NRL Parramatta's Hefty Payments To Departed Players Limiting Cap Flexibility
National Rugby League side Parramatta is "shelling out" more than A$750,000 ($702,000) this season to players that are "no longer at the club, contributing to a salary cap nightmare they admit leaves their hands tied when attracting big-name recruits to Pirtek Stadium," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The situation on the club's books is "grim and with no overnight fix." As a result of "bogus recruitment and retention decisions and back-ending of contracts, the Eels have only 21 players in their top-25 NRL roster and have no room to move" under the A$6.3M ($5.9M) salary cap. The scenario is "no brighter for next year, with the Eels already projected to be over" the increased A$6.55M ($6.13M) top-tier cap, a position which left them "unable to re-sign veteran centre Willie Tonga and with no option but to offload" Jacob Loko, who has been "injury ravaged and had off-field issues" (SMH, 7/17).