Are Salary Caps a good thing? That is the question that is going to be raised now in light of the recent developments with the Melbourne Storm. The Sport that we do not mention will be held up as a shining light to show that it does work, although most fans know that even in that sport there are payments made that are “under the table.”
In the Hyundai A league there was an argument for them when the league was set up, and that was to prevent the league ending up like the old NSL with teams going broke and pulling out of the league. Well circumstances have proven that that has not worked.
In all codes there are clubs rorting the system more than others, with third parties involved with the club paying players for “out of club” activities, there are players being accommodated in apartments linked to clubs, but of course paying rent. Then there are salaries being paid to players before they join a club, in other words two clubs are paying them, the season before they join their new club.
“Everybody does it” is often the excuse thrown up when a club gets caught. That is a terrible indictment on the club itself. But sadly in today’s society, like it or not salary caps are there to be beaten and by whichever devious way you can come up with. They encourage underhand behaviour, yet the administrators always seem so surprised when they uncover a club who has beaten the system.
The days of clubs having morals are sadly in the past, sport is big business and if you do not keep up by whatever means possible you will fall by the wayside. As we know some clubs try to keep up and it ends up costing them far more in the long term.
It used to be that people were on the boards of clubs because they had a passion for the club, they had watched that club maybe as a child, had been successful and wanted to be a part of it. They were happy just to be on first name terms with the players. Those days are sadly gone and it is only the volunteers and some of the lower paid staff at clubs that still reflect that family club mentality, and who will do whatever it takes for the club that they love. Now the top people at clubs and on the boards are there for the money that they can make.
Big business has moved in, it is all about success and money, and with the exception of some clubs, the community in which they play has become secondary. All praise to the Rabittohs who have 17 players involved in community work every week, whereas some players from another code have players’ contracts that state they do not have to do community work!
Sport has always belonged to the people, and that is why it has always stirred up such great passion, the Storm maybe what is needed to change the thinking and the way sport operates, although sadly we doubt it. The people need to take back control and we applaud the British Government for trying to make that happen.
Sure it takes millions of dollars to run a sporting club at the top level, but big business, and people who are there for the wrong reasons have hijacked the clubs. The successful clubs do not have egos running them. It is time the fans took back the clubs, or were at least given a voice.
Whether we are talking football, rugby League or the sport that we do not mention fans need to be heard, and the clubs brought back to being an important part of the community. As for the salary cap, c’mon this is just an excuse for underhand business practises. Do away with it and concentrate on doing the job properly with proper protocols in place.