BREAKING NEWS
Woman lived in Routeburn hut for a month after tramping partner's fall death ... read more ... Read more
Close

Sweeteners lift netball's salary lid

BY PENNY MILES
Last updated 05:00 18/04/2009

Relevant offers

Netball

Dunedin's Jono Bredin named on assistant referees panel for NPC just months after mixing netball with rugby Bailey Mes confident of leading inexperienced Silver Ferns shooters Casey Kopua to return as Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic announce first signings Margaret Forsyth named new Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball franchise coach Former Steel defender Storm Purvis will return home to play for the Northern Mystics next year Te Paea Selby-Rickit continues family tradition into the NZ Silver Ferns netball team Rookie Silver Ferns shooter Maia Wilson keen to become dual code international Leana de Bruin's ailing body makes final call to retire Janine Southby ushers in new Silver Ferns era with some bold selection decisions Silver Fern Leana de Bruin retires from international netball

The use of unlimited third-party payments in the ANZ Championship has led a prominent sports lawyer to label the salary cap as ineffective.

ANZ Championship general manager Anthony Everard revealed yesterday that there was no upper limit on payments to players outside the competition's cap of $300,000 a team.

"The competition rules do allow for additional benefits to be made available for players," Everard said.

"The cap is defined as to what those additional benefits can be, but there is no dollar amount attributed to those."

Such payments are defined as reasonable assistance from a franchise towards individual players' accommodation and travel costs, cars, mobile phones and laptop computers.

The benefits sweeten the deal for star players and may explain how the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic and the Southern Steel, who abide by the salary cap, can still attract so many Silver Ferns.

Wellington sports lawyer and former New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive David Rutherford said there was no way a "soft" cap like the one being used in the ANZ Championship could provide an even playing field.

"A hard salary cap like the NRL's captures all payments, but a soft salary cap doesn't capture all payments and therefore allows the wealthier teams to capture more talent," he said.

"A soft salary cap will, by definition, not achieve an even spread of talent, which this one isn't. [However] a hard salary cap is more likely to be challenged in the courts for restraint of trade."

Rutherford said that, in his opinion, the ANZ Championship was regulated by a soft cap, which was far more flexible than the versions seen in competitions such as rugby league's NRL.

Queensland Firebirds coach Vicki Wilson criticised New Zealand's teams this week as being lopsided, and questioned whether the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic were breaching the rules of the cap.

However, Everard stood behind the cap being used and was adamant it was spreading talent.

"Our priority is to have 10 competitive teams and, as long as that is the case, we think the competition rules are working," he said.

"At the moment we feel, after two rounds, we already have statistically closer games than last year. We feel we do have 10 competitive teams out there. There will always be some teams that are stronger than others and that will go in cycles."

He was satisfied all teams were playing by the rules. "It is something we take very seriously in terms of the salary cap and we have procedures in place to audit the teams."

The ANZ Championship board had the capacity to look at the rules during an end-of-season review, he said. "It would be a matter of tweaking things, rather than overhauling things, but it is too early to make those judgments.

Ad Feedback

"I don't think it's a matter of the number of international [Silver Ferns or Australian reps] players in a particular team. It is the competitiveness of the team on the court and I think we need to look at things over an extended period of time.

"Basing any changes on one season and two rounds is probably a little premature. We'd prefer to let this competition settle and wait to the end of the season to consider any changes."

The salary cap was introduced to regulate payments to players. TransTasman Netball Limited allows NZ$300,000 to be divided among the 12 contracted players, with a minimum payment of $12,000.

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who should play goal shoot for the Silver Ferns?

Bailey Mes

Catherine Latu

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content