Management at rugby league powerhouses Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters have said they are ‘impressed’ and ‘just a tiny bit jealous’ of the Cronulla Sharks sacking and then resigning of suspended fullback Ben Barba.
Barba was sacked at the end of 2016 after testing positive to having cocaine in his system. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that he will be paid around half his original 2017 salary.
Broncos CEO Paul White expressed his surprise that Cronulla ‘have not just learnt to manage their cap like we do’ but that they had found ‘even more ‘creative’ ways’ to keep their premiership contenders together.
“Look, keeping successful sides together under the cap is hard. Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box. A nod here, a wink there, and all of sudden you’re signing Anthony Milford for a third of what he’s offered somewhere else.
“We thought we’d thought of everything,” Mr White said. “But sacking a player because he’s ‘bad for the culture’ of the side only the resign him months later? Brilliant. Innovative.”
Roosters CEO John Lee agreed “mate what even is a contract anymore? This is a real game changer by the Sharks. Full credit to Lyall (Sharks CEO Lyall Gorman).”
“We might never need to manage the cap again. Just send the boys out for a big night, and pull the old ‘sack and resign’ on whoever gets the drunkest.”
Both White and Lee said they were eagerly waiting to see if Barba’s contract would be registered by the NRL.