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The Sydney Roosters have been in discussion with the NRL for over nine months to modify the existing salary cap rules. We are particularly disappointed that a confidential letter sent to the NRL was leaked to the media and the issue placed in the public domain.
We wish to be clear on several points of our strong stance, which we believe will ensure the Roosters retain it's successful model as an NRL club. The Sydney Roosters this year are proud to have boasted 6 Kangaroos, 8 State of Origin players, 2 New Zealand representatives and 1 Great Britain representative along with former representative player, skipper Brad Fittler. The majority of these representative players such as Anthony Minichiello, Michael Crocker, Chris Flannery, Shannon Hegarty and Andrew Lomu have progressed through the Roosters development programme and other representative players such as Craig Wing, Jason Cayless, Justin Hodges, and Craig Fitzgibbon have earnt their status after commencing their senior careers at the Roosters as fledgling NRL players. We owe it to these players who have grown with our club, to ensure we can pay them fairly and allow them to remain Roosters where they all wish to play their football. The game has the additional challenge of combating other codes and we do not wish our players to consider such options. Contrary to some media reports the Roosters do provide a great nursery for young players for which our coaching staff deserves credit. This point is proven by the fact that over the past 3 years only Brett Finch, Todd Payten, and Chris Walker, who was released by the South Sydney Club, have joined the club as regular first graders. Due to the development of many of our young players into senior players, the salary cap restrictions have forced us to release Todd Payten and Andrew Lomu. Andrew in particular had been with the club since 1995. As well, Captain Brad Fittler accepted a pay cut to assist the Club with the salary cap. The Sydney Roosters will not be intimidated by incorrect statements about our great club. If it is wrong to strive for success in a professional sporting competition and build a great Rugby League Club , this is a crime we plead guilty to. The Sydney Roosters are the only club to have played every year since 1908. We have won more first grade games than any other club and have had more Australian representatives than any other club. We will not let this tradition die. The Roosters strongly believe that you should be rewarded for your success on and off the field and do not believe in bringing all clubs down to be equalised at a lowest common denominator. The Sydney Roosters will be making no further public comment as we believe it should be discussed through appropriate channels with the NRL.
BRIAN CANAVAN. Chief Executive Officer Sydney Roosters Rugby League Club.