Super League: Scrap the salary cap and let clubs spend what they want, says Brian Carney

Last Updated: 15/07/14 12:44pm

Brian Carney says the arguments in favour of retaining the salary cap in Super League are diminishing.

Brian Carney told Boots 'n' All that arguments in favour of rugby league's salary cap diminish every year and club's should be allowed to make marquee signings.

His comments come after Salford chairman Marwan Koukash failed to get his idea of one signing being exempt from the club's £1.8million salary cap, approved by the 14 other Super League clubs.

Koukash's idea is to keep the best home-grown rugby league talent in Britain and attract stars from the Southern Hemisphere to the sport. But, while Salford's multi-millionaire owner can afford to spend big on new players, the recent financial plight of the likes of Bradford Bulls, London Broncos and Wakefield Wildcats leaves critics sceptical it could deepen the financial divide between clubs.

Carney told Boots 'n' All that he agrees with Koukash's idea, saying: "The argument in favour of a salary cap is diminishing every year in my opinion.

"If someone wants to create a dynasty don't stop them, they'll create an interest in the competition"

Brian Carney

"We brought it in, and a pretty modest one at that because the television money goes along to covering to player part of that. We brought in licensing as well to secure clubs for three year periods. We've got a salary cap that's modest and licensing and we've have had four or five clubs go to the wall. 

"Blow the salary cap open and how much worse can we do when we have five clubs going to the wall? Before the salary cap we didn't have that many clubs going bust.

"If someone wants to create a dynasty don't stop them, they'll create an interest in the competition. Manchester United did it in the Premier League - it didn't diminish from the attraction of the Premier League because you had one team winning it consistently...what have we had? Four winners of the Super League competition [16 years] with a salary cap.

"We're being held back by the clubs at the very bottom. We haven't seen clubs at the bottom shoot up consistently and challenge at the very top. Unfortunately we've seen the same clubs in almost the same positions. I would love to see any team capable of winning the competition and that hasn't been the case.

"Would you not like to see Simon Moran (owner of Warrington Wolves) go out and spend whatever the man wants to spend on building the best possible team he can?"


Former London Broncos coach Tony Rea, who joined Carney on this week's show, disagreed with his thoughts, stating that 'control' must be kept over the clubs.

"The salary cap serves its purpose for our game. We need to make sure we take control of the amount of money people spend for equilibrium which is was the salary cap is there to do.

"Whilst I understand there's a bit of freedom to spend the money if you have and wish to, some clubs can't, so it distorts the comp.

"You'd love to be able to say yes if you thought everyone could buy in to it."