Rugby League Players Association, NRL Continue CBA Negotiations
The Rugby League Players Association was warned that any challenge to the legality of the salary cap is "doomed to fail," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. The focus of talks over the collective bargaining agreement on Thursday "switched from the courtroom to the negotiating room." The RLPA wrote to the NRL late last week warning that it "would be prepared to challenge the validity of the cap if the parties were unable to find some middle ground in CBA talks." It also warned it is "prepared to use players' intellectual property as leverage." Talks were held on Thursday involving NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast. While the "threat of legal action is real," the RLPA's chances of success in challenging the salary cap "would be slim," according to former NRL player and sports lawyer Tim Fuller. He said, "Any legal challenge to the legality and enforceability of the salary cap is unlikely to succeed. Courts have held that the cap is a valid and legitimate use of control in a sport. ... If the NRL were to be overly unreasonable in the CBA negotiations and attempt to carve out necessary aspects of the CBA, the cap could be theoretically up for challenge along the above guidelines. Whilst this is unlikely and cooler heads are likely to prevail, it does emphasize the point that the NRL must be aware of the requirement to negotiate in good faith and work towards reasonable outcomes" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/11).