How many times are we going to go through it?
IF I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, the salary cap in the NRL simply does not work.
League fans will remember the collective walk of shame the Melbourne Storm was forced to do after news of its salary cap indiscretions broke in 2010.
The NRL handed down one of the most severe punishments in the organisation's history, stripping the Storm of all the honours it had achieved since 2006, including two premierships.
We are now seeing the Parramatta Eels going through a similar ordeal.
However by comparison their punishment is not quite as severe as their southern rivals.
The purpose behind the salary cap is to evenly distribute player talent amongst all NRL clubs.
The theory is the top- flight players will look for clubs who can pay them more money, thus moving from their existing club where there might be players demanding the income to match their value to a given team.
The problem with the even distribution of talent in this case is that sports administrators are always going to try to get more bang for their buck, so of course clubs are going to breach salary cap laws.
As long as there is a salary cap in the National Rugby League, we are going to see the same narrative.
"What's your solution?" I hear you say.
Well option one is scrap the salary cap. This might mean some clubs are disadvantaged to start with, but some clubs are disadvantaged under the salary cap anyway.
By getting rid of it, players would become more loyal to their clubs. Coaches and administrators would feel the need to grow and invest in players, with the relative assurance that those players will provide for the club for longer and not get squeezed out of the system or be forced to move on somewhere else they do not want to be.
Option two: increase the cap. If more money is available then we may see less motivation to broker under-the-table third party deals.
And option three: have the individual players broker their own deals. In many cases the players themselves are just as qualified to negotiate their own income than the managers that represent them, so why not make them 100% accountable.
That way, if income issues arise in relation to the cap, the player and the club are by default the only two parties responsible.
But for now, the salary cap is staying and Parramatta fans are justifiably questioning what it will take for them to catch a break.
This indiscretion may not be the worst ever but it has the potential to create some long-lasting ramifications.
Some include potentially losing star players to bring them back under the cap.
This will in turn mean the club will have to build a roster from scratch and potentially go another couple of years trying to compete.
Punishing players and clubs for salary cap indiscretions is a Band-Aid approach and if we truly want to see an even, fair competition, amendments need to be made.
The old adage rules were made to be broken should be hitting home to bosses who may need to rethink their philosophy.