Gateshead disappointed by salary cap decrease

Gateshead were one of two clubs to vote against a decrease in the Championship salary cap, which was announced yesterday.

The new salary cap will limit a club’s player costs to no more than 40% of the club’s income with the finite limit set at £300,000 for Championship clubs and £150,000 for Championship 1 clubs.

But the news comes after some clubs have started recruitment for 2010, and Gateshead chief executive Rod Findlay admitted he was disappointed about the decision to lower the cap.

He said: “The issue was discussed at the March meeting and all clubs agreed to keep the cap where it was. Having signed a number of players on the back of that I was disappointed by the other clubs’ change of heart in the June meeting.

“Their views was that they would just sign the same players but on less money. I am not sure that the players should suffer in that way particularly if commitments have already been made and in any case that model doesn’t necessarily work for a development club. I guess I was surprised that some clubs voted for a reduction citing affordability and then outbid us for players only a few weeks later.

“However, the RFL board has made the decision. I respect the RFL board as having a good understanding of the sport and an ability to make the decision in the best interests of the game as a whole. Whilst Thunder were not pushing for a reduction we will accept the RFL Board’s decision and will look to work under the new regulations.”

It is not known who the second club who opposed the change was. It is also unclear how teams will be affected by existing contracts, but it is likely to spell the end of full time professionals in the second tier.

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