Smith sides with McManus for now

Warrington coach Tony Smith thinks that the marquee player proposal needs to be left alone for now.

In this, he finds himself in broad agreement with St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus, who strongly addressed arguments around the issue in a newspaper column last week.

McManus was responding to a blistering tirade at a press conference by Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash, who felt that the issue had been defeated by a hostile faction in Super League, apparently led by McManus.

Koukash wants to introduce exemptions from the salary cap for one marquee player per club. Smith thinks that there is enough upheaval on the sport’s horizon for the present time.

“I think there’s a lot of change going on in our game at the moment, and I can understand them not wanting to introduce someting quite radical within the components of the game just at the moment,” he said.

“I think the change of the format of our game for the next couple of years is probably enough for us to cope with.

“Whether there’s a debate to be had about increasing salary cap? I think it needs to happen at some stage, but we’re still in that consolidation phase of getting teams and clubs on their feet.

“I know the top teams are probably stable enough, but some of the other teams need a year or two to stabilise before they go doing something too radical.

“So I probably lean towards Mr McManus’s corner at the moment.

“But salary caps need to be looked at in the future, that’s for sure.”

As for the media war of words between Koukash and McManus, Smith finds it all fascinating.

“I love the controversy, when I’m not involved in it,” he grinned.

“But it’s been interesting to watch.”

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