General Sonny's NRL money wrangle

warriors4life_old

Guest
From www.stuff.co.nz

By NEIL REID

Sonny Bill Williams is set for a courtroom showdown with the NRL.

The Kiwi league sensation has hit out at salary cap restraints which his management claim are costing the young star up to $1 million a year in lost sponsorship endorsements a year.

Williams said it could see him turn his back on the NRL when his Bulldogs contract ends next year and consider a move to the UK or rugby.

His manager Chris Orr confirmed suing the NRL for restraint of trade was now an option.

"It's definitely verging on restraint of trade - we're getting annoyed," Orr told Sunday News from Queensland's Gold Coast.

"If it continues to hinder him, someone will draw a line in the sand and take the NRL to court for restraint of trade. They are hell-bent on making sure the players are only limited to being paid such an amount. There are opportunities being passed over.

"When the game is getting healthier, you would think the players would be able to earn more money."

Williams is refusing to comment. But he told Rugby League Week: "I do not think I should be held back in terms of what I can earn outside the game. If someone is willing to pay me to endorse their product, I believe I should be able to do that. If I have to move to England or rugby to do the best for my family, I'll consider it."

Orr confirmed NRL rules meant Williams' management couldn't even investigate potential contracts. He said some of his existing sponsors, including Gatorade, were now re-considering their deals with Williams.

"One of the most political arguments we are facing is Sonny Bill is sponsored by Gatorade. But so is his club," Orr said. "Gatorade can use any other player in the Bulldogs strip in their advertising campaign. But they can't run with a picture of Sonny due to him also having a personal sponsorship with Gatorade, where they use his personal image which has nothing to do with rugby league.

"If they tried to use him as a Bulldogs player it would be a (salary) cap issue.

"Therefore Gatorade are saying, `We might as well cancel our contract with Sonny Bill privately'. The only one being penalised is Sonny Bill."

The NRL's salary cap constraints on players were last night described as "over-bearing" by leading manager and ex-NRL Players' Association boss Tony Butterfield.

Butterfield - who now heads the 2020 Sports agency - said the salary cap was needed to "protect the clubs from themselves".

But he spoke of "huge dissatisfaction" among players and agents over sponsorship deals being included in the cap.

"It is restraint of trade. But the question comes down to whether it is an unreasonable restraint," he said.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
It's a sad state of affairs when riffs like this could get in the way of a player's career and force him to change sports.
 

*Kimmy*_old

Guest
I'm on Sonny's side..a)i don't want to see him leave the NRL..and b)he has to think about his future and his family..he isnt going to be playing forever..and yeah i know he is only 21..still has years left in him..the thing is..he may not..he could pick up a career ending injury any time now..especially with his run of injuries!!
 

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