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Thread: Young players wage cuts

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    Default Young players wage cuts

    https://www.totalrl.com/rfl-relaxes-...m-salary-rule/

    The minimum salary for Super League players has been scrapped as clubs prepare to use young talent after the pandemic.

    The RFL operational rule B1:21 states that is a requirement in Super League for a player to earn 15,000 to play in a salary cap relevant match.

    However, that has now been removed from the rules for the remainder of the season due to the financial implications it would have on clubs set to delve deep into their playing roster once the action resumes.

    With clubs facing the real prospect of short turnarounds on a regular basis for the remainder of the season, it is expected that young, unproven talent will be used across Super League as coaches rotate their squads to minimise the risk of injury and fatigue.

    However, it was noted that some clubs might be restricted due to the financial impact, with many Academy players earning sub-five-figure salaries.

    That would leave clubs reluctant, and in some cases, unable to field their youngest players due to the financial cost.

    It now means teenagers earning as little as 5,000 a year could now go toe-to-toe with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, who was reportedly earning 50,000 a week before pay cuts were introduced.

    The RFL has stressed to clubs the perception that will come with fielding youngsters earning such salaries and there have been calls for appearance fees and win bonuses to be included to reward Academy players for their efforts, given they are set to miss out on significant pay rises.

    However, the decision has also presented many young players with the prospect of a Super League debut later this year, with a new wave of talent now set to be introduced onto the big stage.

    My understanding is that any player who plays in a superleague game will have his salary counted against the salary cap. Surely they could have come to an agreement for this season that any player who has a salary of less than 15K will not count on the cap even if he plays in a superleague game.

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    I worry that this is YTS in a different form. The danger across industry and life in general is a reinforcement of a low salary base economy. Those of us who lived and worked through the late seventies and into the early eighties saw how the Thatcher ideology played out. The weakest will always pay in sport and life and the richest always gain.

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    It sounds a disgraceful thing to allow. But to allow it there must have been calls from the clubs for that to be done. I suspect a few of the sides in Super League were pushing close to collapse anyway. Crowds in SL were declining and Sky had given up on the sport and the next TV deal was going to be another Stobart giveaway no doubt.

    I suspect a move back to semi-pro status will become an inevitability for a lot of clubs, if they survive the current situation at all. Removing minimum wage requirements seems to have no other benefit. If clubs choose to utilise this so they can pay marquee players more I think they will see a sharp decline in the quality of the young players signing for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyprus View Post
    I worry that this is YTS in a different form. The danger across industry and life in general is a reinforcement of a low salary base economy. Those of us who lived and worked through the late seventies and into the early eighties saw how the Thatcher ideology played out. The weakest will always pay in sport and life and the richest always gain.
    Without wanting to turn this into a political discussion I said to my wife and son the other day, had this pandemic happened pre Thatcher we would have had more nurses, an engineering/ manufacturing base that could have produced equipment and certainly locally lots of small/medium sewing factories to produce the PPE.

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    Learning All The Songs Angry Dave's Avatar
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    If it was my son they done that to I'd encourage him to tell the club to ram it unless they were going to pay as per operational rules when the contract was signed. In fact I'd be down at the club myself. That isn't right on any level. Not like RFL to get something wrong though.

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    I can understand why they are doing it this year if they are to play all games, my concern is that the likes of wakey, Hudd etc will want to keep it next year. Surely it would have been fairer to knock 10-15% of the higher than average earners.
    Last edited by Belgian Saint; 28th April 2020 at 17:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Dave View Post
    If it was my son they done that to I'd encourage him to tell the club to ram it unless they were going to pay as per operational rules when the contract was signed. In fact I'd be down at the club myself. That isn't right on any level. Not like RFL to get something wrong though.
    I think I'd be looking at this from the opposite side of the fence. If my son was a signed up youngster (on less than 15K), I would have already accepted that as the way it is at the start of a young players career, and be quite happy that he was on a club's books.
    If the club then thought he was good enough to stand in, I would be pleased about that, and could live with the apparent short change' in his wages, as long as it was just temporary!
    The thing I don't understand is why the clubs think they will need to do this over and above what 'normally' happens with youngsters coming through the system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogues Gallery View Post
    Without wanting to turn this into a political discussion I said to my wife and son the other day, had this pandemic happened pre Thatcher we would have had more nurses, an engineering/ manufacturing base that could have produced equipment and certainly locally lots of small/medium sewing factories to produce the PPE.
    Well said Brian. Not many will know what you’re talking about but she surely changed things for the worse.

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    Player welfare. No shortage of keen 17 year olds not aware of their own limitations and plenty of seventeen stone south sea islanders to run into. Bigger picture here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    I think I'd be looking at this from the opposite side of the fence. If my son was a signed up youngster (on less than 15K), I would have already accepted that as the way it is at the start of a young players career, and be quite happy that he was on a club's books.
    If the club then thought he was good enough to stand in, I would be pleased about that, and could live with the apparent short change' in his wages, as long as it was just temporary!
    The thing I don't understand is why the clubs think they will need to do this over and above what 'normally' happens with youngsters coming through the system.
    No, I'm sorry, I can't agree with that. It's not like these young lads will be laying bricks or giving a presentation for the first time. There's a real chance of being seriously hurt and to be honest I think 15k is far too low, never mind tight fisted chairmen not paying them the peanuts they're contracted too. If a club can't afford it then that's their problem, I'm sick of the game pandering to clubs pleading poverty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyprus View Post
    Player welfare. No shortage of keen 17 year olds not aware of their own limitations and plenty of seventeen stone south sea islanders to run into. Bigger picture here.
    I don't disagree with that but not taking the out said 17 year olds.

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    How are clubs going to make decisions on their academy players, particularly in their last year. If they implement this "wage cut" will the players say stuff it and that's another age group lost to the game? Personally I think we should go back to U19's for one season next year, but NOT at the expense of the reserves Mr. Hetherington!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Dave View Post
    No, I'm sorry, I can't agree with that. It's not like these young lads will be laying bricks or giving a presentation for the first time. There's a real chance of being seriously hurt and to be honest I think 15k is far too low, never mind tight fisted chairmen not paying them the peanuts they're contracted too. If a club can't afford it then that's their problem, I'm sick of the game pandering to clubs pleading poverty.
    I'll be honest. I'm struggling with this one as I'm now not sure what all the implications are.
    My immediate thought was 'great' if a young player gets his chance, he just won't earn quite as much for his appearance. I wasn't expecting a player to be thrown in before they're actually ready for it. That's what I was trying to say in my last sentence of post #7.
    If clubs are going to be fielding teams full of kids, then that is of concern for all sorts of reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    I can understand why they are doing it this year if they are to play all games my concern is that the likes of wakey, Hudd etc will want to keep it next year. Surely it would have been fairer to knock 10-15% of the higher than average earners.
    That's the main thing I took from this as well. Once you set a precedent it's hard to go back. The reasoning for potentially playing kids earning less than 15k this season would be short turnarounds and needing a bigger squad. But next season it'll be financial because clubs will say they lost loads of revenue in 2020 and have to cut costs across the board. Picking (for example) half a dozen kids to play league games at 10k each per year seems extremely dodgy when the alternative is to pay them all 25k and recoup the 150k by docking the wages of the top earners by a reasonably small amount each.

    In this climate if I'm a top earner at a club and someone asks me to take a 5-10% pay cut I would like to think I'd agree to it, because my future would hinge on the sport remaining professional and viable 2-3 years down the road. If I dug my heels in and wanted to keep my full wedge I may be happy for a while but I could potentially be contributing to my next contract being for less money, or even contributing to the sport going semi-pro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    I'll be honest. I'm struggling with this one as I'm now not sure what all the implications are.
    My immediate thought was 'great' if a young player gets his chance, he just won't earn quite as much for his appearance. I wasn't expecting a player to be thrown in before they're actually ready for it. That's what I was trying to say in my last sentence of post #7.
    If clubs are going to be fielding teams full of kids, then that is of concern for all sorts of reasons.
    I got your point mate. It wasn't really about players being ready or not although that's worth questioning too but 15k a year is nothing in professional sport and I'm not having that clubs are saying it will cripple them, if that's the case then they should make way for someone else. Why not just scrap the salary cap for all academy aged players and make it easy instead of pandering to the like of Wakefield who never have a pot to in.

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    Is there anything in the rules to stop some clubs saving money on the young players to then use it to sign a star player . If so that’s very worrying .

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    Speaking to a lad at work today and he thinks this is being done as they are expecting a lot of players at some clubs to go on strike. Either because they don't want to play when it's not safe to do so or because they are having their pay cut. The legal delays that could cause could leave clubs unable to field a team, hence them being allowed to field academy players on a pittance, rather than having to bump them up to 15,000 to meet the regulations.

    Seems like the sport is in a right old mess. I'll be thankful for a club to support at the end of this and a competition for them to play in. I suspect some of the lower league sides and those perenial strugglers in Super League to be in a tight spot. The RFL and SL need to be very flexible if any clubs decide to pheonix because of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnno65 View Post
    Is there anything in the rules to stop some clubs saving money on the young players to then use it to sign a star player . If so that’s very worrying .
    No, I don't think there is. Toronto have already exploited the virus impact by signing Kallum Watkins. They are at/over their salary cap, but because they've imposed pay cuts they can now fit Watkins under the cap and sign him. Quite what the other players think of that I don't know. Will they be royally annoyed that the club is doing it, or pleased that another body is being added?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    No, I don't think there is. Toronto have already exploited the virus impact by signing Kallum Watkins. They are at/over their salary cap, but because they've imposed pay cuts they can now fit Watkins under the cap and sign him. Quite what the other players think of that I don't know. Will they be royally annoyed that the club is doing it, or pleased that another body is being added?
    Would you be pleased? And I agree with your previous post, that makes sense and it is a bloody mess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    No, I don't think there is. Toronto have already exploited the virus impact by signing Kallum Watkins. They are at/over their salary cap, but because they've imposed pay cuts they can now fit Watkins under the cap and sign him. Quite what the other players think of that I don't know. Will they be royally annoyed that the club is doing it, or pleased that another body is being added?
    Last thing of note I remember Watkins doing was getting floored by Dugan's fingernail at Suncorp
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    So are we expecting to be seeing 2 or 3 games per week until end of season

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    Quote Originally Posted by itswide2west View Post
    So are we expecting to be seeing 2 or 3 games per week until end of season
    I'm not. I think it depends what the Government decide to do. A lot of European countries, most far less affected than the UK, seem to have picked 1st September as the earliest date for the resumption of sport. Although I suspect the utter greed and glutony of the Premier League may sway it somewhat, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the same here, particularly if people keep ignoring lockdown like they are currently. On that basis I suspect the season is gone. I don't see how you can play the games from March, April, May, June, July and August in one and a half months. Having a winter league is an option, but would be weird and would ruin next season as well, so they may decide to just void it and start again next season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    I'm not. I think it depends what the Government decide to do. A lot of European countries, most far less affected than the UK, seem to have picked 1st September as the earliest date for the resumption of sport. Although I suspect the utter greed and glutony of the Premier League may sway it somewhat, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the same here, particularly if people keep ignoring lockdown like they are currently. On that basis I suspect the season is gone. I don't see how you can play the games from March, April, May, June, July and August in one and a half months. Having a winter league is an option, but would be weird and would ruin next season as well, so they may decide to just void it and start again next season.
    Or just accept the missed gamescand carry on the season from were we left off. If we did just scrap season what happens to the ooc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    I'll be thankful for a club to support at the end of this and a competition for them to play in.
    Pretty much my opinion as well. I’m fearful for those that make their living from the game, and worry some will lose earnings or their jobs, but at the end of the day if we have Saints and they are playing in a competition against Wigan, Leeds, Wire etc then I’ll accept it being semi-pro if this all ends up in a worst case scenario.

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    I imagine this is the start of what will be a long process of having to renegotiate every contract for every employee at the club.

    If theres still a sport at the end of this, I imagine players will be on a lot lower salaries than they are now.


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