Inglis retirement exposes salary cap loophole
SOUTH Sydney has inadvertently exposed a potential salary cap loophole in the wake of Greg Inglis's retirement.
On Monday, Inglis announced he'd be hanging up the boots immediately, after an injury-dogged start to the 2019 season, despite having 18 months left on his contract.
The value of the remainder of his contact is $1.5 million, which Inglis will reportedly sacrifice so as not to disadvantage the Rabbitohs.
Fairfax is reporting the NRL will notify the Rabbitohs by the end of the month whether the league will grant them salary cap dispensation after their declaration Inglis is medically fit to play on.
Inglis will move into roles with both the Rabbitohs and NRL that will involve coaching, mentoring, ambassadorships and community work.
"He was only able to retire because Souths offered him a job, a good job, said to be $300,000 a season," The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield told NRL 360 on Fox League.
"The NRL are talking about topping that up and why wouldn't they? He's a great ambassador. I don't care that he's getting that money.
"What I do think is a problem, though, and I'll use Darius Boyd as an example. He's on $2.4 million for the next three years. He's not broken but he's struggling and he's carrying injuries.
"What's to stop Anthony Seibold and Paul White going to him at the end of this season saying, 'Souths did this, we're going to give you a job with NRMA, you're going to service our sponsors, you're going to help 'Seibs' coach.'
"Can all clubs do this now?"
NRL 360 host Paul Kent said it was a concerning situation.
"This is unprecedented and whether it's allowed to happen again concerns me," Kent told the show.
"I certainly know there other clubs are sitting there going, 'How in the heck is this allowed?'
"No other player's allowed to just get their contract taken off the cap because they suddenly can't play any longer."
Rothfield added: "If Cameron Smith gets busted later in the year. Do (the Storm) get his money in the cap next year?"
The same issue was raised on Channel 9's 100% Footy.
Reporter Danny Weidler said other clubs would be paying close attention to Souths and the employment of Inglis.
"So what they're going to try to do is, they're going to put in a submission to the NRL and say: 'This is out of our cap, we can spend it now because Greg Inglis has decided to walk away from that money,' which is quite remarkable," Weidler said.
"Greg Inglis will now get a job with Souths, either in community, or do a bit of coaching, and I think clubs will be really watching what he is paid under that amount.
"If he suddenly gets 800k for doing community work, they're going to say 'Hang on, that's not quite right, that should go in the salary cap'. So it's going to be watched closely by other clubs."
"I think if he's getting 200k then I think they'll probably get away with that, but if he's all of a sudden getting a huge amount I think another club would say, 'Well how does that work? We want to retire someone and then get space in our cap and pay our bloke 500k for doing that.'"
However, Penrith supremo Phil Gould dismissed suggestions the Rabbitohs were trying to sort the cap.
"I think it's a really trivial argument, I mean I don't care about it, I don't care what they pay him," he said.
"Greg Inglis has retired, I think we can all see, for legitimate reasons.
"This has not been some sort of salary cap play to get him to retire early so they can pay him money previously.
"This kid has walked away from the game. If he gets a job doing anything, I don't care what they're paying him. I want Greg Inglis looked after, I want his family looked after, he's been a great servant of the game.
"Why would we want to weaken South Sydney because they've lost a great player and champion in Greg Inglis? This is not a rort."
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