Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

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greeneyed
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Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by greeneyed »

Proof the NRL salary cap isn't working

All 16 NRL clubs spend nearly $10 million on their rosters, but a list of the 100 top players in the competition shows a significant gap between the top and bottom sides.

Read more: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport ... f594b8f83b

Interesting story from Phil Rothfield... he takes what I believe is his list of the top 100 players in the NRL (which is subjective, of course) and then reveals the club breakdown. It shows the Roosters and Storm have 11 each and the Raiders and Rabbitohs have nine each. But clubs like the Warriors, Titans and Bulldogs aren't in the race.

There are quotes from the Warriors' recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan (ironically ex-Storm at the time of salary cap cheating, and ex-Roosters) saying that they can't prise players loose from other clubs... and the Warriors have reportedly offered huge deals to the likes of David Fifita and Matt Lodge to no avail. There is a report indicating that Jai Arrow was offered $200,000 more by the Tigers, but still preferred the Rabbitohs.

Basically, it is a situation the Raiders have faced for a long time. Rothfield suggests that the Raiders now have a strong squad because they built it up with players from the UK... and he suggests that the attraction of a strong coach is critical too.

But his overall conclusion is the salary cap isn't working.

It surprises me that he doesn't mention the words "third party agreements" or "loopholes" in the cap...

But it did get me to thinking... it has taken a number of years, but the Raiders really have done a great job in overcoming the salary cap disadvantage inherent in the NRL rules and policies. They had to innovate... getting players from England, cast offs from other clubs who just needed a chance. They probably have got a bit lucky with some of that. But Ricky Stuart really has built his reputation as a coach players want to play for... and he probably didn't have that reputation when he arrived. That's huge kudos to him. It's also kudos to Don Furner and Peter Mulholland in the recruitment and retention process.

The question in my mind is, however... whether it is sustainable? The club really has done a good job... but the NRL still has rules and policies that inherently favour the big clubs... and they still still need to do a lot to put everyone on a level playing field.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by julian87 »

Does he list his top 100 players?

What’s our 9?
well, I guess you could say that I'm buy curious.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by greeneyed »

julian87 wrote: February 2, 2020, 8:20 pm Does he list his top 100 players?

What’s our 9?
John Bateman, Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Elliott Whitehead, Jack Wighton, Joe Tapine.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by cat »

The salary cap is never going to work with so many loop holes in it.

Success and having a coach like ricky helps

We have also recruited smartly, most of our boys are country boys and or family men, they dont want the bright lights of Sydney.

Can this be sustained? No, simply because of the loopholes other clubs can use. Certain clubs will offer huge offers involving 3rd party stuff we just cant offer and then we lose what we developed

I dont know if a draft is the right way but I do know there needs to be a massive step up in what you get for developing juniors.

The amount of dollars we put into grassroots and junior development is huge compared to many other clubs but we really dont get the benifit from it in my opinion
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Seiffert82 »

Cry me a river Peter O'Sullivan.

**** knows what the Warriors are doing. With their junior base they should be a perennial powerhouse of the comp. Why the hell are they trying to sign Matt Lodge anyway?

Anyway, what is the point Rothfield's trying to make? That some clubs can pay unders for their players, or that sensible recruiting is the key to success?

The salary cap should not be there to make poorly run clubs competitive. In fact, there should be cap concessions to reward development and retention of veteran players. Clubs that do not invest in junior development or chance their arm in overseas recruiting (i.e. broadening the NRL talent pool), should not be given a leg up by clubs that do invest in these strategies.

As has been suggested, the real story about unfairness is about third party deals. Especially ones provided by NRL sponsors.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by greeneyed »

Seiffert82 wrote: February 2, 2020, 11:10 pm Cry me a river Peter O'Sullivan.

**** knows what the Warriors are doing. With their junior base they should be a perennial powerhouse of the comp. Why the hell are they trying to sign Matt Lodge anyway?

Anyway, what is the point Rothfield's trying to make? That some clubs can pay unders for their players, or that sensible recruiting is the key to success?

The salary cap should not be there to make poorly run clubs competitive. In fact, there should be cap concessions to reward development and retention of veteran players. Clubs that do not invest in junior development or chance their arm in overseas recruiting (i.e. broadening the NRL talent pool), should not be given a leg up by clubs that do invest in these strategies.

As has been suggested, the real story about unfairness is about third party deals. Especially ones provided by NRL sponsors.
And what’s worse is that the NRL has promised transparency over third party deals... pretended in 2018 that we had been given it... and then last year it was made clear by a journalist they employ on NRL.com that we don’t... because the public is, according to the NRL, “not interested” in the TPAs provided by game wide sponsors!
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Seiffert82 »

greeneyed wrote: February 3, 2020, 5:00 am
Seiffert82 wrote: February 2, 2020, 11:10 pm Cry me a river Peter O'Sullivan.

**** knows what the Warriors are doing. With their junior base they should be a perennial powerhouse of the comp. Why the hell are they trying to sign Matt Lodge anyway?

Anyway, what is the point Rothfield's trying to make? That some clubs can pay unders for their players, or that sensible recruiting is the key to success?

The salary cap should not be there to make poorly run clubs competitive. In fact, there should be cap concessions to reward development and retention of veteran players. Clubs that do not invest in junior development or chance their arm in overseas recruiting (i.e. broadening the NRL talent pool), should not be given a leg up by clubs that do invest in these strategies.

As has been suggested, the real story about unfairness is about third party deals. Especially ones provided by NRL sponsors.
And what’s worse is that the NRL has promised transparency over third party deals... pretended in 2018 that we had been given it... and then last year it was made clear by a journalist they employ on NRL.com that we don’t... because the public is, according to the NRL, “not interested” in the TPAs provided by game wide sponsors!
It's an absolute joke.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by LimeGreenMachine »

Its odd that we are classed as one of the successful clubs
We didnt sign a top tier NRL player. Like Cronk or Arrow. We have recruited smartly and got some handy players from the UK . Gave fringe players a run.

Could we sign a marquee player , I doubt it . Maybe if we have another good year or two
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by GreenMachine »

We've developed a good chunk of our top 100 players..

We certainly were innovative with our approach to poaching top Super League talent.

I'll add that I have no doubt that our coach and the culture around the club right now is at it's best since the 90's.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by edwahu »

If the question is the disadvantage gone, then I would say definitely not. It's still there we just made a lot of good decisions to overcome it temporarily.

The fact is we will still have to make a lot more good decisions than certain other teams if we want to continue to be successful.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by T_R »

cat wrote: February 2, 2020, 9:56 pm
Can this be sustained? No, simply because of the loopholes other clubs can use. Certain clubs will offer huge offers involving 3rd party stuff we just cant offer and then we lose what we developed
I thought this was a really good point. I think Ricky and the club have done a wonderful job in setting up this squad (and showed some pretty bloody innovative thinking to get there, too!), but my concern is that over time we will find ourselves eroded away by the clubs with the third party oomph.

Time will tell, I guess.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by BadnMean »

GreenMachine wrote: February 3, 2020, 8:27 am We've developed a good chunk of our top 100 players..

We certainly were innovative with our approach to poaching top Super League talent.

I'll add that I have no doubt that our coach and the culture around the club right now is at it's best since the 90's.
We've always had to be innovative in recruitment to be succesful- that's well documented here many times before. It's always worth recognising that it's one thing to go try and grab players from new places but it's a whole other difficulty in getting it so right so often. Club staff have been great with it lately.

@Edwahu makes a good point as well in that I wouldn't say he have overcome it yet. We've found a few ways way to scrap our way to parity and have a shot- almost every NRL club has managed to have their shot in the last 15 years except us.

Longevity will tell whether he have really overcome it long term or just have a happy confluence of ingredients for right now but which can't be sustained as other clubs find other ways, a window closes, or just finding a Hodgo, Whitehead and Bateman all near their peaks all at once is not reliably repeatable as other clubs get in on the act or whatever.

It'll need success long enough that the raiders become associated with excellence or entertainment ala the '90s to build up the club brand long term to maintain player interest in coming here and bring improved strength in the TPA field/influence at Moore Park/media coverage (free to air etc) to say we have overcome it. If we are 3 years into this thing, we'll be more able to say we've overcome it if we are still strong at 10 years.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Northern Raider »

greeneyed wrote: February 2, 2020, 8:28 pm
julian87 wrote: February 2, 2020, 8:20 pm Does he list his top 100 players?

What’s our 9?
John Bateman, Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Elliott Whitehead, Jack Wighton, Joe Tapine.
No real salary cap trickery around those players. Cotric, Croker, Paps, Wighton all club juniors. Sticky took a flyer by investing in the Poms and it paid off. CNK was a fringe player looking for an opportunity and we got him for minimum. Taps was the only real competitive signing. We had a crack as a promising young player and Knights weren't will to match $200k we offered at the time. He's now got Raiders DNA in his blood.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Seiffert82 »

Yeah, we haven't signed a single "marquee" player in 25 years, but we've sacked or lost a few (Carney, Milford, Fergo and Dugan). Bateman may have been the closest thing to one - but still a gamble. We definitely got him on unders.

Blokes like Hodgo were a complete unknown quantity, same as Whitehead. I have no idea why we'd be regarded in the same way as the Roosters and Souths - who are really the only two clubs that can seemingly sign marquee players by offloading reserve graders.

The salary cap is working reasonably well in keeping all clubs financially viable, which is its main aim. Otherwise clubs like Brisbane would win the comp every second season. The primary purpose of a salary cap shouldn't be to force clubs to spread the talent around. Clubs should be rewarded for sensible recruiting and development of junior talent.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by greeneyed »

But the NRL claims that a key objective of the salary cap is to spread the player talent. They constantly trumpet how x number of teams have won the premiership in the past x number of years. They constantly boast they have an even competition.

I actually would like to see much more reward embodied in the cap arrangements for junior development and loyalty. But those incentives, to the extent they exist at all, are very weak. Instead they have loopholes which actually undermine their stated objective of an even competition (notably TPAs).
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Riaan »

It’s not all TPA’s, some clubs in the past have been so badly run and the culture a bit questionable. Good players just wouldn’t go there regardless of the dollars. Look at Jai Arrow, 200 grand over 4 years is nothing really when the choice is between a successful club and one who has’nt been near the finals in years. If he keeps going well at Souths he can make that back in his next contract.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Seiffert82 »

greeneyed wrote: February 3, 2020, 5:09 pm But the NRL claims that a key objective of the salary cap is to spread the player talent. They constantly trumpet how x number of teams have won the premiership in the past x number of years. They constantly boast they have an even competition.

I actually would like to see much more reward embodied in the cap arrangements for junior development and loyalty. But those incentives, to the extent they exist at all, are very weak. Instead they have loopholes which actually undermine their stated objective of an even competition (notably TPAs).
Yes, you're correct. The NRL state that the objective of the cap is twofold - 1. to spread talent and 2. to keep less wealthy clubs financially viable.

I guess it's often hard to define what drives what. Ultimately the objective of the NRL is to maximise profit, there is no inherent altruistic desire for them to have an even comp just for competition's stake. History tells me they fundamentally don't care how often any particular club wins the premiership, it's just something nice for them to say when the wins are spread around. If they actually cared about running an ''even'' comp, the TPA rules would be different.

The obvious way to maximise profit is to maximise the sales at the lowest possible cost. The cap works to keep more clubs playing in the comp - therefore creating more product to sell - while also minimising how much players are paid. It's a win-win for the NRL and (most of) the clubs.

From the code's point of view, I really don't understand why more incentives aren't in place for clubs to invest in junior talent. The NRL are not investing huge money in grassroots football. Much of that development work is left to the NRL clubs. They should really be leveraging that incentive for the clubs through cap concessions, as a way to grow the game at the grassroots level and to encourage novel ways to bring talented players in from overseas or from other football codes.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Fuifui Bradbrad »

I’ve never understood the problem with the Warriors. They have the potential to be a powerhouse but never deliver.

The argument I hear is that it’s Union dominant there, but we’ve had a decent go at signing guys who were in Union setups at a younger age.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Bay53 »

Hopefully what we are doing now is setting the club up for when we do drop off, so that we can bounce back quickly not be stuck trying to get out of the cellar again.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

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Fuifui Bradbrad wrote: February 4, 2020, 6:46 am I’ve never understood the problem with the Warriors. They have the potential to be a powerhouse but never deliver.

The argument I hear is that it’s Union dominant there, but we’ve had a decent go at signing guys who were in Union setups at a younger age.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by -TW- »

Their union teams travel all over the world and carve up in Super Rugby

Don't think that's much of an excuse tbh

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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Northern Raider »

-TW- wrote: February 12, 2020, 10:28 am Their union teams travel all over the world and carve up in Super Rugby

Don't think that's much of an excuse tbh

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Except in Union the opposition is generally in the same boat in regards to regular travel.

Cowboys would be the fairest comparison in the NRL.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Mickey_Raider »

We have overcome it insofar as we have achieved moderate success over the last couple of years.

Nothing has changed, it has always been the case that if you build a culture of success players want to play for you.

This was even the case during the “no one wants to move to Canberra” garbage that used to be particularly rife about 10 years ago.

Look at the titans. If they were a powerhouse with success in their DNA as a club there would be a queue to play there which would stretch all the way to Brisbane.

As is stands, despite presenting a lifestyle to envy for most 25 year olds, the majority of ambitious nrl players wouldn’t touch the Gold Coast with a barge pole.
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Re: Have the Canberra Raiders finally overcome their salary cap disadvantage?

Post by Matt »

Since Ricky arrived, we have taken a different tack in relation to players and management. We are finally seeing the fruit of that labour.
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