Changes to salary cap rules have complicated the player
contracting process for New Zealand's transtasman league
After five seasons, the ANZ Championship salary cap will be
raised next year from $300,000 to $380,000, but the rules on
third party payments and what teams need to declare under
that cap have changed.
The introduction of a "hard cap" was supposed to lead to a
more equal distribution of talent throughout New Zealand's
But the lengthy hold-up in getting the new collective
contract signed off, and the extended international season,
left little time for the Silver Fern stars to contemplate a
shift to another team.
By the time the new players' collective had been finalised,
the Ferns were well ensconced in the national programme,
forcing them to halt any contract negotiations.
Northern Mystics chief executive Julie Paterson said that
while teams were granted an extension this year to assemble
their line-ups, they still had an exceptionally limited
timeframe to secure signatures.
"It has been a really challenging exercise. The Silver Ferns
programme added the greatest degree of difficulty, because
their season was so long and intense this year and we are not
allowed to contact them in camp, it was hard to get any
continuity in our communication," said Paterson.
Teams must submit at least 10 contracted players to the ANZ
Championship office today, and confirm their full line-ups by
the beginning of next week.
Given that the Silver Ferns only wrapped up their test
programme on Thursday, it is unlikely any will spring a
surprise move at this late stage.
The key movements have been signposted for quite some time.
The Pulse look to be the biggest benefactor in the off-season
recruitment race, with Robyn Broughton luring back two former
Steel alumni, Liana Leota and Donna Wilkins.
However, it is believed the Pulse is having difficulty
finalising Wilkins' contract, with the Wellington-based
franchise struggling to fit what it originally offered
Wilkins under the new salary cap rules.
Wilkins has apparently sent her contract back to the Pulse
Third party payments are still permitted with the new cap,
but it must be a genuine contract for services and declared
at the same time as the retainer contract.
- Dana Johannsen