs have signed off on new agreements with provision for grants to be reviewed on an annual basis in line with increased revenue.
Expected to command at least $1 billion a season, the TV rights deal cannot be struck until the commission is up and running.
There must be a better idea to change the gulf between the top players and the middle of the road players
Personally I think the top players are worth every cent they earn as they are held more responsible for their teams lack of performance
I still think controlled personal sponsors is a far better option
Agree Happy, the stars are worth the big cash, I think the minimum is prob a tiny bit low, the player who need a higher income are the middle of the road career footballers.
Blokes who play 10 years as first graders without ever being a star, earn good cash, but often no where near what many think.
They forego the chance to forge a career, and often struggle once done.
Id love to see the NRL work really hard on preparing blokes for careers after footy.
It’s an interesting idea… I’ve never been a fan of the current models.
It will be interesting to see what other ways the IC looks at distributing revenues across the game. Simply giving the clubs more money isn’t going to work.
I’m hoping to see better funding to grass roots footy, followed by a clearer pathway to the top tier.