Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has slammed rivals whinging about their salary cap as "jealous and stupid". The remarks come as Dragons players took a cheeky swipe at the Roosters cap management in a video announcing their draw for the upcoming NRL season.
In the clip, players partook in a game of charades and had to guess which club they were acting out. Jack Bird had the task of revealing the game against the Roosters and mimed out a brown paper bag containing handfuls of money.
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Teammate Kyle Flanagan immediately correctly guessed the Roosters. However, Politis was not amused by the antics and took offence that some were inferring his club was cheating the salary cap.
“It’s just jealousy, it’s stupid, you know,' Politis told 9News Sydney. “What do you say about them (Bird and Flanagan)? They don’t know what they’re saying anyway.”
#EXCLUSIVE: Jealous and stupid - scathing criticism from Roosters supremo Nick Politis aimed at the Dragons poking fun at his club's salary cap situation. The Chairman's also revealed Joseph Suaalii's plan to return to the Roosters after his stint in Rugby. @Danny_Weidler #9News pic.twitter.com/po3irD3KWJ
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) November 14, 2023
Roosters CEO Joe Kelly also weighed in on the video saying other teams need to focus on themselves rather than peep into their business. “I’m happy for other teams to be looking at us. We just focus on ourselves, at the end of the day that’s all we can control," he said. “If others are looking across the fence, they’re probably a little bit distracted."
NRL explore salary cap exemptions for code-hopping players
Last week it emerged that the Roosters may have gotten some revenge on the Wallabies after losing Joseph Suaalii, with coach Trent Robinson meeting with Mark Nawaqanitawase to discuss switching codes. On Tuesday, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo flagged the possibility of encouraging code-hoppers by implementing salary cap exemptions for teams wishing to snare players from rival codes.
The ARL Commission is expected to discuss potential options for exemptions at next month's meeting, with Rugby Australia bosses admitting the Wallabies' horror World Cup showing has left them vulnerable. NSW Waratahs teenager Max Jorgensen has also long been a target for the NRL.
"We want the best athletes playing our game, whether that's the men's or women's competition," Abdo said. "Growth is on our agenda, so while our primary focus is developing rugby league talent through our own pathways, we're also open to attracting and, potentially in some cases, returning to league from other codes.
"Would salary-cap relief be potentially used? Yes. That's an absolute possibility that the commission will consider, and consider in due course."
Abdo insisted any exemptions would be applied fairly, amid concerns that this could result in certain clubs gaining an unfair advantage. "Any change the commission might make to that policy will have to be very carefully considered, and there will be parameters and caps," Abdo said.
"It won't be a free-for-all. It will be delicate and it will be about making sure there's an opportunity for all clubs on an equal basis to have one or two talented players that they recruit potentially from other codes around the world. It'll be carefully considered though, because we do want to make sure that we focus on our pathways, and we also want to maintain competitive balance."
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