No change to Super League salary cap for 2014

RFL Director Blake Solly has revealed that the salary cap will not be raised next season but says introducing a new allowance for a marquee signing is on the agenda.

It comes after the Rugby Football League met last Wednesday to discuss a long term strategic plan for rugby league at all levels. 

The £1.8 million salary cap has come under scrutiny of late from Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash, who intended to speak with the RFL about an increase, stating it would prevent the stars of Super League leaving the competition, after Warrington Wolves Mike Cooper was the latest player to sign in the NRL.

Cooper will join St George Illawarra at the end of the season, while Wigan and England duo Lee Mossop and Gareth Hock will link up with Parramatta Eels.

“We had a Super League club meeting on Wednesday where the new regulations for 2014 were agreed,” said Solly. “There has been a simplification of the salary cap but no raise in its finite limit, which the clubs have been requesting as there is a series of allowances in the salary cap which arguably confused things slightly. 

“We’ve cleaned up a lot of that, so as of next year, there will be a finite cap of £1.825 million but that includes the first and second tier players and then the elite squad representative allowance will remain in place. So those clubs provide talent to the English and French national teams will be able to spend up to £1.925 million.”

The recent purchases of Andy Powell to Wigan and Jordan Davies to Salford from rugby union have covered up some of the talent that will be departing Super League at the end of the season. However it does question whether the salary cap is the sole reason behind this recent exodus. 

Solly explained how clubs will benefit from bringing in players from the opposite code. He said: “We’ve got a salary cap concession for people like Andy (Powell) and Jordan Davies who has just signed for Salford. 

“They don’t go on the salary cap as full value in their first two years, so it’s something that the clubs decided a few years ago that if there were players like Andy and Jordan around, then it was an opportune time to get them in and not hurt your salary cap position.”

The salary cap was not the only item on the agenda, as the Director of Marketing and Licensing also confirmed that they may introduce a marquee players allowance in the next few years. The system is currently used by Australian soccer model and the Aviva Premiership.

Solly said: “Clubs want to look at different ways in which talent might be kept in the sport, for example do we introduce a marquee player or a marquee players allowance so those things are on the table for next year and the years after. 

“At the same time we’ve got to be careful, where you don’t have to think too far back to clubs that have been in financial trouble and it’s trying to balance the need to retain talent with keeping the competition in a financially sustainable footing.

“It is a system that has worked in the past. We’ve been given a couple of weeks to come away with some idea for the clubs to chew over a bit more.”


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