NRL TV deal sweet but Ipswich Jets say show us the money
THE NRL is on track for a $1.7 billion broadcast rights deal for 2018 and beyond but the Ipswich Jets insist the second-tier of the game must not be forgotten when the financial pie is dished out.
The NRL has already secured $925 million over five years from Channel Nine with the rest of the deal still to be negotiated.
While the NRL competition remains the apex of the game, Jets chairman Steve Johnson said the Intrust Super Cup also makes a major contribution and that an extra financial injection was required.
Intrust clubs currently get a $100,000 grant from the NRL but Johnson said that was "not enough for the contribution the clubs make to the game".
"We would like to see valid recognition, in the form of money, for the role the Intrust Super Cup plays in the NRL pathway and in development," Johnson said.
"There has to be a balance between the dictates and demands of the NRL clubs that put on the game on television that generate the dollars and the grass roots of the game which provides the foundation for them to draw their players from."
Johnson said the increase in the grant to Intrust clubs should be substantial, but is not in favour of an out and out salary cap as exists in the NRL Johnson believes a salary cap in the Intrust Super Cup would be too difficult to police.
The reality is that some clubs have far greater budgets than others and this has led to 'haves' and 'have nots'.
The Jets have a budget of around $200,000 for five teams compared to other teams with $750, 000 plus.
But Johnson has put forward a points system which would see each player in the competition allocated a points value.
Teams would only be able to field a team of players that added up to a predetermined total.
"If each club was given a grant of say $500,000, rather than us having a salary cap which is difficult for our coaches and CEO's to adminster it would be much more efficient to have a player points system," he said.
"Each player would be worth certain points so that at each team would field teams that have for argument sake 200 points.
"It doesn;t matter what you pay any player, but rather than have salary cap audits each week the coach knows he can only select a team of players that add up to that 200 points."
Higher points would be allocated for NRL-contracted players that take the field and for more experienced Intrust Super Cup players. Johnson suggested that local juniors and long serving one-club players would have a lesser points figure to reward clubs who produce players and the loyalty of veterans.