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Alternative Contract Windows

TwinTurbo

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There's a lot of traffic on TK about 1st November being unsuitable for the opening of player contract negotiations, that 12 months is too long for players to be signed with other clubs. But what are the alternatives;

JUNE - I seem to recall previously it was June in the last contracted year, so ~4 months before contracts ran out. But that left players with more than 1/3rd of the season to go being announced as paying with another team next year. Plus negotiations were taking place while the season was in progress, which it was claimed distracted players and coaches on the run up to the finals. Plus those playing finals were always subject to the media questioning their commitment when they had just announced that they were playing for someone one else in a couple of months. Occasionally that club was their opposition in the finals, which lead to even more questioning. At least with announcements the previous November some of the heat has gone out of player movements by that stage of the season. Plus releasing unwanted players early can't really happen, they have to stay where they are. I remember some players being stood down as soon it was announced that they had signed elsewhere, so they didn't play any games for the last 1/3 of the season.


NOVEMBER - Much the same as above except it mostly happens 6 months earlier, so releasing unwanted players can actually happen before the pre season and/or season starts. Negotiations take place after the finals, so no claims of player distraction. Announcements are in the off season which creates a bit of interest in an otherwise time of virtual silence.


PLAYER DRAFT - Will never happen, the RLPA have knocked it back every single time is has been suggested.


SOME OTHER TIME - I actually can't think of a more suitable time, earlier (than November) means bumping into finals, later means pre season training has already started. Anytime during the season distracts media, players and coaches from the games being played week to week. During SOO, a lot of players aren't involved, most coaches aren't either, but SOO time seems a bit sacrosanct, reserved just for SOO and the attention it draws.


Let rip, what are your thoughts on when players should be allowed to sign contracts with new clubs?
 

CroydonDog

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Good question TT.

I know the November deadline is there now, but its naive to assume there's no negotiations going on prior.

Controversial opinion coming: I honestly think ideally there should be no restrictions. Unless there are issues with company intellectual property etc, generally employees and contractors can look for other employment at any time. So, the question i ask is, what makes NRL clubs so special? So what if its a distraction? Employers might be more focuses on player welfare and looking after the players.

it certainly would make juggling the salary cap difficult, but I don't really rate the hard cap they have now, but that's a debate for another day.

Draft? Absolutely not.
 

TwinTurbo

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The other thing the NRL has to do is tidy up the situation where players are allowed to sign for a new club before their contractual commitments to their current club are finished. Total b/s.
So what's your suggestion for an alternative?

Go Dogs
 

TwinTurbo

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Can't sign for a new club until their current contract is finished.
That means all of the ~160 players off contract (average 10 players per club per season) have to negotiate contracts for the following year in the 6 weeks before pre season starts. There are ~160 players who don't know in November if they have a job in December. For job security reasons it would force players into signing with their current club during the year because of the fear of not getting a gig the next year. Club's wouldn't be able to effectively start to plan their recruitment until November, because they wouldn't know who was available and who wasn't. Players contracts might be up but whether they have signed with their current club or others won't be confirmed until on/after 1st November.

The above assumes clubs, players and agents all follow the rules, which we all know won't happen. Even more so than currently because of the extremely short time frame for desperate clubs to sign desperate players. There will be heads of agreements, pre signed contracts and hand shake deals all being broken, because another desperate club jumps in and gazumps or a desperate player changes his mind.

I can't imagine the chaos of 16 clubs making ~160 phone calls at 1 minute past midnight on 1st November.

Go Dogs
 

wendog33

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Sorry I put this in the other thread. Just moving to here.

Leave it as it is with only difference being, a rookie signs a contract which states the last year is Player Option year.

That way if they show great improvement ala Burton and want to further their career and get a regular fg spot, they can.

The team losing the services of the up and comer, get $100k salary cap allowance from NRL.

Established players leave as is, as that situation usually sorts itself out, but any team releasing a homesick Hannant, or whinging Klem, or convicted Barba, or suspended Debellend, CHN, Fainu etc gets $100k pro rata of when offense occurs.

OR

Just leave it and have every single contract with the Player Option as their final year. They decide what to do with their career. Stay or go elsewhere. Every club in the same boat.

Thoughts, and abuse, to follow lol......
 

TwinTurbo

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Sorry I put this in the other thread. Just moving to here.
Leave it as it is with only difference being, a rookie signs a contract which states the last year is Player Option year.
That way if they show great improvement ala Burton and want to further their career and get a regular fg spot, they can.
The team losing the services of the up and comer, get $100k salary cap allowance from NRL.
Established players leave as is, as that situation usually sorts itself out, but any team releasing a homesick Hannant, or whinging Klem, or convicted Barba, or suspended Debellend, CHN, Fainu etc gets $100k pro rata of when offense occurs.
OR
Just leave it and have every single contract with the Player Option as their final year. They decide what to do with their career. Stay or go elsewhere. Every club in the same boat.
Thoughts, and abuse, to follow lol......
The problem with player options as I see it would be players not confirming whether they are exercising their option until the last minute (whenever that is). Leaving the club in the lurch, in that way it's no different to the current situation which is why player options are so rare. Clubs hate it as it can result in them missing out when their player decides to move on at the last minute and there are no suitable replacements available. Makes 1/2/3 year team planning next to impossible, could result in some clubs choosing simply not to sign rookies as it's just too hard to manage.

It simply places too much power in the players' hands, as result the clubs would never go for it.

In the context of the average contract value of the 30 players (ie; $320k) $100k additional Cap is not much of a penalty/incentive. Plus I'm not sure under what circumstances it is awarded. How is it determined in the player left of his own accord or the club pushed him out. Using Burton as an example, Penrith told him Cleary and Luai were above him and they recruited Momirovsky which removed the centre option from him. He could argue that Penrith forced him out, put players above him, making him play NSW Cup. Hence why should they get the $100k?

Not that it would make any difference in this case, Penrith wanted $650k (in Napa for free) so $100k wasn't going to get it done.

Go Dogs
 

gbrussell

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That means all of the ~160 players off contract (average 10 players per club per season) have to negotiate contracts for the following year in the 6 weeks before pre season starts. There are ~160 players who don't know in November if they have a job in December. For job security reasons it would force players into signing with their current club during the year because of the fear of not getting a gig the next year. Club's wouldn't be able to effectively start to plan their recruitment until November, because they wouldn't know who was available and who wasn't. Players contracts might be up but whether they have signed with their current club or others won't be confirmed until on/after 1st November.

The above assumes clubs, players and agents all follow the rules, which we all know won't happen. Even more so than currently because of the extremely short time frame for desperate clubs to sign desperate players. There will be heads of agreements, pre signed contracts and hand shake deals all being broken, because another desperate club jumps in and gazumps or a desperate player changes his mind.

I can't imagine the chaos of 16 clubs making ~160 phone calls at 1 minute past midnight on 1st November.

Go Dogs
I take your points here. I should have said when a players playing commitments were over for the season he is free to negotiate there and then. Thus some players coming off contract can be on the market the day after the last round finishes while others become free agents in a staggered fashion as their clubs are eliminated from the finals.

The current system of November 1st to play for another club 16 months down the track is allegedly to give players relocating to a more remote location like Auckland or Townsville time to get their accommodation etc sorted so they can be there at their new club for pre season training.

That just creates a situation where a player with one season to go on his contract is conflicted and him and his current club under pressure to negotiate an early release which of course creates a potential salary cap issue.

Sure negotiations take place before November 1st but contracts won't be registered at the NRL until then.

I wonder if July 1st is a viable alternative. Players can't change clubs at that point to play elsewhere for the rest of the season anyway except in the covid effected 2020 season.
 

TwinTurbo

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I take your points here. I should have said when a players playing commitments were over for the season he is free to negotiate there and then. Thus some players coming off contract can be on the market the day after the last round finishes while others become free agents in a staggered fashion as their clubs are eliminated from the finals.

The current system of November 1st to play for another club 16 months down the track is allegedly to give players relocating to a more remote location like Auckland or Townsville time to get their accommodation etc sorted so they can be there at their new club for pre season training.

That just creates a situation where a player with one season to go on his contract is conflicted and him and his current club under pressure to negotiate an early release which of course creates a potential salary cap issue.

Sure negotiations take place before November 1st but contracts won't be registered at the NRL until then.

I wonder if July 1st is a viable alternative. Players can't change clubs at that point to play elsewhere for the rest of the season anyway except in the covid effected 2020 season.
The problem with staggered player contract releases is the clubs won't know whether to grab a player (who plays in the position they need) after the last round? Or do they wait until the first round of the finals? But what if they player they really want team wins the first week, do they wait until the 2nd week of the finals? And on it goes, it's like playing roulette, do you grab the 2nd choice player now or wait for the 1st choice player to be free?

At least with a common date all the players are available on the same day, so clubs can chase their preferences in some logical order.

The 1st July release has the same issue as June, refer above.

Go Dogs
 

Freakzilla

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Bring in a soccer transfer system.

Players can transfer in the offseason for a transfer fee if they're under contract.

Once round 1 starts until 7 days after the GF no one can change clubs.

Free agency happens 1 week after the GF.

Every player under contract can play for their club. None of this top 30 bullcrap.
 

TwinTurbo

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Thanks for the suggestions, it's good to have different opinions to consider.

Bring in a soccer transfer system.
Players can transfer in the offseason for a transfer fee if they're under contract.
Is the transfer fee included in the Cap or not?
If it is then it reduces the amount players can be paid. Which the RLPA wouldn't agree to.

If it isn't then the "rich" clubs get all the talent because they can afford to pay the high transfer fees that quality players command.
As a result the "rich" clubs get richer and the "poor" clubs get poorer as the sponsors/advertisers and fans flock to clubs with the famous players.
Just a quick look at the Premier League proves the point, in the 25 year history Manchester United has won 13 (more than half) with only 7 different winners. The NRL in the same timeframe has had 14 different winners.

Personally I'd like transfer fees outside the Cap as we are one of the "rich" clubs.

Once round 1 starts until 7 days after the GF no one can change clubs.
We have that currently except it is 1st July until 1st November.

Free agency happens 1 week after the GF.
We have that now except it is 1st November (around 2/3 weeks after the GF).

Every player under contract can play for their club. None of this top 30 bullcrap.
Is there still a Salary Cap?
If there is then it effectively limits the number of players and/or limits how much each player gets paid. You could have some clubs with only, say, 20 higher paid players and other clubs with 40 lower paid players.

If not then this is a huge change, we complain now that Melbourne has 3 x NRL quality hookers, Penrith 4 x NRL quality halves, the Chooks 2 x NRL quality teams etc. Imagine if they had an unlimited number of contracts how many NRL quality players they could stockpile. Same as above, the "rich" clubs get richer because they can afford to stockpile players and the "poor" clubs get poorer because they can't afford to.

Personally I'd like an unlimited number of players as we are one of the "rich" clubs.

Go Dogs
 

B-Train

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These are the suggestions I have:

- No player can sign for another club with more than one year on their contract remaining. All contract negotiations with other clubs can only take place after the Grand Final. Every other league has free agency after the season, I don't see why Rugby League can't..

- If a player wants to switch clubs while under contract, a player swap/trade must be agreed upon between both clubs that balances in relation their cap situation.

- If a swap can't be agreed upon, a transfer fee that doesn't count towards to cap can be paid to the other club. Have a transfer fee cap so that richer clubs don't get an advantage.

- Publish all player salaries for greater transparency and accountability. Again, every other sporting league does this, it makes no sense why the NRL don't..

- Get rid of all TPA's completely.

- Enforce tampering by coaches, officials, players, agents with heavy fines and penalties.
 

TwinTurbo

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These are the suggestions I have:
- No player can sign for another club with more than one year on their contract remaining. All contract negotiations with other clubs can only take place after the Grand Final. Every other league has free agency after the season, I don't see why Rugby League can't..
I need some help understanding this one. In normal circumstances the GF is played in early October and player contracts finish on 30th October so players can sign with another club on 1st November, which is the same as it is now. Or have I missed something?

- If a player wants to switch clubs while under contract, a player swap/trade must be agreed upon between both clubs that balances in relation their cap situation.
Same as it is now.

- If a swap can't be agreed upon, a transfer fee that doesn't count towards to cap can be paid to the other club. Have a transfer fee cap so that richer clubs don't get an advantage.
Same as it is now in regards to transfer fees. Clubs really aren't interested in receiving transfer fees as it doesn't increase their Cap space. Clubs paying transfer fees are OK with it as it doesn't reduce their Cap space, as long as they can afford it. That's why transfer fee are pretty rare and usually as a last resort, unless the Club receiving the transfer fee is short of cash.

A Cap on transfer fees would be logical.

A transfer window usually goes along with transfer fees, have you got any thoughts on that?

- Publish all player salaries for greater transparency and accountability. Again, every other sporting league does this, it makes no sense why the NRL don't..
There is a huge push back from this due to players being targeted for robbery, kidnapping, blackmail, ransom etc. LeBron James for example has armed guards patrolling his LA Mansion. Of course NRL players aren't going to earn that sort of $'s, but it's all relative to how badly the drugo wants his next hit. Several Broncos players were targeted by robbers about 5 years ago. We have ex servicemen being robbed of their medals, so there is no limit to how low some people will go.

- Get rid of all TPA's completely.
I don't think this is remotely possible, as it would be a restraint of trade. For example if Maddison wants to sponsor Thurston for wearing their head gear surely they should be allowed to? Same for Nike if they want to sponsor players to wear their boots. Players appearing on TV or Radio, surely they are entitled to be paid.

- Enforce tampering by coaches, officials, players, agents with heavy fines and penalties.
Agents do get delisted which removes their income source. I know of at least half a dozen independent "talent scouts" with no club affiliations who act as intermediaries, very hard to prevent. "Hey, XXXXX, I hear the Bulldogs are interested in XXXXXX and offering $450k, tell him not to sign with anyone until as his agent you can legally speak to them". Not sure how we prevent that.


Go Dogs
 

B-Train

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I need some help understanding this one. In normal circumstances the GF is played in early October and player contracts finish on 30th October so players can sign with another club on 1st November, which is the same as it is now. Or have I missed something?

Same as it is now.

Same as it is now in regards to transfer fees. Clubs really aren't interested in receiving transfer fees as it doesn't increase their Cap space. Clubs paying transfer fees are OK with it as it doesn't reduce their Cap space, as long as they can afford it. That's why transfer fee are pretty rare and usually as a last resort, unless the Club receiving the transfer fee is short of cash.

A Cap on transfer fees would be logical.

A transfer window usually goes along with transfer fees, have you got any thoughts on that?

There is a huge push back from this due to players being targeted for robbery, kidnapping, blackmail, ransom etc. LeBron James for example has armed guards patrolling his LA Mansion. Of course NRL players aren't going to earn that sort of $'s, but it's all relative to how badly the drugo wants his next hit. Several Broncos players were targeted by robbers about 5 years ago. We have ex servicemen being robbed of their medals, so there is no limit to how low some people will go.

I don't think this is remotely possible, as it would be a restraint of trade. For example if Maddison wants to sponsor Thurston for wearing their head gear surely they should be allowed to? Same for Nike if they want to sponsor players to wear their boots. Players appearing on TV or Radio, surely they are entitled to be paid.

Agents do get delisted which removes their income source. I know of at least half a dozen independent "talent scouts" with no club affiliations who act as intermediaries, very hard to prevent. "Hey, XXXXX, I hear the Bulldogs are interested in XXXXXX and offering $450k, tell him not to sign with anyone until as his agent you can legally speak to them". Not sure how we prevent that.


Go Dogs
I meant that a contract can only be negotiated with other clubs for the following year from after the GF and not 18 months in advance like you can now.

I don't see player's safety being an issue. Most salaries are reported or a ballpark figure is given anyway so it wouldn't change much in that regard. It's more about transparency in terms of cap policing and with the fans..

I agree players should be able to earn what they can outside of the cap but the current structure of TPA's is dodgy and murky.

Tampering and secret negotiations will always happen in every sport to some degree. But to allow players, coaches and officials to comment and therefore put pressure in the media about players under contract at another club should be heavily fined and prohibited.
 

TwinTurbo

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I meant that a contract can only be negotiated with other clubs for the following year from after the GF and not 18 months in advance like you can now.
I'm not sure on the 18 months. It's 12 months isn't it, the earliest contracts sign on 1st November and the earliest move to the new club is 1st November the following year. I suppose if we looked at last game played (for old club) versus first game played (for new club) it could be ~15 months.

I don't see player's safety being an issue. Most salaries are reported or a ballpark figure is given anyway so it wouldn't change much in that regard. It's more about transparency in terms of cap policing and with the fans..
The Broncos players were targeted based on "rumours" of how much they were being paid. A confirmed, widely published value for every single one of the 480 players would be another level.

The player jealousy would escalate, the inner team envy factors, "I'm better than him how come he gets paid more?" "I'm twice as good as him, how come he gets almost the same as me?" Pretty much the same as would happen in any workplace where everyone's salary is published.

The real problem as I see it is even if every player's official NRL contract was listed what would it achieve? They would always add up to $9.6m per team, no one is stupid enough to deliberately lodge 30 official contracts with the NRL that exceeds $9.6m. A few have done it accidentally, of course, but they get caught. It's the deliberate breaking of the rules (like Melbourne's 2 contracts) that publishing players contracts would not reveal.

All that would happen is we would be bitching about players from opposition teams that we think are under valued and equally moaning about our players that are over valued. Pretty much the same as we do now. It wouldn't actually change anything, we would know their registered contract values but not exactly how much they get paid. Player's relatives getting paid would be another unrevealed issue, brown paper bags, houses etc.

I agree players should be able to earn what they can outside of the cap but the current structure of TPA's is dodgy and murky.
The 2 examples were under the current structure, I'm not sure how anything "heavier" could be structured. I don't know how legally we could stop (for example) Politis twisting a mate of his's arm to sponsor a player. Most TPA's that I have been involved in have some association with the club, be they suppliers of some kind, friends and relatives, business associates etc. The "arm's length" is in reality pretty short, but they are almost always genuine third parties.

Tampering and secret negotiations will always happen in every sport to some degree. But to allow players, coaches and officials to comment and therefore put pressure in the media about players under contract at another club should be heavily fined and prohibited.
I'm trying hard to think of a case where it was absolutely black and white enough to be unchallenged. Of course there's rumours all the time, but actual evidence is non existent. Even if it was penalised then they would simply use "talent scouts" more than they do now, so it wouldn't stop, just go even more underground.


Go Dogs
 
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