NRL set deadline for player agent scheme

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg pushed for player agent reform but the issue could now head to court.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg pushed for player agent reform but the issue could now head to court.

The bitter war between the NRL and player agents could be headed to court after the governing body set a deadline on introducing their new accreditation scheme.

While the new set-up officially kicks in on December 1, agents have until midway through next month to sign up and be bound by head office.

A failure to accept the new conditions would force the game's 'six-percenters' to re-apply and leave them at the behest of NRL headquarters.

They would also need to undergo an interview and exam to earn accreditation.

It is understood a number of agents bandied together and engaged lawyers in a bid to prevent the new scheme from going ahead.

The move comes over three months after NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg announced their accreditation scheme would undergo historic reform.

It follows a string of salary cap scandals in recent years where player agents were left untouched because they were self-regulated and unanswerable to the NRL.

Only NRL club officials and clubs themselves were punished by the game for their role in player payment rorts.

In a recent letter sent from the NRL to agents, the governing body confirmed it wouldn't reopen any disciplinary matters under the previous scheme.

Other changes include junior talent, who can sign with an agent from 15 years of age until they turn 17 and can terminate their agreement on three months' notice.

Senior players can also leave their managers without cause on three months' notice after an initial two-year period.

In August, Greenberg insisted the reform would be an improvement for the game.

"In the past the NRL has had no powers in relation to agents and this has led to unsatisfactory outcomes in several cases," Greenberg said.

"Agents acting professionally have nothing to fear from the revised scheme but it will give us the scope to deal appropriately with those who do not act in the best interests of the players and the game."

Australian Associated Press