It appears as though the ‘invisible hand’ of the economy the father of modern economics Adam Smith once talked about, has given money hungry rugby players in England a swift kick in the ass.
In a bid to insulate themselves from the effects of global financial crisis, club bosses in England’s Guinness premiership have agreed that all clubs will adhere to a maximum player wage bill of $A8.74M (STG 4M) for the 2009-10 season. Players on average will now be paid less and in all possibility squad sizes reduced, despite the plans for more fixtures over the lucrative Christmas – New Year period.
This is surely a win for Australian rugby – supporters and administrators at least – as the rewards on offer in ‘dear old Blighty’ will now moderate thus maybe keeping a few of our blokes at home to ply their trade rather than chasing the bucks.
This not only applies to Australia but also New Zealand and South Africa as any reduction in the player drain to England would not only bolster thinning player ranks, but also improve the over all standard of the Super 14
With French Top 14 side Montpellier in financial strife, we could realistically see this sort of initiative spread through all of Europe which would also bring a stop to the pervasive, so called, Sabbatical.
Considering the likes of Phil Waugh, George Smith and Matt Giteau are the subject of offers from overseas clubs next season, this could not have come at a better time for Australian rugby.