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SBD Global/May 14, 2013/Finance

NRL Salary Cap Will Increase To $7M By '17 As ARLC, RLPA Sign Off New CBA

The National Rugby League salary cap will officially increase to A$7M ($6.97M) in '17 -- "but could rise even higher if additional money comes into the game," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Australian Rugby League Commission and the Rugby League Players’ Association "recently signed off on the code’s long-awaited collective bargaining agreement." The cap will rise from A$5.85M in '13 to A$6.3M in '14, to A$6.55M in '15, A$6.8M in '16 and then A$7M the following year. However, the CBA states that by March 1, 2015, the NRL and RLPA ‘"shall jointly undertake a review of the profitability of the game with a view to ascertaining whether payments and/or allowances can be increased" for the final two years of the agreement. The clause "effectively allows for the players to potentially benefit should additional cash flow into the game’s coffers." The other key points to arise from the new CBA include:
  • Player payments for State of Origin appearances rising to A$30,000 per game;
  • Player payments for stand-alone Tests involving Australia, England and New Zealand rising to A$40,000 per match, with members of the the winning of the World Cup or Four Nations teams earning A$50,000 (A$40,000 for second and A$30,000 for third);
  • The minimum wage will rise from A$75,000 to A$85,000 over the course of the agreement;
  • The minimum wage per NRL match is A$3,000 for players outside the top 25 squad;
  • Clubs will no longer be able to terminate the contract of a player who is "not playing the game or training conscientiously and to the best of his ability and skill" (SMH, 5/13).
SUPER LEAGUE RESTRUCTURE: The BBC reported British Super League rugby side Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith "opposes plans to restructure Super League and has warned that substantial changes could cause 'mayhem.'" At present, teams "are accepted into Super League via a licensing system." Smith is worried that "if the promotion-relegation model returns, clubs will put themselves in danger of financial trouble in an effort to stay up." Smith said, "I'm over the innovative tag for rugby league. What about being stable, strong and consistent?" (BBC, 5/13).
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