Eddie Hearn: Salary cap holding rugby league back

Drew Darbyshire

Eddie Hearn believes the salary cap needs to go if Super League clubs are going to achieve huge success.

There has been heavy debate over the last 12 months surrounding rugby league’s marketing and future going forward.

But according to Matchroom Sport’s Hearn, it’s the salary cap that is holding rugby league back from being a global success because there are no superstars in the game.

He told GQ: “I follow sport, but I couldn’t tell you one rugby league player.

“I said to the rugby league guys that Martin Offiah, Andy Farrell, Jamie Peacock and Ellery Hanley are the ones I remember… So, if there are no role models and no ambassadors, how will grassroots participation grow? How will people tune in?

“You have to tune in to watch a star. Even with the Ryder Cup, you really want to see [Tiger] Woods. In the snooker, you want to see Ronnie [O’Sullivan]. In boxing, you want to watch [Anthony] Joshua.

“You need standout players but also with the wage cap [in rugby league], you are not giving the clubs a chance to achieve greatness.”

Hearn insists a lot of things have got to change in rugby league for it to be successful.

He added: “You need to create.

“Remember back in the day, St Helens and Wigan were the standouts and now it is much more of an even playing field.

“Fans might say ‘we like that’ but it’s like Formula 1, a lot of things have got to change but the problem is that you’ve got the rugby league and then you’ve got Super League clubs and their just not on the same page and that’s the problem.”