Eels Blogs

I've been meaning to post this for some time now. I've been casually checking in to be confronted with what I consider ignorant and ill-informed commentary - and I've been busy - so here I am responding at 2:50am on a Saturday morning!

May I start by congratulating the admin for their handling of both BA's and Gutho's contract negotiation. BA desperately wants to coach our footy club to great success and the dearth of quality alternatives seemed like his reinstatement was a no-brainer - but - the club made him sweat it out!

This is a good thing because it's about time this outfit starts operating on on-field results rather than favours over long lunches at board level!

Likewise, Gutho's manager made our club look like the villain when, in fact, a 3 year deal will see him in his prime in 3 years so, unless he has some medical condition that nobody is currently aware of, a 3 year deal for a non-rep player for something in the territory of $650k sounds pretty reasonable!

Next stop - we sign Moses. He's our halfback, our organiser and the bloke who management and coaching staff have determined is the most appropriate player to build a team around. I think we've seen ample evidence to the fact that he's capable of it. His good games come on the back of our forwards messing up the opposition defence and his poor games follow when our forwards are dominated and has no time.

He wouldn't be the first halfback to struggle when his pack is not gaining advantage per hit-up.

The next point I want to touch on is respect to the salary cap and TPA's. 

I think it was Brissy Eel and Fong got into a stoush over TPA's and the supposed 'unfair advantage' that some clubs have over others.

Fong made the point that the Roosters utilise TPA's very much to their advantage and listed a raft of methods as to how they could do so legally. He was correct in saying that the RLPA have made it their primary mission to prevent the NRL from publicising the players' income streams such that it remains a matter between the player and the ATO.

Fong is not wrong in fact, but he is wrong in principal - and this is why:

The RLPA is ostensibly a Union (something I suspect Fong isn't a fan of) and they have traditionally used strong-arm tactics to deny a regime of full disclosure with respect to income streams for the players.

Meanwhile, there are certain clubs that have an inherent advantage when it comes to TPA's or otherwise - whether it be location (e.g. the Storm whereby their players are out of the 'fishbowl'), corporate affiliates (e.g. the Broncos and their ‘old boys club’), real-estate (e.g. the Roosters  - where Uncle Nick finds a beachfront property to rent out to a player during their playing tenure and sells it for a peppercorn at the conclusion of their career), or facilities (e.g. Parra - with our shiny new stadium and our soon-to-be built $40m Centre of Excellence).

It is an exercise of pure ignorance to deny these factors with respect to club recruitment and retention.

I am very limited in what I can detail, but both my brother and I are lawyers. I have had dealings with a club and my brother is currently representing a former director of another NRL club in an unfair dismissal matter - and both mine and his came about because of a 'whistle-blower'.

It appears that the current MO of clubs is to sign sham IT contracts whereby they 'purchase' a range of photocopiers, data projectors, AV technology and on-call support - but  - said product does not arrive and is instead funnelled into player payment avenues.

This is simply fact, so when some of you on this forum talk about "good management" - what you might mean is "better cheating" - because that’s what’s happening!

So, without clear and full disclosure of player income streams, these avenues of cheating will continue and the rich and powerful clubs will continue to be rich and powerful.  If this is something we're all comfortable with, why not eradicate the salary cap and sell the franchises to rich Saudi billionaires - per the Premier League!

I don't want that. I don't think the fans want that and I don't think the likes of Fong want that either!

The solution is simple. Do what the NBA and NFL did and make player income streams a matter of public record. If not, we might as well not whine about the Roosters or Broncos or Storm and their Salary sombreros because nothing will ever change otherwise!

You need to be a member of 1Eyed Eel to add comments!

Join 1Eyed Eel

Email me when people reply –


  • I've said all along that certain clubs are cheating the cap. Anybody that knows football can do the maths and work out the players value it does not add up, no way can you fit these squad into the salary cap. So when one person here says that the likes of the Roosters are a better run club, just goes to show he has no idea what he going on about. They are cheating and nobody has come forward & informed the NRL, but one day it will happen.

  • Bourbon, Good blog and good to see you posting. Hope the family, little one and missues are all good. And you of course.

    In my view, publically releasing contract figures would probably only incite fans more than anything, and put a few clubs' noses out of joint. It probably will help media, investigate into the "WTF, how is he on that?" and public outcry.

    But not too much more.

    It will tell us what we already know. The NRL's cap is bullshit.

    It won't ultimately change the clubs that have dominated, from dominating. Not until they make a mistake. Or leave, which is worse for the game ironically. Though it might put public pressure on them to be smarter.

    Contracts and bonafide TPAs are already registered with the NRL: The NRL already know it all.

    Meanwhile, TPA overall figures per club are already publically released (not sure about specifically per players though). That didn't change things much, right? Other than a few whinging fans and odd media article.

    So "technically" all clubs are under the cap, according to all the NRL's policing watchdogs. Until they catch someone.

    The reality is, until our inflexible hard cap is changed, or the billionaire clubs leave that would be bad for the game, contracts made public wouldn't make Storm, Roosters, Broncos, Souths (the four most dominant performing teams of the last decade) less dominant - per se. Not alone. Other factors would change this scenario.

    Have a look at the Billionare clubs, behind those clubs, and you'll see why. Politis, Bouris (Gygnell in the past), Packer, Crowe, Holdings Group, News.

    If even the Cowboys with $200m QLD propeerty tycoon Lancini helped the Cowboys with "smart" legal money - property investment packages - imagine what billionares could do. 

    Sharp had no chance with his dumb money "cheating" methods. Even Cronulla dodged a bullet. They were lucky because they used not too dissimilar means of cheating but escaped punishment, because technically they were outside the time-frames they technically cheated when they won the title. At least that's what we know.

    Even Storm, the most dominant team, overall for three decades, got caught using dumb-ass money.

    In reality, a level playing field is next to impossible to achieve. It's a fool's gold.

    Wealthier clubs that are smartest, and evolve the quickest will always have an advantage. If they use that advantage - and make prudent decisions. Of course money isn't enough, never is, as the right coach and recruitment decisions must be made, and players need to play with courage and confidence; as the Broncos are discovering this year. 

    That's just my take on it. We can agree to disagree.


  • I’ve been banging on about this issue for years. Publishing player wages and TPA’s is the only method to stop large scale rorting of the cap.

    Only when wages are made public will they undergo the necessary level of scrutiny which will make an obvious rort impossible.

    We all sit here and scratch our heads wondering how do the Roosters afford Cronk, Tedesco, Crichton, Cordner, Keary etc when, as the general public interested in NRL we all know players of this quality would earn enormous money on the open market. 

    So for example, when Latrell Mitchell mysteriously re-signs with the Roosters for $350k and has a $50k TPA, the media and the public could very easily spot this extremely obvious rort and call it out. Right now however we’re just expected to accept the NRL’s assurances that the Roosters are cap compliant and Latrell fits in their cap.  Even though the NRL have never caught a club cheating the cap without a whistle blower or self reporting. Not once. Basically the NRL have absolutely no way of knowing if any club is cheating or not. And they don’t run these deals past anyone else to see if they appear too good to be true. Transparency of player incomes would expose any such dodgy contracts very easily. 

    • This reply was deleted.
      • Agreed Frankie. They’ll just publish and feed the fans  same BS as they have all along to fit their squad under cap rules. The fans already know this. 

        Our club has stated we are not utilising TPA and ginger about the whole thing...our roster is what you get as compared to say clubs like roosters cows broncos saints Souths etc with other means.

      • It would work like this.

        Lets use Cronk as an example, we all know he’s a $1 million dollar player. Other clubs were offering $1 million. Now if they publish wages and we see Cronk is on the cap at $500k then it’s obvious something is up. It’s clearly a rort that warrants further scrutiny. He’s getting at least $500k+ by some other undeclared means which makes it illegal (salary cap wise).

        So no, it doesn’t immediately uncover the rort but it does put a huge spotlight on it. It makes it much harder to hide  


        • This reply was deleted.
          • I didn’t suggest the nrl value a player. I’m saying if a player signs for well under his known market value then a) we will know about it, b) journalists and other clubs can pressure the NRL to investigate. 

            If it keeps happening consistently at the same club then it becomes extremely obvious that a system is in place to hide income from the cap.  

            I take your point about investment advice but that can actually be against the salary cap rules too. “Sign here for $200k less than another club is offering and we’ll give you the scoop on a guaranteed investment opportunity”. That’s about as illegal as it gets. 

            Transparent player payments may not be the entire cure but it’s a damn sight better than the current secret system with absolutely zero transparency. 

  • Bourban Man, I really don't know what to make of this part of your comment: "May I start by congratulating the admin for their handling of both BA's and Gutho's contract negotiation. BA desperately wants to coach our footy club to great success and the dearth of quality alternatives seemed like his reinstatement was a no-brainer - but - the club made him sweat it out". I actually thought the handling of both contracts were nothing short of dismal and embarrassing. To also state the Brad Arthur desperately wants to coach the Eels to great success is quite an odd statement given the fact he's had 5 plus years to prove his credentials which so far has been dismal and quite pathetic. To also suggest Bourban Man that the dearth of quality alternatives made his re-instatement as a 'No brainer' is another obscure statement. There are more alternatives out there than Brad Arthur who could have done a much better job.

    • Get over it Mongo, every post is how stuffed we are with the re-signing of BA. We all know how you feel about it, your continual whinging is not going to change anything. 

      • Pongo, your beginning to follow me around like a bad smell. You seriously need some assistance or help. May I suggest some counselling. There are many other members on here you could stalk if the counselling isn't successful. Now as far as commenting on the re-enstatement of our coach or players. Last time I checked this is an Eels footy site, we do live in a Democracy and we are all entitled to opinions. Now take serious note of this Pongo! When our coach continues to produce no success you will see much more than my questioning of his reinstatement.

      • Except a couple of weeks ago before the Melbourne game he was backing BA in. 

This reply was deleted.

More stuff to read