Dragons $50,000 short of what Bailey wants By Greg Prichard May 19, 2005 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format St George Illawarra are hamstrung by the salary cap but will have to find at least another $50,000 a season to have any hope of preventing representative star Luke Bailey from leaving the club at the end of this year. The Herald understands the difference between what the Dragons are offering the NSW prop and what he could get by joining one of the more competitive clubs among those ready to pursue him is $100,000 a year. That difference could stretch to $150,000 because less competitive clubs that are desperate for a player of Bailey's quality could be prepared to go as high as $400,000 a season for him. However, it must be said there isn't much likelihood that Bailey would want to move to a struggling club. Bailey, who will be a key man for the Blues against Queensland in State of Origin I on Wednesday, is like most players in that he would be prepared to stay with his current club for less than he could earn elsewhere as long as the offer was reasonably competitive. Advertisement Advertisement He said there was still a possibility he could work out a new deal with St George Illawarra but remained determined to see what was available from rival clubs after the June 30 anti-tampering deadline passed. "If you're happy at your club then a difference of up to $50,000 between offers before tax is not that much. But beyond that it gets pretty important," Bailey said. The prop said he would have been prepared to re-sign with St George Illawarra for reasonable money before this season began, but at that stage the club wasn't able to make a definite offer because of salary-cap issues. Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said he remained optimistic about the chances of re-signing Bailey, describing negotiations with him as "a work in progress". Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday that South Sydney captain Bryan Fletcher would leave at the end of this season to take up a two-year deal to play in England's Super League for Wigan. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY QUALITY PROPS!!!!!!!