The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are questioning the value of supporting a player’s post-career options

“We understand why the NRL instituted this rule in relation to protecting the integrity of the salary cap, but this is clearly a legitimate and unique set of circumstances,” Bulldogs CEO Aaron Warburton said.

“Having our 2023 salary cap affected in this way is not positive news when it comes to helping our player’s post-football career prospects.

“During Josh’s long career with the Bulldogs, his only NRL club, we supported his studies to prepare him for his post-football career opportunities. During his time at the club he completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science with the intention of making this his post-football career.

“Ironically there would be no salary cap impact for either club if Josh retired and joined another NRL club in the same role. How does it make more sense for a decorated Bulldogs captain to work more for another club than his own?

The Bulldogs remain adamant they were unaware of Jackson’s plans to retire and had no particular credit for the former home state warhorse in his last game. He was made a lifetime member of the club at the annual general meeting last month.

When asked about the Bulldogs’ exemption request on Wednesday, an NRL spokesman said: “Current NRL rules simply don’t allow for that and those rules have been consistently applied to all clubs since the salary cap was introduced in 1998.

Luke Thompson is out for most of the season.

Luke Thompson is out for most of the season.Credit:NRL photos

“The salary cap examiner has always taken the view that payment to a player in the form of a job should not be ruled out should he decide to retire early and remain at the club in any capacity.

“It’s great that a player can move into a job at the club, but an exemption from the salary cap cannot be obtained under these conditions for pre-existing contractual obligations.”

The Bulldogs were also unable to access a $50,000 allowance for Jackson, which is used at other clubs for players moving from a top-30 roster to another position within the club.


The NRL previously ruled on Greg Inglis’ $1 million salary when he unexpectedly quit the game in 2019 with 18 months left on his contract.

South Sydney had to count the amount Inglis had earned before his mid-season retirement against that year’s salary cap, plus any off-field earnings from coaching, ambassador and community roles.

The Bulldogs’ forward shares took a big hit early in the season when England international Thompson underwent surgery on a torn Lisfranc ligament last week. He is expected to be sidelined until round 16.

Pangai jnr (calf) will not return until round four at the earliest, while Chris Patolo (knee) will join Thompson as another centre-forward who will not be available until the State of Origin phase. Recruit Andrew Davey is also out with a concussion.

It has proved to be an early problem for Ciraldo, who is in the market looking for a replacement for the striker in the short term.

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Sports news, scores and expert commentary. Sign up for our sports newsletter. The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are questioning the value of supporting a player’s post-career options

Ryan Sederquist

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