Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Got something to discuss about RL in general? Then this is the place to post it.
josie andrews
Posts: 31755
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:17 pm
Location: Wigan
Contact:

Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by josie andrews »

Great Britain legend Stuart Fielden says Super League is now well in the shadow of the NRL due to its failure to attract the world’s best players.

Fielden, who was once rugby league’s most expensive player when he moved from Bradford to Wigan for £450,000 in 2006, believes Super League’s salary cap is to blame.

While the cap in the UK has remained almost stagnant for a decade, the NRL has seen their salary cap triple in the same period.

Thanks to huge TV broadcast and sponsorship deals, Australia’s premier competition only continues to grow allowing them to keep and attract the world’s best talent.

“Since 2010 onwards I think the only reason Australian players come to Super League is at the back of their career for the money,” Fielden told Serious About Rugby League.

“You ask any football player, would you want to play in the Championship or the Premier League and Champions League?

To me that’s what Super League is now, the NRL is the big competition every player wants to get to and it’s because of the difference in the salary cap.

“We are still on £2 million and they are on £6 million, you can’t compete with that. All your top players are now in Australia and there is no reason for them to come over here.

“It’s a nicer place and they have the cash, so there is no incentive for the world’s best players to come here. Super League can only bridge that gap if they sort out their finances and give the players more money.”

During Fielden’s playing days the gap between Super League and the NRL was much closer on the pitch too, highlighted by a flurry of British wins in the World Club Challenge.

The noughties also saw Super League attract some of the world’s biggest names, something that now seems almost impossible despite the marquee player rule.

“In my career we weren’t that far off,” Fielden added. “I didn’t lose a World Club Challenge, we won three out of three.

The top two or three Super League teams could compete with the NRL and we weren’t a million miles off.

“We had big Joe Vagana come over and Lesley Vainikolo, you had the best players in the world coming over here, the likes of Jamie Lyon, then Adrian Morley and Andrew Johns.

“We had the best players in the world coming to Super League. It made Super League better. Now you don’t and that’s why Super League is what it is.

Super League is now a shadow of the NRL.”

https://www.seriousaboutrl.com/great-br ... ine-61592/
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage. #18thMan
the pieman
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 5:34 pm

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by the pieman »

whilst i agree with his point in general, and i think all RL fans do he uses some poor examples

Jamie Lyon - out on his arse
Adrian Morley - made his name in Oz, and then came back to see out his career
Andrew Johns - handfull of games on big money at wire to deliver nothing
First Try Tickle
Posts: 1200
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:15 am

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by First Try Tickle »

The salary cap was brought in, to level the playing field, but in reality, it's just made the strongest sides weaker and the smaller sides still weak. We still have the same sides competing for the trophies and the very few winning them. Fans want to see the superstars of the game, but if they are English they leave for Aus and if they are overseas they are often past it and fail to make an impression.

But also, with levelling the playing field you end up with poorly supported side pushing for the top, and poor crowds don't make new fans want to attend games. Huddersfield are one of the top teams, but we don't even open the north stand for them, and fans know this and know there will be no atmosphere.

This season we really could see Huddersfield and Catalans in a final, this might as well be held at Salford instead of Old Trafford.
User avatar
Wigan_forever1985
Posts: 6195
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:50 pm

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by Wigan_forever1985 »

I think the most obvious failing was in the retention of Sam Tomkins - i would argue that during his first Wigan stint it was the closest we have ever come to mainstream, when he ditched to go to the NRL the bubble burst and personally i think its gone downhill since there
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
Wintergreen
Posts: 1400
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by Wintergreen »

First Try Tickle wrote: Thu Nov 03, 2022 10:11 am The salary cap was brought in, to level the playing field, but in reality, it's just made the strongest sides weaker and the smaller sides still weak. We still have the same sides competing for the trophies and the very few winning them. Fans want to see the superstars of the game, but if they are English they leave for Aus and if they are overseas they are often past it and fail to make an impression.

But also, with levelling the playing field you end up with poorly supported side pushing for the top, and poor crowds don't make new fans want to attend games. Huddersfield are one of the top teams, but we don't even open the north stand for them, and fans know this and know there will be no atmosphere.

This season we really could see Huddersfield and Catalans in a final, this might as well be held at Salford instead of Old Trafford.
This is the biggest myth about the Salary Cap. It was brought in to prevent clubs from overspending. The whole "level the playing field" nonsense was applied later when certain clubs in Yorkshire realised that they still couldn't win anything. Add to that the RFL who were about as commercially minded as Liz Truss and you get the shambles that the structure is today.
archiekeith
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:17 am

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by archiekeith »

Wintergreen wrote: Thu Nov 03, 2022 2:45 pm
First Try Tickle wrote: Thu Nov 03, 2022 10:11 am The salary cap was brought in, to level the playing field, but in reality, it's just made the strongest sides weaker and the smaller sides still weak. We still have the same sides competing for the trophies and the very few winning them. Fans want to see the superstars of the game, but if they are English they leave for Aus and if they are overseas they are often past it and fail to make an impression.

But also, with levelling the playing field you end up with poorly supported side pushing for the top, and poor crowds don't make new fans want to attend games. Huddersfield are one of the top teams, but we don't even open the north stand for them, and fans know this and know there will be no atmosphere.

This season we really could see Huddersfield and Catalans in a final, this might as well be held at Salford instead of Old Trafford.
This is the biggest myth about the Salary Cap. It was brought in to prevent clubs from overspending. The whole "level the playing field" nonsense was applied later when certain clubs in Yorkshire realised that they still couldn't win anything. Add to that the RFL who were about as commercially minded as Liz Truss and you get the shambles that the structure is today.
From a different perspective If the RL clubs are clammering for an an increase in the level of the salary cap or its removal because of the constraints on their ability to attract quality players etc,etc combined with the fact that they are financially viable and able to accommodate a higher level of income/outgoing ratio capacity then it seems plausible the RFL give the matter consideration. The question I would like answered is how many clubs spend to their salary cap and want it increased?
thegimble
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:09 am

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by thegimble »

Imagine where the Premier League would be if cap is based in football on what Brentford can afford.

VVD, KDB, Salah, Haaland would not be in the premier league. All top talent would disappear

What we have done in RL is make Wakey and others competitive in a semi pro league compared to the NRL. And punised not only Us Saints etc but punised Super league as well.
archiekeith
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:17 am

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by archiekeith »

thegimble wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:56 pm Imagine where the Premier League would be if cap is based in football on what Brentford can afford.

VVD, KDB, Salah, Haaland would not be in the premier league. All top talent would disappear

What we have done in RL is make Wakey and others competitive in a semi pro league compared to the NRL. And punised not only Us Saints etc but punised Super league as well.
To compare SL with NRL then jointly compared with Premier League football is frankly a non sequitur and financially commercially absurd
thegimble
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:09 am

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by thegimble »

archiekeith wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:44 pm
thegimble wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:56 pm Imagine where the Premier League would be if cap is based in football on what Brentford can afford.

VVD, KDB, Salah, Haaland would not be in the premier league. All top talent would disappear

What we have done in RL is make Wakey and others competitive in a semi pro league compared to the NRL. And punised not only Us Saints etc but punised Super league as well.
To compare SL with NRL then jointly compared with Premier League football is frankly a non sequitur and financially commercially absurd
Did not compare both pl and us. You missed my point.

We outmuscled NRL financially pre 2000. Cap came in so low its watered down SL.
User avatar
Mike
Site Admin
Posts: 6723
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Great Britain legend calls out Super League salary cap as reason for competition’s decline

Post by Mike »

thegimble wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 5:47 pm
archiekeith wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:44 pm
thegimble wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:56 pm Imagine where the Premier League would be if cap is based in football on what Brentford can afford.

VVD, KDB, Salah, Haaland would not be in the premier league. All top talent would disappear

What we have done in RL is make Wakey and others competitive in a semi pro league compared to the NRL. And punised not only Us Saints etc but punised Super league as well.
To compare SL with NRL then jointly compared with Premier League football is frankly a non sequitur and financially commercially absurd
Did not compare both pl and us. You missed my point.

We outmuscled NRL financially pre 2000. Cap came in so low its watered down SL.
I'm not sure many clubs are pushing for it to be increased. Afterall, you can spend as much as you like on 2 players, but how many clubs actually do that? I think supporters have to get real and understand that the game is just trying to survive financially right now, not being held back from spending wildly to bring in all the top superstars from NRL and union.
Locked