NRL contract clause comes under fire

NRL boss David Smith’s decision to review the code’s controversial round 13 contract rule has been welcomed by those within the game.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy and Gold Coast captain Nate Myles have both spoken of their dissatisfaction with the regulation, which allows players to back out of future contracts before round 13 of a season.

The rule was at the heart of last week’s media firestorm over the future of Manly star Daly Cherry-Evans.

Despite having announced he will join Gold Coast on a four-year, multi-million dollar deal, the Sea Eagles halfback was forced to clarify his position earlier in the week after rumours began spreading he was contemplating reneging on the deal.

The Cherry-Evans saga follows on from last year when Wests Tigers star James Tedesco used the same clause to back out of a deal with Canberra to remain at the Tigers.

Bellamy has welcomed Smith’s decision to review the rule and says he can’t understand why it was introduced in the first place.

“I’m probably old school but if you make a decision to go somewhere or if you make a decision to sign a contract then you have another 10-12 weeks to think about it, I just don’t understand that,” Bellamy said.

“If you need more time then don’t sign.

“I think the Daly thing has been blown out proportion and has come from other sources because I don’t see him as that kind of kid.

“It’s probably been a good thing because someone’s going to do something about it now and if you sign a contract that’s it, it’s all done and dusted, and you live with it.”

Myles, who shares the same management team as Queensland State of Origin teammate Cherry-Evans and is himself trying to work out a new deal with the Titans, advocated a transfer window instead of the current system.

The 29-year-old says ultimately the sport’s fans are the ones who suffer the most with the current system.

“They do need to tidy it up a little bit,” Myles said.

“If there is a transfer window that they could focus on, that’d be good.

“If you make a decision for you and your family, or whatever reason, whether it’s financial or not, you just make it and get on with it.

“The disappointing thing is the fans get jerked around in the long run with it.”

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