McManus blasts salary cap critics

Saints chairman Eamonn McManus
Saints chairman Eamonn McManus

An exciting era is on the horizon for Super League clubs, according to Eamonn McManus (pictured).

The Saints’ chairman is already looking forward to the 2015 season in which a new-look league formula will come into operation and also draws attention to recent long-term TV deal which will play a major part in helping every club to make use of their full salary cap without overspending and suffering uncontrollable debt.

He also blasts comments made by Brian Carney, the former Wigan Warriors winger and Sky TV pundit, suggesting the abolition of the salary cap and gives his forthright views on the idea of a marque players being introduced to the sport.

Mr McManus said: “I believe we are now in a position whereby every game in next year’s Super League will be fantastically competitive, and every club could and should be profitable.

“What a unique and enviable message of strength that would send out for rugby league amid the otherwise increasingly insane and unstable commercial world of professional sport.

“I was, therefore, happy that last week’s Super League annual general meeting 10 clubs voted to defer consideration of the potentially inflationary ‘marque player proposal’ to a date after the new league system has time to prove itself and bed in.

“I find it hilarious that Salford claimed that it was voted down by ‘RFL friendly clubs’ when the proposal was created by the RFL in the first instance and retabled by the RFL subsequently.

“You certainly don’t need enemies with friends like that!”

He added: ‘’It is nevertheless heart-warming that we can still maintain a keen sense of humour even when we discuss the most serious of matters.

“But what is not humorous is the normally very sensible and impressive Brian Carney suggesting that the salary cap be disbanded altogether.

“He says that rugby league clubs did not go insolvent before its adoption. I’m afraid there couldn’t be anything further from the truth. In fact, the big three of Saints, Wigan and Leeds were all seriously bust due to overspending on players and had to be bailed out by myself, Dave Whelan and Paul Caddick respectively.

“Other clubs even had to merge to save themselves. It was because of this that the salary cap was adopted and with the unanimous and continuing approval of clubs.

“It is the envy of other sports. Super League was saved by it and would be deeply vulnerable without it. Clubs have to be permanently self-sustaining and not dependent on the temporary largesse of chairmen and directors.

“Our new TV deal enables that as long as the salary cap remains, and at its current level and in its current form.”