NRL Reminds Players Bad Behavior Could Lead To Smaller Salary Cap
Player behavior "remains at the top of the agenda" as National Rugby League club execs prepare to meet in Melbourne this Friday, according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. That meeting will be the culmination of "what promises to be another hellish week" for the code marked by court appearances and looming sanctions against players and clubs." Players have "already been put on notice" that their bad behavior may "ultimately hit them in the hip pocket" and under the agreement struck between the union and head office nearly 18 months ago, even the "slightest dip" in NRL or club revenue could result in an instant reduction in the salary cap. The term sheet agreed between the NRL and players in Oct. '17 included a clause contemplating "adverse changes" in the game's financial state. The document, sent by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg to Rugby League Players' Association CEO Ian Prendergast, forms the basis of the collective bargaining agreement and "discusses the implications of any drop in revenue and the subsequent impact for player payments." The agreement talks about a range of financial scenarios and mechanisms for revising player payments, the starting point if there is a A$10M ($7M) reduction in NRL revenues in any one year compared with initial forecasts. NRL revenues this year are projected to exceed A$500M ($353M), meaning a 2% dip would bring the clause into effect and jeopardize existing player payments. It is understood sponsors at the NRL and clubs have "raised concerns over the spate of off-field issues" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/12).