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Points based salary cap

mosto

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As @40 years an eagle mentioned in another thread, I think we should look at a points based salary cap. I've tinkered with various formats for a few years and have come up with what I think could work, or at least form the basis of something viable. However, to make it work I think we need a revamp of junior allocation to avoid clubs paying overs for the best juniors who have the same cap hit as all other juniors.

The basic idea is points are allocated based on first grade experience and recent (last 2 years) rep experience. Rep experience is defined as SOO matches and international matches between Aus, NZ, GB and Tonga. There are also discounts for juniors and loyalty.

Firstly, clubs would be assigned a regional area. They would be required to foster junior development in these areas through training clinics and providing matches against their local junior reps, ie Manly junior reps would play matches against Central Coast Junior Reps. I’d also like to see clubs play 2 NRL matches in their assigned region per year as a way of promoting the game in regional areas. In return for this, each club gets first right of refusal on all junior players in their assigned region. If a player from that region ends up playing first grade for that club they are considered a local junior and attract the local junior discount.

I did a rough allocation of the various regional areas below. For Sydney clubs, this is in addition to their current junior base. I didn't allocate Penrith any additional juniors given the large nursery they already have.

BrisbaneSE Qld (less GC)
CanberraCanberra division
CanterburyBidgee Region (Wagga, Narrandera, Griffith area)
CronullaGreater Southern (South Coast and Sth Highlands)
EastsEast Coast (Nthn Rivers and Nth Coast)
Gold CoastWide Bay (plus GC)
ManlyCentral Coast
MelbourneSW Qld
New ZealandNZ
NewcastleNewcastle division
North QldNth Qld
ParramattaWestern (Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee area)
PenrithPenrith
SouthsCentral Qld
St GeorgeIllawarra division
WestsGreater Northern (Hunter, New England area)



Now, the points allocation. Below is a break up of points allocated based on first grade experience:

First grade gamesCap hit
0 - 49
50​
50 - 99
100​
100 - 149
150​
150 - 199
200​
200+
250​


The points allocation for recent rep experience (SOO or Tests in last 2 years) is as follows:

Rep games last 2 yrsCap Hit
5+​
50​
4​
40​
3​
30​
2​
20​
1​
10​


Finally, there would be a 25% discount for each ‘local’ junior, 25% for 5yrs consecutive service and another 25% for 10 yrs consecutive service.



So, to illustrate how this would work, I’ve calculated the points based salary cap for both the Sea Eagles and Roosters based on their current 30 player rosters



Sea Eagles

NameFirst Grade ExperienceRep ExperienceLocal junior discount5 yr loyalty discount10 yr loyalty discountCap Hit
Albert Hopoate
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Brad Parker
100​
0.25​
75​
Brendan Elliott
100​
100​
Cade Cust
50​
50​
Daly Cerry-Evans
250​
50​
0.25​
225​
Dylan Walker
150​
150​
Jorge Taufua
150​
150​
Josh Schuster
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Lachlan Croker
50​
50​
Luke Metcalf
50​
50​
Moses Suli
100​
100​
Reuben Garrick
50​
50​
Morgan Harper
50​
50​
Tevita Funa
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Tom Trbojevic
100​
50​
0.25​
0.25​
75​
Addin Fonua-Blake
100​
50​
150​
Corey Waddell
50​
50​
Curtis Sironen
150​
150​
Danny Levi
100​
100​
Haumole Olakau'atu
50​
50​
Jack Gosiewski
50​
50​
Jake Trbojevic
150​
50​
0.25​
0.25​
100​
Joel Thompson
250​
250​
Manase Fainu
50​
10​
60​
Martin Taupau
200​
40​
240​
Morgan Boyle
50​
50​
Sean Keppie
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Taniela Paseka
50​
50​
Toafofoa Sipley
50​
50​
Tony Williams
200​
200​
2825​

Roosters
NameFirst Grade ExperienceRep ExperienceLocal junior discount5 yr loyalty discount10 yr loyalty discountCap Hit
Asu Kepoa
50​
50​
Billy Smith
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Brett Morris
250​
250​
Christian Tuipulotu
50​
50​
Daniel Tupou
200​
0.25​
150​
Drew Hutchison
50​
50​
James Tedesco
150​
50​
200​
Joseph Manu
100​
50​
150​
Josh Morris
250​
10​
260​
Kyle Flanagan
50​
50​
Lachlan Lam
50​
0.25​
37.5​
Luke Keary
150​
20​
170​
Matt Ikuvalu
50​
50​
Ryan Hall
250​
30​
280​
Angus Crichton
100​
40​
140​
Boyd Cordner
200​
50​
0.25​
187.5​
Daniel Suluka-Fifita
50​
50​
Egan Butcher
50​
50​
Fletcher Baker
50​
50​
Isaac Liu
200​
50​
0.25​
187.5​
Jake Friend
250​
0.25​
0.25​
125​
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
250​
50​
0.25​
0.25​
150​
Lindsay Collins
50​
50​
Mitch Aubusson
250​
0.25​
0.25​
125​
Nat Butcher
50​
50​
Poasa Faamausili
50​
50​
Sam Verrills
50​
50​
Siosiua Taukeiaho
150​
50​
0.25​
150​
Sitili Tupouniua
50​
50​
Victor Radley
100​
0.25​
75​
3325​

The average cap hit is around 100-150 points per player so if we had a cap of 3000 points, Manly are 1-2 players under while the Roosters are 3-4 players over. I think that's a pretty fair estimate at where the two teams are at comparatively.

The part that I think people will struggle to accept is there's no limit on player wages. Pay them whatever you want. However, with the better players counting more towards the points cap I think that prevents a stockpiling of talent, more so than the current system does anyway.

As I said, a big key is the junior allocation. Basically, if there's a gun kid on the Central Coast and Manly want him, they're the only club he can sign for. That prevents clubs stockpiling junior talent. For any juniors that clubs pass on, I would then propose a draft to distribute those players evenly and fairly.
 

The Wheel

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Good analysis whilst you never will get a perfect system this makes more sense to me than current cap/3rd party deals etc that go into making a team/club.

I say that assuming the NRL has an aspiration to provide an even playing field for all teams, talent to spread evenly and all teams over time has chance to compete strongly for a Grand Final.

Unfortunately I don’t think the powers that be are actually invested in getting a system that provide a fair go for all. Even with Shoddy gone there is still enough self interest at all levels.
 

manlyfan76

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Pay them what you want, however I'd have tax brackets for those over the cap (Inc 3rd party) the more you go over, the more tax you pay.
The funds could then go back to the poor clubs or grass roots.
 

Disco

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3,203
I like the thought of a points system in theory but I just see so many holes it it.

For example
  • Issac Lui is worth over double Victor Radley. That means players like Lui who is a solid first grader could be tossed aside by clubs because he doesn't represent value for his cap space.
  • Rich clubs can hoover up all the Radley's, Fainu's, Hoppa's (from the above) Coates, Best Schuster etc etc by paying them as much as they want with only little points going from their cap.
  • Restraint of trade? Less teams attracted to DCE's 225 point hit so less clubs willing to pay him good money? Basically points effect wages so a player like Radley who would effect the points cap much could start a huge bidding war and clubs like the Tigers could never get that top talent, low points players
  • Players opting against Rep footy? Rooster tell Radley we will offer you 3mil a year if you stand down from all rep footy to maintain a low number?
 

Disco

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Pay them what you want, however I'd have tax brackets for those over the cap (Inc 3rd party) the more you go over, the more tax you pay.
The funds could then go back to the poor clubs or grass roots.
Yes I think this could is the way to go.

First things first though, all contract offers, accepted contracts and third party endorsement deals should go through a central register and be listed like US sports.

Then as you say a luxury tax could be they way

I'm also all for transfer fees, If parra wanted Matterson from the tigers they can pay a fee for him to be released.
 

mosto

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I like the thought of a points system in theory but I just see so many holes it it.

For example
  • Issac Lui is worth over double Victor Radley. That means players like Lui who is a solid first grader could be tossed aside by clubs because he doesn't represent value for his cap space.
  • Rich clubs can hoover up all the Radley's, Fainu's, Hoppa's (from the above) Coates, Best Schuster etc etc by paying them as much as they want with only little points going from their cap.
  • Restraint of trade? Less teams attracted to DCE's 225 point hit so less clubs willing to pay him good money? Basically points effect wages so a player like Radley who would effect the points cap much could start a huge bidding war and clubs like the Tigers could never get that top talent, low points players
  • Players opting against Rep footy? Rooster tell Radley we will offer you 3mil a year if you stand down from all rep footy to maintain a low number?
All good points @Disco

On the first one, that pretty much happens now. I'm not sure of the best solution but players in all sports are discarded once the team doesn't see value in them

The second point also happens now. Note the number of 50 point players the Roosters have who aren't local juniors. The allocation of regions and first right of refusal I proposed should help clubs scout and retain the best juniors form their allocated areas. For the ones that slip through, the draft would evenly distribute those players.

Third point, I don't think there's any more restraint of trade than the current system. Under this system someone could pay DCE $10M if they wanted to, they can't do that under the current system.

Fourth point, perhaps NRL contracts stipulate you must be available for rep selection. A contentious one no doubt. A loophole I can see is at the other end of the pay grade. Towards the end of a season a young player is sitting on 49 games. The club doesn't select him for the last couple of games so his cap hit remains at 50 rather 100 for the next season.
 

QueefRichards

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The issue is that the TPP enforcement is toothless and couldn't find anything unless a club self reported a breach or had a whistleblower.

I think the solution is more thorough policing rather than a points system. Think of rep points - some players like Gagai would just be overinflated because they only show up for state of origin, and doesn't reflect their value for the club. Some players are journeymen whose utility would count for nothing because their experience inflates their value beyond justifying them as a useful depth signing. Not the answer
 
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Brookie4eva

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The one that stands out to me skimming the original comment, T-Rex 3 times the points of Tommy, not really fair in that regards. :)
 

mosto

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The one that stands out to me skimming the original comment, T-Rex 3 times the points of Tommy, not really fair in that regards. :)
That's where it pays to develop juniors and have them stay long term
 

Chip and Chase

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I like the idea of a points system - but i really think it has to be tied to talent / ability not just number of games. Number of games is too simplistic. How you independently assess player value on the basis of talent then becomes the issue though I suppose. You'd have to have an assessment panel who evaluate every player, every year and give them a rating. Wouldn't be that hard to organise, wouldn't have to be overly complicated either - a score out of 10 averaged out over the panel and then rounded down to nearest whole number. 30 players in squad - points cap is 200 per team so average player value is 6.7 points for example. Could have same discounts for junior development and longevity etc.

Player salary is pretty much directly proportional to ability anyway so it becomes a defacto salary cap of sorts - just takes all the rorting out of it if the key metric is a transparent points value system and not $$$
 

DUFFMAN

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Players opting against Rep footy? Rooster tell Radley we will offer you 3mil a year if you stand down from all rep footy to maintain a low number?
The way around that is if you are picked then you have the allocated points associated with your name, you can decline to play and forgo the representative payments.
If DCE decides not to play SOO but is picked then he is still classified as a SOO player.

No system will be perfect but a points system has to be better then a finical cap which we all know isn’t working, can’t hide in a points system as easy.
 

Dion Johnson

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Lots of quality thought gone into the thread, I like the idea of each club having a region and playing games there.

A great way to grow the game and encourage junior footy.
 

jbb/james

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Nice stuff . I also like any model that shames the roosters

One of the problem the current cap has is it eliminates the crafty old timer from the team already . The points based on grade games is tough. We would never have got ben kennedy possibly. Too many go to England as they age. Many players get better and we miss that now

Teams need older players with lives and families to keep them honest to a point, provide different role models and for the steadiness this brings fo the game

While its a young mans game you cant trust it too them

In fairness i dont think the NRL want to fix it. Its a can of legal whoop arse i doubt the code would recover from. You know the journey to the new system, with players, managers, ceos all squarely in the crosshairs of major penalties and sanctions.
 

Mark from Brisbane

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Nice stuff . I also like any model that shames the roosters

One of the problem the current cap has is it eliminates the crafty old timer from the team already . The points based on grade games is tough. We would never have got ben kennedy possibly. Too many go to England as they age. Many players get better and we miss that now

Teams need older players with lives and families to keep them honest to a point, provide different role models and for the steadiness this brings fo the game

While its a young mans game you cant trust it too them

In fairness i dont think the NRL want to fix it. Its a can of legal whoop arse i doubt the code would recover from. You know the journey to the new system, with players, managers, ceos all squarely in the crosshairs of major penalties and sanctions.
Agree doubtful anything will change , especially whilst Nick Politis is still alive.
 

smithy

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No doubt something needs to be done to fix the disparity, the points system on games has a number of flaws many have been mentioned although added to that:

- key positions. Spine players are worth far more to teams given their importance as seen by the fact most of the million plus players are spine players. Points on games doesnt take this into account.

- Rep players. What constitutes a rep player? You have labelled AFB does that mean tier 1 and tier 2 nations? that opens up a pandoras box and more than likely means players wont play internationals for tier 2 nations as they will carry too high of a hit. Even then, players playing as number 14 -17 for NZ wont be at the level that 1-17 for Australia yet could carry as high if not higher hits. if Tonga but not other tier 2 nations how does that work for the lower end Tongan players?

-Locals. What is a local? The roosters have a number there that you haven't recognised in Cordner, Manu, the Butcher Boys. Is it first first grade game? is it 20s or Ball?

- Young talented players. I believe this has been mentioned although you cant have David Fifita earn 1.25 million and be worth 50 points on the cap. Similar argument with Victor Radley.
 
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smithy

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One idea would be to link a points system with contract value offered. All offers, as has been mooted by the NRL must be lodged in the form of an official contract with NRL. Regardless who the player signs with his points value is aligned with the highest value offered. So if Fifita chooses to remain with Brisbane or Cotric with the Raiders their points cap hit will be based off the highest offer. Clubs tabling dummy offers through the NRL run the risk of the playing excepting that offer, should they do so then there is a cap penalty to the full or half the amount assigned to that club. This way players value of points is more based on their market potential which will reflect player standing in the game and player standing by position ie. spine players worth more
 

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