liberty through profit has a question that’s dear to my heart
why is the salary cap in the new Air NZ NPC Rugby comp a bad idea?
I think the salary cap has been a disaster in the National Rugby League competition and I think it will yield similar results in our rugby National Provincial competition.
The idea behind the salary cap is simple. Make sure no one rich club can buy all the best talent and therefore dominate the other clubs. By forcing the clubs to share the talent around, theoretically the competition will be more interesting and attract more punters. The other bonus being that clubs won’t be bankrupted trying to buy high quality, expensive talent.
The one problem is; it doesn’t work.
As Former rugby and rugby league international, Matthew Ridge wrote in the Sunday Star Times of July 2nd this year “the NRL is not some socialist utopia ; if a rich club wants a player it will get him, whether you put a salary restraint on it or not”
Therefore all salary caps actually achieve is increased corruption and dishonesty. How many salary caps scandals have we seen in the NRL? Didn’t our own Warriors pay a huge fine and lose four competition points this year for that very offence?
Our own NPC has every right to try to limit pressure on clubs by limiting salaries. However any attempt to bypass the law of supply and demand will always create undesirable side effects.
In attempting to insulate their competition from the rigours of the market, the NPC bosses will do several things.
a increase corruption
b eventually lower the reputation of their sport.
c make club management slacker and less responsive to the demands of players and punters.
d give rugby league easier access to rugby talent as the potential salary difference between the two codes will be lessened.
e gradually reduce the standard of rugby on offer so that punters become less enthusiastic about the game.
Any attempt to introduce socialist ideas into high performance sport is doomed to failure. South African rugby is obviously handicapped by racial quotas. Similarly, the NPC will suffer in the long term if it persists with this dopey salary cap idea.