Statement on back-ended contracts

The NRL will tighten the rules relating to back-ended contracts in a bid to prevent the salary cap problems which have been created at some clubs in recent years.

CEO Todd Greenberg said the NRL would always support clubs offering higher value contracts to players as their careers developed.

But he said club CEOs today agreed that restrictions were needed to stop back-ended contracts.

The Salary Cap Auditor will finalise a model so that any changes can be in place for the new year.

Mr Greenberg said back-ended contracts might help a club in the early years of a player's contract, but they could severely impact that same club's salary cap in the latter years.

"These deals can also give clubs an unfair salary cap advantage in the early years of a contract," he said.

The Salary Cap Auditor will draw up new guidelines restricting how much a player's payment can rise from one season to the next in their contract.

Mr Greenberg said approval would still be given for contracts where a rising star was offered a significant lift in their playing fee.

"We are not going to stop any player receiving what they are worth on the open market," Mr Greenberg said.

"But we have to stop clubs pushing payments to later years to reduce salary cap pressure in the short term.

"Our salary cap keeps the competition close and we want to ensure no club gets into salary cap problems because they have back-ended contracts."

The meeting of Club CEOs also decided to set up a working party to look at the feasibility of a trade window for players. The review will also consider the need for regulations covering coaching contracts.

Mr Greenberg said any changes will ultimately go to the Commission for approval.