Rugby league is getting $50 million from Tom Waterhouse. What would the salary for a fulltime integrity commissioner be? $150,000?
Discord is willing to go as far as to say that to accept this money from a bookmaker without appointing a fulltime integrity commissioner would be reckless and irresponsible. Morally, it's wrong to take the cash from betting without accepting the attendant responsibilities.
The Ryan Tandy affair was a salutary lesson in how dangerous punting can be to our sport. European soccer players being paid many times more than NRL stars have been tempted to cheat with big money at stake.
Horse racing and dog racing exist on the moolah that comes in from punters, but they have stewards and rugby league does not. How much do we have to speculate to imagine a betting scandal that equals the Melbourne Storm salary cap crisis in scope and implication?
My point here is simple: the Independent Commission has delivered many of the things that the NRL needed as a major business, but lacked. This is another one.
It's interesting that Andrew Chalmers, the former chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League, looks like being involved in the new administration at Salford.
But having a club teeter on the brink with three weeks left before the start of the season is terrible. I hope there are no sanctions from the RFL as a result of the club's financial difficulties. It seems a weird hypocrisy that the governing body will help a club out of debt – but then dock them points for going broke.
Discord has no problem with clubs being held accountable for the actions of their fans, because they have the power to lock out fans.
But fans, players and coaches have no power over incompetent administrators, do they?
I've been asked for opinion on Kevin Sinfield being handed the Golden Boot. Please excuse me if I repeat myself in a few different forums on this.
Yes, I write for Rugby League World. No, I did not vote on the Golden Boot or the positional awards this year.
The Golden Boot (rightly, in my opinion) gives precedence to international football. Rugby League World, and Open Rugby before it, have always pushed this aspect of the game.
It is Australia and New Zealand who refused to play England last October. They players wanted the spring off. So in many ways, it's their own fault they were disadvantaged in an award that focuses on internationals.
Sinfield also did have a very good year, leading Leeds to the Super League title, kicking magnificently in the play-offs and succeeding clubmate Jamie Peacock as national captain.
I could argue that Sinfield was the most outstanding individual of the year in either hemisphere. Ben Barba didn't even play Origin last year.
But here's where myself and my Rugby League World colleagues disagree.
For the Golden Boot to retain its lustre, it still should go to a player who is conceivably the best in the world. The factors above should separate outstanding candidates, not elevate someone else.
Is Kevin Sinfield, at 32 and not judged the best in his position, conceivably the best practitioner in the world of the one million-odd people who play rugby league?
Surely even his stoutest supporters would pause before answering in the affirmative.
It's really a matter for the judges and those who guide them, then, to decide if the Golden Boot is still to be awarded to the best player in the world.
Feedback now and we had some good ones last week.
Paulmac asks why Japan are coming to Australia to play Portugal in a month or two. The same reason Australia plays soccer friendlies in England – the players are here. Most of the players on both sides would be involved in footy at some level in Oz and their clubs would not be allowing them to go on a jolly to Bangkok in the middle of the pre-season!
Chris talked about having Queensland and NSW tour overseas. Queensland toured the UK in 1983 (I have the highlights on VHS somewhere) and NSW toured New Zealand in the late 1970s. But again, the fear is that these sides would perform better than Australia, and it would diminish international football. The odds say this would happen at some stage. Personally, I think NSW or Queensland B would thrash Wales, Scotland and France and hurt those countries' development.
Howe Synott said the Folau decision was not just about money. Yes, there appeared to be procrastination on a number of fronts – including the salary cap auditor. My point is, I just can't see him as the big fish that got away, as many do.
There was a nice debate on players taking dives. Quidgybo said anyone who goes down and stays down should be replaced. But would this lead to players taking dives for extra interchanges instead of for penalties?
Scottmit said teams did not take advantage of attacking opportunities from the scrum. That's why they've trialled giving the attacking team an extra man, I guess. The rule-makers want to encourage this again.