General Turn it up - Dale Budge

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
www.radiosport.co.nz

New Zealand sports fans just don’t seem to understand how professionalism has changed the way clubs are forced to operate in the cut-throat world we now live in.
Over the past few weeks the Warriors have seen three well-known, quality players announce that they will leave the club and the reaction by the greater majority of fans is that this is a bad thing and that the club is not doing enough, if anything, to try and re-sign the trio.
Between them Awen Guttenbeil, Clinton Toopi and Brent Webb boast 391 NRL games, 39 Tests and an amount of respect that cannot be measured by statistics but in the ever-changing world of rugby league, the club cannot simply afford to keep these players at Mt Smart Stadium beyond this season.
In allowing those three veterans to move on in 2007 the club has shed around $1 million in payroll for next year. Add to that the money saved in releasing Toopi and now Sharks prop Richard Villasanti earlier in the year and you have another $200,000 saved for this season.
In waiving those veteran players goodbye, the club has secured their immediate future by re-signing promising youngsters like Grant Rovelli, Simon Mannering, Patrick Ah Van, Manu Vatuvei and Sam Rapira to longer deals and brought young Australian talents Wade McKinnon and Michael Witt across the Tasman with the money saved.
Both are players of real promise and come at a far cheaper price than their predecessors.
In the case of Mannering, the Warriors have a ready-made replacement for Toopi and, on current form; he is just as a good a player for a fraction of the price.
The same can be said for McKinnon.
By signing these youngsters to longer deals it also gives you the ability to sign bigger names down the track.
If Rovelli turns out to be the next big thing over the next season or two he could be earning a very small salary in 2009 and 2010 for what he is worth. The Cowboys achieved that when they signed Johnathan Thurston from the Bulldogs as a fringe first-grader that had promise and he turns out to be one of the game’s elite players within a season.
If five turn out to be future stars, the club could have basically signed them all for less than half a million a season and would then have plenty of money to chase even bigger names for one or two year deals.
It is this recipe for success that clubs are trying to use and why clubs like Brisbane and Canberra have been so good for so long.
Guttenbeil, Toopi and Webb are quality players and will be missed for sure – both as players and as blokes as well – but sport is now a business and value-for-money the Warriors have made all the right moves this season.
Without knowing the specifics of their current contracts, I would guess that there is still enough money left under the salary cap next season to sign one or two established players but it appears that the Warriors are close to done on the recruitment front this year.
After the $500,000 fine for breaching the cap at the beginning of the season, their current operating loss and their highly-publicised ownership wrangle, it may be prudent to hold off spending any more money simply for the sake of it and especially now that most of the off-contract players have deals in place for next season.
For that reason, a George Gatis-type signing might be all they do from here on in and, from where I sit, I’d rate that a nine out of 10.
* To comment on this piece send emails to dale@radiosport.co.nz
 

Esoj_old

Guest
the best league journo in the land doesn't disappoint. spot on yet again mr budge.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Haven't seen him write one of those in a while, but he's got it right again.
 

Esoj_old

Guest
yeah I was wondering too but it seems like he is working for radiosport now and not tvnz.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
He said he would continue to do the piece for TVNZ but he was leaving, but I never saw it after that, good that someone has found the new location though.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
More articles, please Mr Budge!!! - By the way if you buy RLW he sometimes writes articles in that if you guys like his artciles.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
sebastian said:
More articles, please Mr Budge!!! - By the way if you buy RLW he sometimes writes articles in that if you guys like his artciles.

Yeah, he does do the little articles on the Warriors and the player ratings for some Warriors games but he really needs his own column in there.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
warriors4life said:
sebastian said:
More articles, please Mr Budge!!! - By the way if you buy RLW he sometimes writes articles in that if you guys like his artciles.

Yeah, he does do the little articles on the Warriors and the player ratings for some Warriors games but he really needs his own column in there.

Definitly, especially if you guys recieve RLW in NZ.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
I'm glad I managed to find it too guys. Was surfing through radiosport and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to post it just for you all ;)
It's a great article though and he made awsome points; points I was trying to make a while back but couldn't quite explain. Well done Mr. Budge. I might email him and tell him how much we've all appreciated his work ;)
 

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