NRL CEOs Considering Compulsory Fines For Player Misbehavior
National Rugby League CEOs "will discuss a radical plan where clubs implement immediate and compulsory fines" on misbehaving players who "tarnish rugby league," according to Dean Ritchie of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. It will form part of an "in-depth and intense discussion into player misconduct" at a high-powered CEO conference in Melbourne on Friday. The plan "has been briefly explored" by several CEOs who will attend Friday’s meeting. The proposal would reportedly "be similar to that introduced at Newcastle" by CEO Phil Gardner. One suggestion would see a player fined 10% of his contract earnings with a first offense, before being increased to 25% "if found guilty of misconduct a second time." Some CEOs claim "no player would be exempt from the plan." More serious off-field misbehavior "would see players sacked." One CEO said, "The fines have to be substantial. It would be a compulsory fine -- not discretionary. It would be a percent of his playing fee -- that would really whack them." NRL CEO Todd Greenberg will stress to club CEOs once again on Friday the importance of player behavior. He said, "I’ve been very clear about the damage which the recent incidents have had and will have on the game as a whole. The damage is significant" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/13).