So a couple of weeks ago I harped on about the second tier salary cap. Well, since then we’ve had even more issues with it.
Tigers junior, Luke Brooks, was given special dispensation by the NRL to play in the Tigers’ match against the Dragons. Whilst I don’t support the second-tier cap I believe that it should actually be enforced until the game does away with it.
Since then, the Parramatta Eels approached the NRL for the same dispensation for young forward Kenny Edwards. The NRL said no because he isn’t a junior. I honestly don’t understand what that has to do with it.
Parramatta are guaranteed a wooden spoon. Whilst the NRL are doing what they should’ve done to Brooks, it’s now an unfair situation for Parramatta. The NRL shouldn’t be picking and choosing when to apply the second-tier cap. It’s either enforced or removed.
Now on to the Top 25 salary cap. Ian Schubert is the current salary cap auditor and his role, as outlined by the NRL on their website is to “Monitor each club’s Salary Cap position throughout the year based on the information provided by clubs.”
He is also permitted to investigate discrepancies that may arise. When a club makes a salary cap infringement then they are issued with a breach notice.
No where does it say that the auditor can value a player in the same way he valued Israel Folau. If a player wishes to play for an agreed amount of money with the club, provided it is within the cap, then his contract is to be registered.
Schubert has done next to nothing in his role. All major salary cap breaches such as the Bulldogs in 2002 and the Melbourne Storm scandal in 2010 were revealed due to disgruntled former employees of the clubs and subsequent betting plunges.
Not only that but Schubert had a celebrated playing career with Eastern Suburbs (Roosters), Manly and Western Suburbs. Now I’m not suggesting he is doing anything wrong in regards to these clubs.
However, in the interest of fairness and transparency, how does the NRL appoint a former player to audit his former clubs? That does not happen anywhere else. If it did there would be an obvious conflict of interest.
In my opinion Schubert should be removed from his post and replaced by someone with no affiliation to any clubs. That person should be someone familiar with the workings of the NRL but should not have played the game at a professional level.
So the ASADA investigation has collected its first scalp with Raiders winger Sandor Earl admitting to having peptide injections. It was revealed he had the injections whilst playing with Penrith due to a shoulder injury.
Penrith have stated that Earl was administered the injections off-site by an independent doctor with the club paying the bill. Earl has also said he has offered his assistance in exchange for a lenient punishment.
This is yet more negative press for Canberra who have been put through the ringer this season. First they had Dugan and Ferguson drinking instead of training, resulting in the sacking of Dugan.
Then they sacked coach David Furner even though up until yesterday Canberra were in the finals race. Ferguson is currently on walkabout even though he is contracted with them and now Earl has admitted to the drugs charges.
For the good of the game I hope Canberra can continue to function well and be a competitive side.
Next week I will have a special on the Under20’s and NSW Cup.