Bulldogs coach Des Hasler takes shot at NRL over salary cap
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has taken a sly shot at the NRL over their inability to finalise the salary cap and the environment of uncertainty it has created around his club.
A potential firesale and mass horse trading looms ahead of season 2018 with the NRL and Rugby League Players Association yet to agree on a collective bargaining agreement despite the grand final being just over seven weeks away.
Clubs, players and their managers are in the dark because each franchise does not yet know how much they will be able to spend on their roster next year.
The NRL argues that it advised clubs in April to work towards a provisional cap of $9.84 million.
However that came after outgoing ARL Commission chairman John Grant last year guaranteed clubs $14 million on the basis the salary cap would be $10.77 million and the clubs would be funded 30 per cent on top of that.
It's been reported 11 clubs are set to be over the salary cap next year - a claim denied by the NRL.
With big-money signings Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran set to arrive at Belmore in 2017, it appears the Bulldogs will have to let jettison several players to accommodate them.
Asked if the NRL had created an atmosphere of uncertainty, Hasler said: "I think that that is the understatement of the year. It certainly doesn't help."
"The players are very professional and they understand what it's about. I don't think [the uncertainty] creates any paranoia.
But he had a positive message for Bulldogs fans nervous about rumours Woods, Foran or both could back out of their deals.
When asked to guarantee that Woods and Foran would play for the Bulldogs next year, Hasler said: "Yes."