Mullumbimby's Tim Browing goes over for a try during round 4 of the NRRRL rugby league match between the Lower Clarence Magpies versus Mullumbimby Giants at the Maclean Showground on Sunday, 3rd May 2015. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Mullumbimby's Tim Browing goes over for a try during round 4 of the NRRRL rugby league match between the Lower Clarence Magpies versus Mullumbimby Giants at the Maclean Showground on Sunday, 3rd May 2015. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

BEHIND THE DESK: Is a salary cap the answer for the CRL?

BILL NORTH: Law of disorder leads rugby league towards a slow death

THE laws of entropy might well apply to the current state of rugby league in the bush and explain why it is dying a slow death.

Entropy is a measure of disorder, or randomness, in a system. The second law of thermodynamics states this process is irreversible. In other words, the amount of disorder in the universe can never decrease.

So when a bunch of players chase the cash, according to the laws of entropy the sum of disarray left behind at the clubs losing out will be equal to or greater than the benefit to the club with the new bright lights.

Where one club gets stronger, others will become progressively weaker. Scientific fact or not - it's food for thought...

In any case, the scrap for signatures hurts the game on many levels. As discussed in a previous BTD, the lure of the dollar messes with player loyalty. Meanwhile, clubs drive themselves into the ground from pressures to spend up and 'buy a premiership', or simply secure a remotely competitive outfit.

The CRL certainly needs to take action to reverse the trend. It needs its champions to come forward and help revolutionise the system - blokes like Steve Mortimer, as mooted at by some at Lower Clarence's centenary dinner in 2015.

But a salary cap? How would it work?

A financially successful club with solid sponsorship backing should be free to use its resources how it wishes. While it would be perceivably easier for clubs in larger and more affluent communities, clubs are the sum of their parts and only got to where they are through previous management.

Some clubs receive an injection from time to time from interested movie stars and the like. But why should there be any restriction on that either? It's no different to a fan buying 20 raffle tickets to support his beloved club.

A player has a value, based on supply and demand, and the highest bidder will win every time.

MOOSE ELKERTON: Where is the love? Can you still get loyalty without the $$$?

THE idea that a Country Rugby League competition would have to implement a salary cap seems preposterous but not as far away as you would expect.

Lower Clarence is standing on the brink of not running a team in the NRRRL for a season. Something that has not happened in the club's 100-year history before.

And it is because a trend of players chasing money has taken a stranglehold of the sport, seeping down to its country grassroots in recent years.

But there is a major difference between paying professional players in the NRL first grade and paying blokes to turn up on a Sunday in the bush. Or at least there should be.

I grew up on rugby league and would class myself as a purist. I have an affinity with one club and believe there is rarely a greater respect than between a player and the jersey.

But it appears times have definitely changed with players only respecting the jersey that comes wrapped around a hefty pay packet.

While I do not expect players to play for nothing - after all they are performing to earn the club a crust - I would rather not see players entertaining three different clubs in the hopes one offers double.

Because at the end of the day some clubs have a hell of a lot more money then others - and those clubs tend to win premierships.

I'm unsure a salary cap is the right answer for this, but it could be the only one we've got.

Previously in Behind The Desk...



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