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If the Cap Fits...
Posted by southstander on January 18 2006 - 16:10:21

Money, Money, Money

With the departure of Danny Ward now looking like it won't be contested by the player as unfair dismissal, the way seems clear for Leeds to fill two places within their 20/20 quota. The fifteen shirt is now vacant, and it is widely assumed that Lee Smith and Nathan McAvoy are not on the twenty.

The question now is whether Leeds are under, close-to, or over the Salary cap.

We estimate the current Rhinos wage bill to speculate how much space we might have under the 1.8m cap.

We are contstantly being told about the 'rigid wage structure' at Headingley which means that we have no players on 'Farrell like' humongous contracts, with salary rates determined by time at the club and representative honours. All salaries of first team and all academy players count towards the cap.

For the purpose of our calculation we have assumed that; all fringe players outside the twenty-twenty are on a quid under the 20k, Senior Academy lads without a first team squad number (say 13 players) are on around 15k, and Junior Academy lads are on a retainer of 5k per annum.

With these figures in mind, I've estimated the following;

Squad No Player Est. Salary
1 Mathers 50,000
2 Donald 60,000
3 Walker 60,000
4 Senior 110,000
5 Smith 20,000
6 McGuire 80,000
7 Burrow 70,000
8 Bailey 80,000
9 Diskin 60,000
10 Peacock 100,000
11 Lauiti'iti 90,000
12 Ellis 90,000
13 Sinfield 120,000
14 Millard 50,000
15
16 Poching 50,000
17 O'Neill 60,000
18 Jones-Buchanan 40,000
19 Feather 40,000
20 Scruton 25,000
21 Ablett 20,000
22 Kirke 15,000
23 Fox 15,000
24 McAvoy 20,000
25
26 Williams 20,000
27 Gibson 20,000
28
29
Senior Academy 195,000
Junior Academy 100,000
Total 1,660,000

Our best guess is that we are spending between 1.6m and 1.7m on salaries in 2006, leaving us between 100k and 200k available to spend on the salaries of a couple more players. The most likely scenario is that we could either afford one 'superstar' along the lines of Vainikolo or Fielden, or a couple of players of the calibre of Millard and O'Neill.

I would estimate that Danny Ward was on around 50,000 per annum. Based on the above estimates this could have only left us with around 90,000 to play with under the cap, barely enough for Vainikolo or Fielden. I think that we could now afford either, within the rules, quite comfortably.

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