Roy Masters article on engrish http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/how-a-30000-quibble-is-sending-ripples-right-through-rugby-league-20101108-17kjm.html How a $30,000 quibble is sending ripples right through rugby league Roy Masters November 9, 2010 The Greg Inglis case is a legal minefield that has already damaged the game's most lethal player and has the potential to blow up the NRL's salary cap rules as well. When the bill from a Melbourne law firm for defending Inglis in an action over the alleged assault of his girlfriend arrived at Storm headquarters, his manager, Allan Gainey, challenged the cost on behalf of Inglis. He was willing to pay $87,000 of the $117,000 bill, arguing the Storm hired the expensive senior counsel who defended him to protect the name of the club, not the player. It is a specious argument. Inglis obtained a good outcome. He didn't have to enter a plea; he could continue playing football; his reputation is intact. Advertisement: Story continues below Perhaps he should ask Manly's Brett Stewart, broke after defending his sexual assault case, if $117,000 is a reasonable cost to protect an annual income of $1 million. The NRL's approach to the case also raises questions because salary cap commissioner Ian Schubert has declared any amount Inglis does not pay is assessable in next year's cap. No one, including the Storm, who released Inglis to Brisbane, can explain why the $30,000 being challenged could not be included in this year's cap. ''The only answer we have been given is that it is at the discretion of the salary cap auditor,'' a Storm spokesman said. The bill was incurred this year. Given the massive blow-out in the Storm's salary bill this year, surely an extra $30,000 wouldn't make any difference to the penalties imposed. As it stands, if the Storm paid the $30,000, it would count in their first-tier cap and mean the club would be forced to shed a player. So the amount has become a transfer fee in the sense that whichever club secures Inglis must have the amount included in its salary cap for next year. Yet if an NRL club contracts a player from the English Super League, as South Sydney did with Sam Burgess, while the NRL club must pay any transfer fee involved, it does not count in their salary cap. In other words, the Rabbitohs didn't have to include the transfer fee levied on Burgess by Bradford in their cap but they must include the fee involved in the possible transfer of Inglis from the Storm. Who did the deal with Inglis and Souths? Gainey said on Sydney radio yesterday it wasn't him, yet admitted the terms - $300,000 a year - were the same as the Broncos were prepared to pay for Inglis. And how can the Rabbitohs afford him? Souths chief executive Shane Richardson was quoted at the weekend saying of the club's capacity to sign Inglis: ''I always leave a bit of room to manoeuvre.'' Yet on August 26, he told a Sydney newspaper Souths could not re-sign utility back Luke Capewell because the club had no cap space. Since making that statement, the Rabbitohs have signed two players, and while there has been speculation they might release forwards Roy Asotasi and Michael Crocker, they must find $300,000 for Inglis. The Storm's readiness to assist Inglis in his legal action will cause clubs to seriously consider protection of their players in future embarrassments. Given the crazy world of a social media network out of control, this will become a big challenge to club boards. And if legal expenses of defending a player before the NRL judiciary must be met by the player, how many will plead guilty rather than meet the cost themselves? The anomalies over ''inherited transfer fees'', such as legal bills, will mean clubs will look to England for more and more players. As the salary cap drives players to England at increasingly younger ages, they will return well before their use-by date. Greg Eastwood left the Broncos for the Bulldogs and then moved to Leeds but returns to the Bulldogs without any transfer fees counting in the Canterbury cap and still capable of making a difference at the club that went from first to worst while he was away. And why have the News Ltd-owned Broncos gone cold on Inglis? The headline in the city's weekend News Ltd monopoly paper said of Inglis, ''Get Lost''. The club imposed a deadline on him two weeks ago, then moved it. The Broncos would be reluctant to take action against the NRL - still half-owned by News Ltd - over its salary cap rules. Perhaps Souths will.