NRL 2016 Salary Cap Updates

10th November 2015

In 2016 We will see some increases to Salary Cap as agreed back in 2013. Changes occuring are :-

  • Salary Cap increased by $300k to $6.1million salary cap in 2016 - up from $5.8 million in 2015
  • Minimum wages in 2016 of $82,500 up from $80,000 in 2015
  • Increase to $243,750 for each club towards the RLPA Retirement Fund, made up of $9,750 per player in Top 25 up from $9,500 per player in 2015
  • Players outside Top 25 who play 4 or more NRL games also entitled to retirement account contribution of $9,750 per annum

    The revised Salary Cap reads as follows

    Salary Cap - NRL Payments for the First Grade Top 25

    $6.1 million - Basic payments for the Top 25 players including Sponsor Servicing Allowance ($200k) which is automatically given to all clubs to compensate players for club sponsorship activities including appearances and endorsements.

    Also included is a Long Serving Player Allowance ($300K) per Club for eligible players who have played more than six continuous years of grade football with that club including Holden Cup and NSW Cup.

  • Plus $243,750 per team - Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards players' Retirement Account Contribution.
  • Plus $100,000 per team - Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards their administration funding.

    Payments under the actual salary cap total $6.30 million paid directly by clubs across the Top 25 players. The additional $343,750 paid into the RLPA Retirement and Administration Fund Contribution is not defined as a salary cap payment.

    What players can earn outside the salary cap

  • $600,000 - Marquee Player Allowance - any or all of the Top 25 players at each club can share in payments made by club sponsors seeking to use a player's intellectual property. These may be guaranteed in the playing contract by clubs.
  • $100,000 - Motor Vehicle Allowance a maximum amount of five motor vehicles may be provided to players in the Top 25 outside of the salary cap. (Valued at $20,000 each).
  • Unlimited - Players can earn unlimited amounts from corporate sponsors who are not associated with the club and who do not use the game's intellectual property (no club logos, jerseys or emblems) provided these are pre-approved. These agreements may not be negotiated by the club as an incentive for a player to sign a contract, nor can they be guaranteed by the club.
  • Unlimited - Tertiary education fees, approved traineeships, medical insurance costs, relocation/temporary accommodation costs are not included in the cap but must be approved.

    Payments for players outside Top 25

    $460,000 - Cap for all players outside of the top 25 who compete in the Telstra Premiership.

    U20s Payments For The Top 20

  • $250,000 - Basic payments for the Top 20 players.

    What U20 players can earn outside the salary cap:

  • $31,500 - School fees allowance per club.
  • Unlimited - Approved living away from home allowance (up to $8,190 per annum per Holden Cup qualified player outside the Top 25).
  • Unlimited - Tertiary education, approved traineeships, apprenticeship allowances, medical insurance costs, relocation/temporary accommodation costs.

    Payments for U20 players outside the top 20

  • $50,000 - Cap for all players outside of the Top 20 who compete in Holden Cup.

    Players outside the Top 25 who do not compete in the NRL or Holden Cup, are not subject to the Salary Cap.

    In addition to allowances, the following benefits to players are excluded:

  • Tertiary education (TAFE and university).
  • Approved Traineeships.
  • Medical insurance costs.
  • Relocation and temporary accommodation costs.
  • Payments from representative games and events such as All Stars.
  • Prize money

    The NRL also excludes the following player allowances from the Salary Cap to encourage clubs to invest in career development and welfare for players in the U20s:

  • Up to $15,750 per player for Tertiary education (TAFE and university).
  • Up to the award rate for Approved Traineeships.
  • Up to $15,750 per player towards an approved apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program.
  • Up to $2,500 per player as an education Completion Bonus each year.
  • Up to $8,190 per annum in living away from home allowances.
  • Medical insurance costs.
  • Relocation and temporary accommodation costs.
  • One return welfare flight back home per player each year for relocated players.

    Third Party Agreements

    Third party agreements are payments made by companies directly to players. There is no restriction on the amount a player can earn through third party agreements where he is being paid for his own intellectual property, without the need to employ club logos or names and where the company involved is neither a club sponsor nor are they acting on behalf of a club to secure the player's services. An example of this is a player promoting a brand or product, for example, Billy Slater and Australian Bananas. Many players have third party agreements that are outside the salary cap. Individual players registered third party agreements totaling in excess of $15 million in 2015. All third party agreements must be registered and approved beforehand. This is to ensure that they do not become a way for clubs or players to use sponsors or third parties to undermine the salary cap and also for the game to ensure the protection of club and game intellectual property. There are provisions for club sponsors to enter into agreements with elite players under the Marquee Player Agreement allowance.

    Representative Payments

  • Origin payments of $30,000 per game
  • Test Match payments of $20,000 per player
  • Four Nations payments of $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd) matches
  • World Cup payments of $50,000 (1st), $40,000 (2nd), $30,000 (3rd) matches