So the report is in, and….wait for it….wait for it….
The Melbourne Storm broke the salary cap by a whole lot!
The false outrage today has been a bit ridiculous really. We knew the Storm broke the Salary cap. We knew they had broken it by millions of dollars over the course of the last few years. We know they will lose players and we know who they want to keep.
We knew all that. Today we just got a rock solid figure by how much they broke the cap by. $3.2 million dollars.
The reaction from the media you have to take with a grain of salt.
News Limited media outlets for the most part have a horse in this race, one way or the other. Fairfax media outlets meanwhile this this is all some big conspiracy by New Limited and their empire is about to fall apart.
Then you have the usual “The Sky Is Falling!” reaction by some people who are talking about the Storm folding and doom and gloom. The same people said similar things in recent years about the New Zealand Warriors, Canterbury Bullddogs, Newcastle Knights and so on.
The Melbourne Storm’s mere presence in the generates millions of dollars directly and indirectly for New Limited, the NRL and every single NRL club.
Put it this way, the sponsorship logo on the from of every jersey in the league is worth a lot less without a shop front in Melbourne. That is not even to mention how devalued the games television rights would be if you cut out the second biggest TV audience in Australia from the comp.
So the Storm are not going anywhere.
So we now all turn our attention to the players the Storm have. Where will they go, who will they keep and who will go.
Last night Channel 9’s Danny Weidler said he had breaking new about the Storm. He came up with a huge scoop….that Storm players would be willing to take pay cuts to stay at the club. Of course, like everything Weidler says, it wasn’t breaking news. In fact it was a widely reported fact months ago that the players said they would take pay cuts.
Nice one Danny. Just stick to being Anthony Mundine’s puppet!
The NRL has already said they do not want players to take pay cuts, however something needs to happen.
A lot of players have either already left the club, or have signed elsewhere next year, but today David Gallop threw up the idea that the Storms big four stars, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis, could retain their current salary figures, but spread their deals out over a couple of extra years, allowing the Storm to retain them and spread the damage out over a few more years.
I said months ago, the NRL would give so many concessions in regards to the salary cap, that the Storm would basically end up being able to use the new rules to retain who they really wanted to.
As it stands, that still looks like it will be the case.
The big thing the Storm have going for them in their amazing talent identification and junior development system. Sure, the Storm might have a few more minimum salary players next season, but you can be assured they will be of the highest quality.
Another thing to consider if that some players will take pay cuts to showcase themselves for the Storm for a season and look to cash in with a bigger salary at another club the following season.
Think of the likes of Matt King or Matt Orford. They were unknown going to the Storm and left with massive contracts. Hell they are both still living off their Storm representation.
You also have to wonder about some players looking at going there to try and snag a premiership.
Would Willie Mason sign with the Storm for a small contract to get back into the big time? Would Adam MacDougall have one last year on a minimum salary to get a premiership ring?
For all the doom and gloom, I expect the Storm to be favorites heading into next season. They have too many top players, too many good juniors, a great club coach and hey, their best four players are possibly the four best players in the game today!