Benji Marshall Should Take The NRL To Court….He’d Win!

The NRL today announced that it had signed off an some made up rule that would supposedly stop Benji Marshall, an off contract player who would have no obligation or ties to the NRL any more, from playing Rugby Union in Japan before returning to the NRL before the start of the 2009 season.

How this new rule is worded is anyone’s guess, I would suggest it would have to use terms like “We reserve the right to suppress free will” and “If you go we’ll ban ya….oh yeah mate, sooooo banned”.

It would be written in crayon and sprinkled in pixie dust.

It may sound funny but such a document would have about as much legal clout as the NRL’s fictitious new ruling.

Marshall if off contract, he can do what ever the bloody hell he wants!

The thing is, now the NRL is in the business of telling start players who want to play in the NRL “We won’t allow you to be part of our competition because you upset us”.

They are actually stopping Rugby League players from playing Rugby League!

Now I don’t think anyone has a problem with banning players who act like fools off the field. When you have major court cases hanging over you and you are a repeat offender, we don’t want them people in our game.

Similarly, drug cheats, we don’t want them in our game either.

However Benji Marshall wants to play Rugby League. He doesn’t want to play Rugby Union. If the Tigers were able to offer him what he is worth on the open market, he’d sign with them this afternoon!

He loves players Rugby League so much that he is willing to sacrifice his off season, possibly shorten his career, and be bored shitless watching a bunch of relocated Poms trying to tackle him in a Japanese competition thats lower quality than any League competition on the planet….all so he can earn a few dollars and come back to play for his beloved Tigers.

Isn’t that the guy you want? The bloke who is willing to work his arse off for the privileged to play for his Rugby League club?

The NRL doesn’t think so.

I think Benji Marshall should start a class action law suit against the NRL for restraint of trade.

Here is a worker, in a free market, who is being told by his employer that he will be black listed if he pursues his career elsewhere.

Marshall wants to play for the Tigers. The Tigers are happy for Marshall to go away, play in Japan, then come back to them. In fact, they have encouraged it. However the NRL won’t let Marshall come back.

Pretty clear cut really.

Thing is, if I’m going to take the time to sue the NRL on that point, I’d also take on the NRL over the salary cap, which is also a restraint of trade.

Marshall would win in that case too. Players salaries are artificially capped by the NRL, and when you have employers (Clubs) willing to pay more than they are allowed because of the cap, you have a restraint of trade.

Once again, that’s illegal.

So the NRL’s fake ban on off season stints in Rugby Union would get crushed, while at the same time the salary cap would be out the window.

Can you imagine the mess the NRL would have on its hands!

That’s not Marshalls problem. If he took this to court and won both cases, the chances are the Tigers go on to pay Marshall he market value and funnily enough, he wouldn’t go over to play Rugby Union.

In fact, many players around the League would finally get what they are actually worth.

We’d see down sides though.

Clubs would go bust. Cronulla is out on its feet already and with a higher player wages, clubs would spend themselves into oblivion.

Brisbane would pretty much buy the entire Australian team. They could spend a million dollars each on 15 players and still have money in the bank.

Big markets clubs would be able to get in sponsors for players, and capitalize on their large media presence. Think of the Bulldogs, Roosters, Broncos and Storm getting half million dollar sponsorship deals for their players while the likes of Penrith, Canberra and Newcastle bleed players because of their smaller media presence.

We’d have a top heavy competition, teams going broke, players wages rising by the second….and all this because the NRL got on a fictitious high horse it had no right to be on in the first place.

I love the game of Rugby League, that should be pretty obvious by now. But I tell you what, I’d say to Benji Marshall, you sue them mate. Sue the pants off them.

It would throw things into disarray, but over the longer term I think you’d find it would make people running Rugby League actually get their arse into gear and REALLY fix some of the major problems with the game today.

Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply