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Paul Kent: 'Impossible for Canterbury Bulldogs to put a side out in 2019 of 30 players'

Sporting News logo Sporting News 17/05/2018
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If you do the maths and determine the depth of issues at the Canterbury Bulldogs, you'll find yourself wondering how they are going to field a team next year.

The NRL forces clubs to register 30 contracts on at least a minimum wage deal.

The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kent has revealed that even if the Bulldogs paid out the remaining 14 roster spots for next year on minimum wage, they would still be more than $350,000 over the salary cap.

“The maths are it is impossible for the Bulldogs to put a side out next year of 30 players (if they don’t release some contracted players). It’s impossible,” Kent told NRL360.

“There are 14 players off contract at the end of this season.

“Which, by the time those 14 players are taken out but the remaining 16 players qualify for next year’s contracts, some of which contain back-ended deals, they have $800,000 left in the cap, to spend on 14 players.

“Now the minimum wage is $85,000. $85,000 spread across 14 players comes to $1.19 million.

“So, therefore, you’re still $390,000 over the cap even if you pay all 14 players you need to have on your roster minimum wage.

“What’s unpalatable for Canterbury is that, unfortunately, and the fans are going to be hurt by this, but every player has to be on the market.

“They can’t just find the guys that they want to get rid of, that don’t provide value for money anymore because no club is going to want them or want to take part of their salary.”

Kent may have unfortunately gotten the maths wrong in this instance.

Because of the new deal between the NRL and the RLPA in 2017, the minimum wage was increased from $85,000 to $100,000 this season for 26 out of the 30 players registered at an NRL club, while the remaining four players have a minimum wage of $70,000.

Also, the new deal means that both minimum wages for NRL registered contract will be rising in 2019, with players on $100K given an increase of $5K, and those on $70K given an increase of $2.5K.

If we assume that the Dogs have 14 roster spots to fill with only $800,000 left in the bank per what Kent said, we will give them the benefit of the doubt that they can have four of the remaining 14 players on $72.5K in 2019.

The other 10 will be paid $105K per the new RLPA's deal with the NRL, and these 14 players will total you $1.34M, which is $540,000 over the salary cap, far more than Kent's original $390K suggested.

There have been recent reports that star players David Klemmer and Moses Mbye may be forced out of the club in order for the Bulldogs to be salary cap compliant in 2019.

Both players were asked about their respective futures.

“I’m contracted here at the moment and I could never see myself leaving, I love the club," Klemmer told reporters.

“I was a supporter of the club as a kid and it would be hard to leave, but the club hasn’t contacted me yet. It’s frustrating to hear but I could never leave this club.

“It’s hard to see but I’ve just got to keep turning up here and I’m still contracted here.

“But if I have to look after my family and my kids then that’s an option.”

Their current fullback issues the same loyalty but agreed he had no idea what his future holds.

It’s one of those situations where I’m actually not sure where it (my future) is actually at at the moment,’’ Mbye told Fox Sports’ Sunday Ticket.

‘’It’s been a bit of a headline the last few days…there’s obviously some sort of problem, we are having some sort of salary cap drama there and I think the administration at our club are looking to resolve that quite sooner rather than later.

‘’It’s one of those things that is just going to evolve, we’re not quite sure how it works as player and at the moment I haven’t spoken to any other club and no other club has spoken to myself, so I’m at the Bulldogs for now.’’

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