Piggins slams cap 'rorting'

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Piggins slams cap 'rorting'

South Sydney patriarch George Piggins said anyone who believed a player would not go to the Rabbitohs for $200,000 more a year than he could get elsewhere had no idea how much salary cap cheating there was in the game.

Piggins estimated there would be about 30 NRL players whose contracts did not accurately reflect what they were earning.

"I've been involved in contract negotiations with players in the past and I know how it works," Piggins said. "The average first-grade player's contract is straight up and down, but the bidding for some other players is done differently. I'm probably only talking about 30-odd players, but they are very good players. Clubs are very keen to get the top players, and some of them will do whatever it takes to get them.

"Don't believe players are going to go somewhere for $200,000 less than they could get at Souths. They're getting the same money, or pretty close to it [at other clubs].

"Souths are trying very hard to get some good players but there are some other clubs out there that are breaking the rules.

"People say 'Souths can't get players, they're finished, get rid of them'. That is a slur based on the wrong information and it's a disgrace to say it.

"There seems to be a push from [NRL partner] News Ltd to convince us to go to the Central Coast, but we won't be going. The Central Coast people want their own team. We'll be staying in Sydney."

Piggins and Souths chief executive Shane Richardson reacted angrily to suggestions that star players would not go to the club under any circumstances.

"I've never seen a dirtier period of negotiations during my time in the game," Richardson said yesterday. "If you think players will take $200,000 less to go to a club than they can get elsewhere then you must also believe in the tooth fairy. I know, because I've been dealing with players for many years now. The figures that are suggested about some players going to other clubs for less are just not true."

Souths suffered a double blow this week, with Bulldogs star Braith Anasta choosing to join Sydney Roosters instead of them next season and the Rabbitohs also losing their captain, Ashley Harrison, to the Roosters.

But the Rabbitohs hit back yesterday by signing Penrith and New Zealand Test second-rower Joe Galuvao to a three-year contract believed to be worth $800,000, and they remain in the market for Melbourne halfback Matt Orford and Penrith prop Ben Ross.

Orford said last night he was still considering his options. Melbourne, Souths and Manly are all chasing him.

"I'd still like to work something out with the Storm but all three clubs are in the mix," Orford said. "I really don't know what's going to happen. I'd like to get it sorted out as soon as possible but if I have to wait until next week to do that, I will."

Piggins described the salary cap as "a joke".

"It just doesn't work and the league has got to do something about it," he said.

"They've got to do a better job of policing it and I don't want to hear them come back to me with 'if you've got some evidence, give it to us'. It should be fairly obvious, some of the stuff that is going on.

"Either they have got to get more taxation specialists involved or change the system or bring in a draft to go with it, but they've got to do something."

Richardson said he believed that the league did not have the resources to police the cap adequately.

"I think they are doing everything they can to police the cap with the resources they've got," Richardson said. "But they've got to get more resources, so they can police it more firmly. It's not airtight at the moment. Without having an external player draft to go with it, it's crucial that it is policed to the maximum."

Ross met Sharks officials yesterday and Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers described the meeting as "positive".

Orford's manager, George Mimis, said signing Galuvao was "a positive" for the Rabbitohs as far as their bid to sign Orford was concerned.
Piggins slams cap 'rorting'

yeh but us signing bell is a triple positive good luck souths i would have to say it is only out of us and melbourne and the next fudging post i wanna see of orford is who he signs with NO MORE ORFORD POSTS PLEASE.

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