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News NRL 2018: NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg admits third-party agreements need change

Discussion in 'Rugby League General' started by Dogzof95, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Dogzof95

    Dogzof95 Kennel Enthusiast

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    NRL club bosses will be asked how to overhaul the controversial third-party agreements system at a meeting next week after Todd Greenberg conceded the need for change in how player payments were made outside the salary cap.

    The number of TPAs being registered with the NRL has been slashed since the Parramatta salary cap scandal, but the practice of the game's highest-profile stars receiving payments outside the traditional player payment pool has landed Manly in hot water with League HQ.

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    And it is set to be a hot topic of debate among club chief executives at their first gathering of 2018 as the NRL looks to tighten the guidelines around TPAs.

    Greenberg wouldn't be drawn on what an ideal system would like – if there should be one at all – but stressed there had been many challenges with the current model, which had plunged two of Sydney's highest-profile clubs into turmoil in recent years.

    "It's clear we need change, it's clear we can evolve and modernise TPAs," Greenberg said.

    "I'm really, really encouraged by our profile players in the game being able to earn extra income outside of their contract fee. When I see Billy Slater on a billboard in Melbourne promoting a company, it's a good thing for Billy and a great thing for the game.

    "So we need to balance our expectations about our elite athletes and stars in the game continuing to derive additional income, which also sets them up for their careers after football.

    "Ultimately the salary cap is there to ensure talent is equalised across the competition, which is our greatest strength. Any changes or additions we make to the TPA system needs to reflect that, too. When I talk to people who have issues with TPAs, I hear a lot of problems, but I don't hear a lot of solutions. That happens quite often in the game.

    "I think the club CEOs want to have a strong voice in this and I'm looking forward to having a discussion with them next week."

    Greenberg will then again raise the issue with Rugby League Players Association boss Ian Prendergast, who last year during delicate collective bargaining agreement negotiations argued for the abolition of the murky third-party system.

    He preferred a more transparent player-marketing contract scheme capped at a certain amount for each franchise, which would involve independent deals brokered at arm's length from a club.

    "[The number of TPAs] have dropped over the last couple of years," Greenberg said.

    "I think it's more about two things – as the salary cap continues to go up, players are earning significant amounts of money through their contracts, and on the back of Parramatta – this is just anecdotal – but lots of players will go into contract negotiations and just want their fee inside their contract now. I can understand that, too."

    The RLPA are also expected to be consulted about the prospect of a transfer window after another summer of frenzied player movement and clubs agreeing to release stars before their contracts have lapsed.

    Mitchell Pearce, James Maloney, Matt Moylan and Bryce Cartwright have all swapped clubs after the grand final, long before their deals were supposed to end.

    Rabbitohs gun and free agent Angus Crichton also announced he would join the Roosters in 2019, more than 12 months before shifting to Bondi.

    "I understand that criticism and I'm open to finding a better solution if there is one," Greenberg said. "In saying that though we have to be careful don't make rules that get passed into cafes and corridors of private conversations.

    "At the moment it's pretty transparent about the dates. I'm conscious if we make changes we don't want to push things underground, which just becomes innuendo which is what the game went through maybe five years ago."
     
  2. Mr Invisible

    Mr Invisible Super Mod Staff Member Premium Member Gilded

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    "We need to make it easier for the Roosters / Broncos to rort" more like it.
     
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  3. chisdog

    chisdog Kennel Enthusiast

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    How about the Independent Commission actually do something & make a decision. You couldn't take out the TPAs or reduce them for next season, but you could reduce them in say 5 years time.
     
  4. Dogna88

    Dogna88 Kennel Enthusiast

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    I wonder what the dogs third party amount is compared to the roosters or broncos....

    One would think We would be in the top 5 teams that rely on 3rd party.

    Just make club involvement in 3rd party legal. Just capped at a certain % of commercial revenue
     
  5. Bad Billy

    Bad Billy Immortal

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    Players should be able to have as many TPA’s as the like, but they should be ENTIRELY independently sourced.
    If clubs are found to be “lining up” TPA’s for players, then the value of the contracts is stripped from their cap.
     
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  6. Mr Invisible

    Mr Invisible Super Mod Staff Member Premium Member Gilded

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    The answer is a really easy one, looked after by the NRL.

    For example lets use 7 companies: Nike, Dominoes, Realestate.com.au, Gatorade, Rebel Sport, Victoria Bitter, XXXX

    They all approach the NRL and register TPAs (or multiple TPAs).

    1. Each TPA is for the same amount ($100,000).
    2. Each club gets allocated x amount of TPAs (lets say 5).
    3. The club then decides which players are covered by that TPA.
    4. The players covered by that TPA HAVE to endorse the TPA provider for the deal to be valid.

    NRL allocate VB, Nike, Gatorade to Storm.
    NRL allocate XXXX, Dominoes, RebelSport to Broncos/Titans.

    Bulldogs are allocated Nike, Dominoes, Realestate.com.au, Gatorade, and Rebel Sport.

    Bulldogs decide to give:
    Nike - Will Hopoate to appear in ads.
    Dominoes - Aiden Tolman to appear in online endorsements.
    Realestate.com.au - David Klemmer for online endorsements.
    Gatorade - Josh Morris to appear in ads.
    Rebel Sport - Brett Morris to appear at instore events.

    So each of those players have either $100,000 added or removed from their salary cap listed price.

    This way TPAs are fair across every single club, valued the same (maybe have upper and lower tier TPAs for companies unable to pony up $100k). Another option would be cap the value allocated to a club. If Nike want a $500k TPA, the club gets allocated only Nike.
     
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  7. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    Works perfectly........in a communist state. I'm pretty sure companies like NIKE decide what sort of person they want representing their brand and not some third party competition organiser. If one club has 5 people NIKE wants to represent them are you going to tell them they can't? Good luck.
     
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  8. N4TE

    N4TE DogsRhavnaParty

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    Yep the sponsor has the power here and so they should it's their money.
     
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  9. dogluva

    dogluva Immortal

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    Well this is exactly the way the NRL has dictated the system should work. INDEPENDENTLY SOURCED AND NOT NEGOTIATED BY THE CLUBS.

    https://www.nrl.com/operations/the-game/the-salary-cap/

    NRL PAYMENTS FOR THE TOP 30

    $9.1 million – base salary cap for the Top 30 players. At least 24 Top 30 players must be contracted by 1 November, 29 Top 30 players by 1 March and 30 Top 30 players by 30 June.

    $0.2 million – Veteran and Developed Player Allowance for eligible players who were either developed by the Club prior to becoming NRL players and / or have been a Top 30 player for at least 8 years at the Club or have been a Top 30 player for at least 10 years across the game

    + $300,000 per team - Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards players' Retirement Account Contribution.

    + $100,000 per team - Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards their administration funding.

    What players can earn outside the salary cap:

    $100,000 - Motor Vehicle Allowance – a maximum amount of five motor vehicles may be provided to players in the Top 30 outside of the salary cap. (Valued at $20,000 each).

    Unlimited - Players can earn unlimited amounts from corporate sponsors who are not associated with the club and who do not use the game's intellectual property (no club logos, jerseys or emblems) provided these are pre-approved by both a Player’s Club and the NRL. These agreements may not be negotiated by the club as an incentive for a player to sign a contract, nor can they be guaranteed by the club.

    Other Benefits - Tertiary education fees, approved traineeships, medical insurance costs, relocation/temporary accommodation costs are not included in the cap but must be approved

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Why have a Salary Cap?

    The NRL Salary Cap serves two functions:

    1. 1. It assists in "spreading the playing talent" so that a few better resourced clubs cannot simply out-bid other clubs for all of the best players. If a few clubs are able to spend unlimited funds it will reduce the attraction of games to fans, sponsors and media partners due to an uneven competition. Allowing clubs to spend an unlimited amount on players would drive some clubs out of the competition as they would struggle to match the prices wealthy clubs could afford to pay.
    1. 2. It ensures clubs are not put into a position where they are forced to spend more money than they can afford, in terms of player payments, just to be competitive.
    Where did it come from?

    Salary caps have been part of sport for many years. The NSWRL first introduced a salary cap to Rugby League in 1990 and the NRL has had a salary cap since its inception in 1998.

    The AFL introduced a salary cap in 1985 and major overseas sports such as the NFL and NBA in the USA also use salary caps.


    How much can clubs spend?

    The Base Salary Cap for 2018 is $9.1m for the 30 highest remunerated players at each club plus up to $0.2m Veteran and Developed Player allowance.

    For players in the Top 30 Salary Cap, the Salary Cap value for a player each year is broken down into the following categories:

    - Playing Fee – fully included in the Salary Cap.

    - Included benefits – all benefits provided to players including accommodation, travel, motor vehicles, interest free loans and manager's fees and any applicable fringe benefits tax.

    - Win bonuses and appearance fees – Payments for appearing in or winning a game are calculated based on the number of NRL games the player played in the prior year multiplied by any applicable bonuses. For win bonuses, the calculation is capped at 13 wins. Example: A player appeared in 10 NRL games in 2017 and now has a 2018 Contract for $100,000 contract fee plus $1,000 per game. His - Salary Cap Value would be $100,000 plus 10 times $1000 = $110,000.

    - Other bonuses – Any other bonus contained in a player's contract will be calculated in the Salary Cap if the NRL Salary Cap Auditor expects him to achieve the bonus based on his prior year's performance.

    Example: A player played State of Origin in 2017. His 2018 Contract includes a $20,000 State of Origin bonus. This bonus will be included in the player's 2018 Salary Cap Value.

    Note: Where a bonus is achieved by a player but was not assessed in the player's Salary Cap Value, the bonus is carried forward and calculated in the player's Salary Cap Value for the following year.

    Is any remuneration excluded?

    In addition to allowances, the following benefits to players are excluded:

    - Tertiary education (TAFE and university).
    - Approved Traineeships.
    - Medical insurance costs.
    - Reasonable Relocation and temporary accommodation costs.
    - Payments from representative games and events such as All Stars.
    - Prize money

    .What about money paid from other people or companies?

    If a player is receiving money from any person as a way of inducing him to play for the club, then that money will be included in the Salary Cap.

    Income that a player earns from parties not related to his club is generally not included in the Salary Cap, however, the details of the agreement must be advised to the club by the player.

    The club must then get approval for the agreement from the Salary Cap Auditor in order for the remuneration to be excluded.

    Players are also able to enter into agreements with game sponsors, referred to as Sponsor Leveraging Agreements. There is no maximum amount and they are excluded from the salary cap.


    How can some clubs have so many elite players and still be under the Salary Cap while other clubs at the bottom of the table seem to be just under the Salary Cap?

    The reality is the majority of clubs spend the Salary Cap but not all are successful on the field. Someone has to come last and someone has to win, regardless of what they spend.

    Some clubs will attract players on the basis of what the club can offer a player's career rather than just money. Other clubs may need to spend more money to attract the same level of player.

    Many factors affect individual players' remuneration levels. Some of the reasons why a player may sign with a club include:

    - Staying close to the player's home town and family.
    - The chance to work with one of the top coaches in the game.
    - Being part of a winning team and the potential to play in the Telstra Premiership Finals Series or Grand Final.
    - Increased opportunity to play NRL with that club due to a lack of competition for the player's preferred position.
    - The increased profile a player may enjoy in a one-team town.
    - The number of support staff, their expertise and the support facilities.
    - Education and welfare support structures.
    - In addition, a player's salary package may include benefits that are specifically excluded from the Salary Cap, such as the payment of medical premiums, Marquee Player Agreements, relocation payments, prize money, university fees etc.

    How does the Salary Cap Auditor monitor the Salary Cap?

    All NRL player contracts must be lodged with the Salary Cap Auditor. These contracts are reviewed and each player's remuneration is included in the Salary Cap.

    In addition, the CEO and Chairman of each club must provide a statutory declaration to the NRL at the beginning and end of each season in support of the club's Salary Cap calculation.

    The Salary Cap Auditor monitors each club's Salary Cap position throughout the year based on the information provided by clubs. In addition, the Salary Cap Auditor may perform investigations into the remuneration of players if discrepancies arise. These investigations usually involve the club and its associated entities and cover all payments made and agreements entered into that may result in benefits being provided to players.

    The Salary Cap Auditor also continually monitors media reports and makes enquiries in an effort to uncover any information that may have Salary Cap implications.

    When clubs have been found to either breach the Salary Cap or have made undisclosed payments to a player, then the club is issued with a breach notice.

    Third Party Agreements

    Third party agreements are payments made by companies directly to players. There is no restriction on the amount a player can earn through third party agreements where he is being paid for his own intellectual property, without the need to employ club logos or names and where the company involved is neither a club sponsor nor are they acting on behalf of a club to secure the player's services. An example of this is a player promoting a brand or product, for example, Billy Slater and Australian Bananas.

    All third party agreements must be registered and approved beforehand. This is to ensure that they do not become a way for clubs or players to use sponsors or third parties to undermine the salary cap and also for the game to ensure the protection of club and game intellectual property. There are provisions for club sponsors to enter into agreements with elite players under the Marquee Player Agreement allowance.

    Why do clubs have to let players go after they have been successful?

    The value of a player rises as his skills and standing in the game improves and as more clubs compete for his services. The Salary Cap does not prevent a club retaining a senior player but it does mean that a club must choose a balance between retaining established stars and buying new players. This ensures a distribution of playing talent across the game. It is important to remember that the Cap does include a long serving player allowance to assist in this balance.


    SALARY CAP HISTORY

    1990 NSWRL introduces a Salary Cap ranging from $800,000 to $1.5m depending on individual club circumstances.
    1991 NSWRL lifts Salary Cap to $1.6m.
    1994 NSWRL approves rise in maximum Salary Cap to $1.8m.
    1997 Super League war. No Salary Cap in place.
    1998 NRL formed and proposes a $3.25m Salary Cap for 1999. Cap acknowledges "notional values" of players from contracts signed during the Super League war.
    1999 NRL Club Chief Executives, Chairmen and NRL Board recommend retention of the $3.25m Salary Cap for next two seasons.
    2000 NRL provides guidelines for breaches of the Salary Cap including fines and the loss of competition points for breaches from 2001 and beyond. The Sponsor Servicing Allowance was introduced lifting the effective Salary Cap from $3.25m to $3.325m.
    2001 Sponsor Servicing Allowance further increased lifting the effective Salary Cap to $3.347m.
    2002 Clubs which could increase overall sponsorships were provided with an extension of the Sponsor Servicing Allowance, bringing the total available allowance to $200,000 and an effective Salary Cap of $3.45m.
    2003 Long Serving Player Allowance introduced to encourage clubs to retain players who have served a continuous period of ten years in first grade. This $100,000 allowance lifted the effective cap to $3.55m.
    2004 The NRL and RLPA agree via a Collective Bargaining Agreement that the Salary Cap for 2005 will be $3.3m and $3.366m for 2006.
    2005 The Salary Cap rises to $3.3 million with a total effective Salary Cap of $3.6 million (including Long Serving Player Allowance and Sponsor Servicing Allowance).
    2006 A heads of agreement for a four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed in June for seasons 2007-10. The agreement provided for:
    2006 A$3.9m salary cap in 2007 – up from $3.366million.
    2006 Minimum wages of $55,000 (players numbered 1-17) and $50,000 (players numbered 18-25) – up from $37,500 in 2006.
    2006 Origin payments increasing to $12,500 per game.
    2006 Increases in Third Party Sponsorship Agreements to $150,000.
    2006 Reduction in qualifying period for veteran players from 10 to 8 years under Long Serving Player Allowance.
    2006 $100,000 for the RLPA retirement fund and towards RLPA contributions.
    2007 A further $100,000 increase to the salary cap was agreed to by the NRL and RLPA bringing the total salary cap to $4m for 2008.
    2007 Minimum wages of $55,000 (players numbered 1-17) and $52,500 (players numbered 18-25) – up from $50,000.
    2008 Introduction of the Holden Cup Competition with a Salary Cap of $250,000.
    2011 Minimum wages increased to $60,000 (players numbered 1-17) and $55,000 (players numbered 18-25).
    2012 A lift in the salary Cap of $100,000 to $4.4m.
    2013 A heads of agreement for a five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed in June for seasons 2013-17. The agreement provided for:
    2013 A $5.150million salary cap in 2013 – up from $4.4million
    2013 Minimum wages in 2013 of $75,000 – up from $55,000 in 2012
    2013 Origin payments increasing to $30,000 per game
    2013 Increases in Marquee Player Agreements of $250,000 to $550,000
    2013 Increase of $170,000 to $225,000 for each club towards the RLPA Retirement Fund, made up of $9,000 increase per player in Top 25 increasing in equal installments reaching $10,000 by 2017
    2013 Players outside Top 25 who play 4 or more NRL games also entitled to retirement account contribution of $9,000 per annum
    2013 Test Match increases: $20,000 per player
    2013 Four Nations increases: $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd)
    2013 World Cup increases: $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd)
    2013 2014 - A $5.5million salary cap in 2014
    2013 Minimum wages in 2013 of $77,500 – up from $55,000 in 2012 ($75,000 in 2013).
    2013 Origin payments increasing to $30,000 per game
    2013 Increases in Marquee Player Agreements of $300,000 to $600,000 ($550,000 in 2013)
    2013 Increase of $151,250 to $231,000 for each club towards the RLPA Retirement Fund, made up of $9,250 per player in Top 25 increasing in equal installments reaching $10,000 by 2017
    2013 Players outside Top 25 who play 4 or more NRL games also entitled to retirement account contribution of $9,250 per annum
    2013 Test Match increases: $20,000 per player
    2013 Four Nations increases: $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd)
    2013 World Cup increases: $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd)
    2015 A $5.8million salary cap in 2015:
    2015 Minimum wages in 2015 of $80,000 – up from $55,000 in 2012 ($77,500 in 2014).
    2015 Increase to $237,500 for each club towards the RLPA Retirement Fund, made up of $9,500 per player in Top 25
    2015 Players outside Top 25 who play 4 or more NRL games also entitled to retirement account contribution of $9,500 per annum
    2016 A $6.1million salary cap in 2016:
    2016 Minimum wages in 2016 of $82,500 - up from $55,000 in 2012 ($77,500 in 2014, $80,000 in 2015
    2016 Increase to $243,750 for each club towards the RLPA Retirement Fund, made up of $9,750 per player in Top 25
    2016 Players outside Top 25 who play 4 or more NRL games also entitled to retirement account contribution of $9,750 per annum
    2018 A new 5 year Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed with the Rugby League Players Association.
    2018 Increase in the size of the NRL top squad from 25 players to 30 players
    2018 $9.1million Top 30 base salary cap for Season 2018 increasing to $9.7m in season 2022 plus $0.2m p.a Veteran and Developed Player allowance and $0.1m p.a car allowance
    2018 Min. Top 30 fee of $100,000 for players 1-26 in 2018 increasing at $5,000 p.a until 2022
    2018 $70,000 for players 27-30 in 2018 increasing at $2,500 p.a until 2022
    2018 Replacement of the NRL second tier with the NRL Development List where players will be entitled to $60,000 p.a.


     
  10. Bad Billy

    Bad Billy Immortal

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    Exactly.
    But it’s completely un-policed.
    The NRL needs to get serious about clubs sourcing TPA’s for players as an incentive to sign.
     
  11. GrogDog

    GrogDog bad attitude

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    I bet the Rorters like it just the way it is...they will vote no changes!
     
  12. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    What needs to be policed? Every contract for a TPA is subject to the approval of the NRL Auditors. If it doesn't pass muster it is rejected. Just because it isn't in the public domain it doesn't mean some contracts aren't rejected. If people sign stat decs indicating everything is above board there isn't much a private company like the NRL can do about it.
     
  13. Bad Billy

    Bad Billy Immortal

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    The origin of the agreements needs to be policed.
    If there's even an inkling that the agreement was sourced by the club, then the NRL should investigate vigorously.
    How many players have you heard of, that have left clubs, because they haven't received their TPA in entirety ? Happens all the time. Why would they leave the club because of that ? Because they believe the club is responsible.
     
  14. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    No, they leave because they have worked a deal out with the TP organisation that has then fallen through and so the extra $50k or $100k they were expecting to get they now don't get. They then get their managers to look for a better deal and that often ends up being with another club where other TPA opportunities are present. Let's not kid ourselves, with a few exceptions (Slater/Smith/Cronk) all TPA's are offered by companies that have local links to the community and their CEO follows the club. So when one falls through there isn't much opp to get another one at that club. they may well blame the club for being in the know about it but that their problem. They signed the agreement that clearly stated that it was an opportunity that was completely independent of the club and the NRL. Be a bloody great shame if we made adults accept responsibility for their own actions wouldn't it.
     
  15. Mr Invisible

    Mr Invisible Super Mod Staff Member Premium Member Gilded

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    So that's easy, NIKE say "I want blah from Broncos, Blah from Bulldogs and BlahBlah from Storm representing us". NRL designate those TPAs to those clubs/players.

    With the NRL administering and allocating/handing out the TPAs (with requests from supplier), the landscape is far more fair.
     
  16. coach

    coach Kennel Addict

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    All comes back to nrl not being able to limit what third party deals players get!
    They took this to court years ago saying it was a restriction of trade and won
    Nrl basically got hands tied with tpa's
     
  17. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    I think you will find that related to player drafts and Terry Hill not TPA's. the NSWRL wanted to transfer him to another club and he didn't want to go.
     
  18. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    I know we are only talking hypothetically but in a sense that is how it is done now. The company talks to the players manager comes to an agreement which is lodged with the NRL who approves it. Doesn't really matter what order it comes in as long as all the parties are involved - which they currently are. I think people get way to excited about the perceived power of the NRL. They are a private company not a government investigating body. Ultimately much of what they are told they have to take at face value as they have no other power to check it out. That's why whistleblowers are the usual disclosure path - it is because the NRL has no power to intercede without evidence and even then it is conditional.
     
  19. Dogna88

    Dogna88 Kennel Enthusiast

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    Wont change the fact that no TP will sponsor a raiders player.... whether through the NRL or club directly...

    Clubs looking for external investment should be encouraged.

    What is wrong and cheating is if the club subsidizes the TP from their own accounts.

    I would like to know the figures each club have in TP over the cap. I bet its not even that dramatic..

    And everyone needs to remember. We whinge about Broncos and Roosters... other fans whinge about the Broncos, Roosters and Dogs
     
  20. Oatley Dog

    Oatley Dog Kennel Addict Gilded

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    I did read somewhere that we had around $2m in TPA's spread among our team and the chooks, broncs and storm had more. Take it for what it is worth.....
     
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