Wayne Bennett wants one. Shane Flanagan does too. Now, new Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has joined the chorus of calls for the NRL to put an end to mid-season player transfers (presumably he feels different about coaches).
According to an AAP report, Cleary said “I’m not a fan of players moving mid-season… I’d probably favour (a transfer window) over what’s happening now”.
Obviously player speculation is a particularly large issue for Wests, with the futures of halfback Luke Brooks (who re-signed), five-eighth Mitchell Moses (who reportedly wants to leave for Parramatta), fullback James Tedesco (who’s linked with the Roosters and Bulldogs) and captain Aaron Woods (who’s closely linked to Canterbury) all the subjects of intense speculation in recent weeks. Granted, this is a mess of their own making (who in their right mind allows all their best players to come off contract at once?), but nonetheless, must certainly be disruptive.
The issue with establishing a transfer window though, as NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has rightly pointed out, is that any decision that limits the freedoms of players would require the RLPA to sign off on it – and why would they?
Players currently enjoy virtually unrestricted trade, as they’re free to negotiate with whoever they wish within 12 months of the expiry of their contract. In order to get the players to agree, the NRL would surely need to give the players something in return.
If only the NRL were negotiating the salary cap right now, so they could trade off a higher salary cap for a new transfer window.
Oh wait a minute. They are.