This is what it all comes down to…
The Melbourne Storm, who still have Greg Inglis under contract, are happy to release him from his contract to play for another NRL club because it will help them with their salary cap issues. The thing is, they want him to pay a legal bill the club incurred in fighting Inglis’ assault charge while he was at the club.
Its a bill for over $100,000.
Inglis doesn’t want to pay that out of his own pocket, and the Storm won’t allow him to leave the club until it is payed.
The team Inglis is supposed to be playing for next season, the Brisbane Broncos, can not afford to pay the bill because it would then be counted towards their salary cap in 2011.
This leaves Inglis in a bit of no mans land, with the club he is contracted to want him to leave, but only when he’s paid this bill, and his next club wanting him to play for them, but not able to pay the bill.
Now, if you ask me, Greg Inglis is in the position of power here. If I was Inglis I’d say to the Melbourne Storm they are right, he can’t leave without paying the bill….so now he will stay in Melbourne and they can work out how to fit over half a million dollars under their already stuffed salary cap for season 2011….or they can think of the $100,000 bill as a get out of jail free card in regards to paying Greg Inglis money he is leaving behind to walk away from his contract and join the Brisbane Broncos at a lesser value.
Over the last few days there has been news put out, probably by his manager, that Inglis is getting sick of this issue and could look to play Rugby Union overseas instead. I tend to think this is more of a hurry along on this issue more than anything else.
Then, in steps South Sydney.
The South Sydney Rabbitoh’s, via Russell Crowe, held audacious talks with Greg Inglis months ago, trying to lure him to the club. The problem was, Inglis wanted to move back to South East Queensland and settle down there where his girlfriend has a job and he is closer to his family.
Now, with the issues regarding this legal bill, Russell Crowe is trying to step in and make Inglis an offer he can’t refuse.
The idea is that, Inglis’ legal bill would be paid for by Anthony Mundine of all people. Inglis would then play for South Sydney next year, rather than the Brisbane Broncos.
Its a real chance of happening, however the NRL is fairly certain that it would want this legal bill to count towards any clubs salary cap unless it was paid by Inglis himself out of previous earnings.
Another issues is that South Sydney would have to clear salary cap space by releasing players on short notice. Already under performing prop Roy Asotasi’s name has been thrown up, but that would require another team to basically take on board his bloated salary.
Inglis would also have to be willing to walk away from the lifestyle of living in Brisbane with his girlfriend and close to family, to live in Sydney and have a very high profile, something he hasn’t had to deal with in Melbourne.
Of all things, I think that might actually be the deal breaker.
Greg Inglis would be the best player I have seen play for South Sydney in my lifetime. Play him in his natural position, at fullback, and he would be a sensation for the club.
It would be fantastic for the game to have a superstar like Inglis link with a Sydney club. I would argue that right now, you could only put Benji Marshall in that category.
Over the past decade, when you think of the games real superstars, they haven’t played in Sydney. Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Billy Slater, Greg Inglis….the very best players haven’t played in the harbour city.
Even going further back, you have Brad Fittler, but the likes of Mal Meninga, Allan Langer, Laurie Daley and in the best part of his career, Ricky Stuart were playing in other cities.
Inglis would draw crowds for the Rabbitohs. His presence would see the club take that next step, they would make the finals next year with him at Fullback, Issac Luke at hooker, Sandow and Sutton in the halves and up front, the likes of Burgess and Taylor.
Russell Crowe normally gets his man. He makes things happen. When the Bradford Bulls demanded a huge transfer fee for Sam Burgess, somehow, Crowe managed to sort it out and get his man.
It won’t be as easy in this regard. The Melbourne Storm won’t be helping another team pay this bill without it counting towards the salary cap. You also have the NRL who, unbelievably, would rather see Inglis leave the competition rather than just see this bill payed which, in real terms, isn’t going to have an effect on the evenness of the competition or make Inglis be on the books any cheaper for what ever club gets him.
In all of this, the Brisbane Broncos must feel a bit jilted. They got Inglis on board, they now have a legal bill stopping him joining the club, and now other clubs are stepping up leaving the prospect that they will have at least $400,000 worth of dead space in their salary cap being unused in 2011.
Still, the idea of Greg Inglis playing for South Sydney next season is an exciting one, and I’m not even a Bunnies fan!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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