AAP Rugby

Smart spending before NRL cap cuts: Solly

By AAP Newswire

Negotiations over the NRL salary cap in 2021 have not yet started, but South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly believes cost cuts need to be made elsewhere before players wages are affected next season.

On Thursday the NRL and RLPA reached a pay agreement based on a worst case scenario for the rest of 2020, with discussions on next year's salary cap expected in the coming weeks as economic implications of the coronavirus become clearer.

And while the NRL will be forced to reconsider its entire financial model, Solly said there will need to be significant changes to the way revenue money is spent to ensure salary cap reduction is at a minimum.

"Clearly the future that was set in the CBA for 2021 and 2022 was set on some pretty ambitious revenue targets for the sport," he told Fox League on Thursday.

"I think like every industry in the country, we'll be facing not only immediate, but the medium and long-term consequences of the coronavirus.

"It's unlikely we'll get to those revenue targets and almost every aspect and every part of the game is going to have to wear some of that reduction in revenue and I suspect the salary cap will be one of it.

"I do agree with Peter V'landys (ARL Commission chairman) that we should be trying to find efficiencies everywhere else in the game before we get to that point.

"But I do think it's almost certain that they'll have to be some change in the salary cap, and some reduction somewhere."

The Rabbitohs have already signed Gold Coast and Queensland star Jai Arrow for next season, although Solly said any reduction in the salary cap would not affect his move.

However, should the season restart as late as September, the NRL will need to extend players' contracts from November 1 until the end of December, meaning he would not arrive at Redfern until January.

Should there be a reduction in the projected salary cap of almost $10 million for 2021, Solly believes all players will take a hit proportionately.

Although it would take some planning.

"I think the feeling amongst the players and NRL is that any reduction would be proportionate and that everyone will share in the same percentage reduction," Solly said.

"For us, we've got almost all our squad contracted for 2021. Clearly that will mean reductions across the board if that's where we end up, with a reduction from the NRL on the salary cap.

"In 2022 we've got seven to eight players contracted so in some ways, we'll be able to use this time to work out what the NRL's position is and plan accordingly."