Giants sceptical about ‘marquee player’ rule change

Huddersfield Giants have released a statement expressing their discontent with the rule change, approved yesterday by a vote of Super League clubs, to allow one ‘marquee player’ to be exempt from the salary cap at each club.

The change will come into effect in 2016, but the Giants are sceptical about it having an positive effect on the sport.

The statement reads:

Huddersfield Giants wish to reassure all supporters of the Giants that they did not ’embrace the marquee player rule’ as implied by an RFL press release yesterday.

“We believe that the marquee concept is fundamentally flawed and have consistently argued against it. 

“Our view is that it is against the interests of home grown players and the equality of the Super League competition.

“The idea of a club being able to pay an unlimited amount outside of the salary cap for a so called marquee player had already been rejected on three previous occasions and a third of clubs still voted against it on Wednesday.

“The fact is that the proposal put forward by the RFL executive was subjected to an initial amendment and then further amendment after clubs in favour were unable again to agree on the detail.

“The result was a cobbled together compromise which could still not gain the unanimous support of the Super League clubs.”

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis attended the Super League meeting on behalf of the Huddersfield Giants. He confirmed that the cluub has never viewed the proposal with any great favour.

“We have never been in favour of the marquee player proposal and I have lost count of the number of different ideas that have been floated, tabled and discussed, not one of which has ever gained a majority prior to yesterday’s meeting, and even then tactical voting was needed to get any semblance of agreement through.

“This decision creates an uneven playing field as only two or three of the richest clubs will be able to afford to take advantage of it just at time when spectators are enjoying greater uncertainty of outcome which is delivering closer games and greater excitement along with the tightest league table ever.

“The marquee player rule will give an unfair advantage to the richer clubs which the salary cap was designed to prevent.

“In my view it does nothing for the development of English players and is against the long term interests of the game.”

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