National Rugby League Pay Deal In Jeopardy As Clubs Split Down Middle On Salary Cap
National Rugby League side North Queensland Cowboys accused rival clubs of adopting a "divide and conquer" strategy as a "split among clubs threatens an NRL pay deal with players," according to Barrett & Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans are the "latest teams to voice their opposition to the salary cap being elevated" from an indicative figure of A$9.2M ($7.2M) next year ahead of Thursday's meeting of club execs in Sydney. NRL CEO Todd Greenberg faces a "challenging assignment" in his bid to have enough teams agree to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement offer to take it to the Rugby League Players Association. The competition's 16 clubs are "split almost down the middle" on whether the '18 salary cap should be set at A$9.2M or be "effectively increased" to as high as A$9.6M ($7.5M), with A$400,000 ($312,700) in allowances for veteran players and motor vehicles set aside. Cowboys Chair Laurence Lancini said that he would accept a proposed A$100,000 ($78,200) car allowance being set aside from the cap, bringing clubs' spending limit on players to A$9.3M ($7.3M), but would "fight any further increase." Lancini: "There is no way in the world I am going to support anything higher than that unless the NRL are happy to pay us more money, which they won't and they can't. We agreed on [a A$9.2M cap] months ago. I don't know why some clubs are trying to divide and conquer. We've got an agreement" (SMH, 8/15).