Clubs Making Poor Decisions On Players And Its Costing Them Stars

The Canberra Raiders have made approches to two players but can only afford one of them.

One player is Paul Whatuira, New Zealands Test center, a two time Premiership winner, one of the most professional players in the game, a leader and a player that gives you his best every week.

The other player is Joel Monaghan, a player who I have never rated, who has major injury problems and who has not shown any signs of potential since his days with the Canberra Raiders, the club he walked away from a few years ago.

The Raiders has approched both players, but will only be able to sign one because of salary cap restraints. That brings up the question of how much have the Raiders offered Monaghan, and why have they made an offer for him at all?

Clubs are pushing up the prices of players who are not near the class of top stars and it means they have less money to spend to attract top stars.

The Brisbane Broncos signed Penrith prop Joel Clinton earlier this season and because of it they were unable to re-sign Origin and Test prop Petero Civoniceva.

The Broncos effectivly traded down…madness!

I am critical of the majority of decisions Super League clubs make, but one area they have got right is the player payment scale.

In Super League, star players earn massive amounts of money and everyone else earns far less. Thats the way it should be too.

Players like Jonathon Thurston, Darren Lockyer and Matthew Bowen draw people through the games. They are the players people want to watch and they attract fans, TV viewers and therefore sponsors.

So why is it then that clubs are paying middle of the road players $200,000 a season? Players that yeah, they play well, and they do a good job, but they just play football and they dont bring with them all of the extras that real star players do.

If clubs took a step back and decided against spending so much money on middle of the road players, they wouldnt be forced to make a decision between a Test star and proven winner and an injury prone, erratic winger.

There is no doubt that some clubs use the salary cap as an excuse to get rid of players they dont want, but if you think of the millions of dollars wrapped up in average, to below average players that are being over paid what they are worth, and how many top stars players clubs or the NRL as a whole could use to to keep those star players, its an area that really comes into focus.

I have never, ever been anything but supportive of players earning as much money as they can. Players have short careers and its a long time out of football.

However just because players want more, doesnt mean clubs should go out of their way to give them more. Clubs should be more responcible and only pay what a player really is worth.

If that happened, maybe we wouldnt have so many star players looking for a pay day in England when they are worth more to the game and sponsors in Australia.

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