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* Inflation In League
MAKE BIG DEMANDS
By TOM GOODMAN
Some city Rugby League clubs still seeking reinforcements are finding players' demands beyond them.
Trafficking between Syd
ney and country clubs has I caused the contract value of j
players to soar. Sonne offic- ials say that the position has already got "out of hand."
They feel that part of the problem is the op- eration of League "social clubs" and "sup- porters' clubs" in
Several Sjdney plajers have transferred to countr> ciubs at a seasons fee of £.500 (twice as much as a plaver, other than a captain coach, would expect in a season with an average club in Sjdney) plus a job and generous assistance in find ing suitable accommodation
I have heard of several citj plavers, some of them not \er> experienced being signed on for £400 or £4*>0, with the extras
Some of th« contracts have come from compara- tive!} small towns.
One lad, wnose Sydnev football was practically con fined to lower grades, is get
ting £16 a week to play in the bush "
Specialists, particularly hookers and half backs, are becoming "princes' in the game Sjdney clubs have been embarrassed by 'he de mands of "specialists," in eluding joungsters, whom thev approached
Major factors in the dev elopment have been
. Economic conditions which inevitably brought some increase in plajing
. Claims by some Syd
nev club committees that by I
raising fees they would dis- courage leading players from going to English clubs if the "poaching ban" is lifted this year.
. The challenge by coun- try districts, especially the South Coast and the River- ina, backed by "social clubs" and "supporters' clubs."
The inroads upon city strength made by country clubs has been by far the most important result.
On the South Coast the Illawarra Leagues' Club at Wollongong, a- social club not to be confused with the Illawarra District Rugby League which controls the football, enticed 1952-3 Kangaroos Carlson, Wells, and Donohoe, as well as other prominent players, to play with the district clubs this year.
Another area secured a 1952-3 Kangaroo, Tom Ryan-for £500 and a job.
In Group Nine (River- ina), «here the Maher Cup has long been (he trophy of battle, the old system of only one paid player in a club has long been
Supporters' clubs have provided the funds. Great Interest
Sydney club officials com- plain that because the money used by many country clubs to purchase players is not coming out of football, a false and unfair position has been created.
But the secretary of the Country Rugby League, Mr. Dudley Locke, whose head- quarters are on the South Coast, says:
"There has never before been such interest at this stage of the season in Illawarra League football.
"I believe that our stan- dard of football on the South Coast will be higher than ever before.
"The Illawarra Leagues' Club will have played an important part."
In Sydney the most spec- tacular effort at rebuilding and at offsetting the coun- try's inroads has been made by Parramatta club, which was weak last year.
Parramatta has spent more than £1,500 in signing-on new players. It set an "interstate" rate of £600 for the season when it secured Brisbane Kangaroo lock forward "Mick" Crocker. It also found him a job.
It got another Kangaroo,
front-row forward Charlie Gill, from Newcastle for a £500 fee, as player
Parramatta club appealed for public support in a vigorous drive to lift the
club out of the rut.
As a result, more than
£1,000 was received in i donations, and this formed
the basis of the fund to ' "import" players.
Officials of some Sydney clubs declare that the posi- tion is getting beyond them.
In Sydney the player coach is usually given double the player's bonus. A few other players are simi- larly recognised, or are guar- anteed a sum by mutual agreement.
The public will agree that some rank and file Saturday afternoon play- ers in Sydney in . recent years have been over-paid.
But these players, as well as the stars, will continue to get extra benefits. Some of the extra admission charges for Test matches will be worked back to the first grade players, for the N.S.W. Rugby League annually makes a disbursement to the district clubs and the players get much of it.
St. George has started a social club. But many dis- trict clubs frown upon the idea of a supporters' club operating in a big way. That could mean irritating interference, they say.