Harrison: Stars must get real over money

editorial image
12
Have your say

Halifax coach Karl Harrison has warned his squad they need to be “realistic” about their contract demands for 2014.

Courier Sport understands negotiations are already underway with a number of players who Harrison wants to re-sign as part of next season’s set up.

But the former Great Britain prop admitted it was currently “difficult” to make progress as playing budgets continue to shrink across the Championship.

Fax - along with four-time finalists Featherstone - have been the competition’s big spenders in recent seasons, relatively speaking at least.

And although their wage bills look likely to continue to outstrip those of most of their competitors, Fax’s total spend is expected to reduce, albeit modestly, again.

“I’m not sure players have got an inkling of what it’s like for the people trying to run the clubs at the moment,” said Harrison, who admitted the wages on offer outside Super League had diminished considerably over the last two years as attendances have diminished.

“I think that’s a fair call; there just isn’t the same amount of money available any more, here or anywhere else.

“It’s not a Halifax isssue; it’s an issue across the competition.

“The players must realise they’ve been playing in front of empty stands at times this year and that has an impact.

“I think once reality kicks in for the agents we might be able to start getting some business done.”

Harrison also called for clarity on the game’s structures from 2015 onwards, with the expected return - in some form at least - to promotion and relegation from the top flight still unconfirmed.

Earlier this month, Courier Sport revealed plans for two leagues of 12, which would then split into three divisions of eight midway through the season, although a more conventional format of four leagues of 10 is seen by some as a more logical solution.

“I think the game needs some clarity and some leadership from the top,” he said.

“I think people need enthusing about the game again, because at the moment there doesn’t seem to be appetite to go out and watch it.

“Financially, times are tough and that has probably had an impact.

“But as a sport, we are at a crossroads now and we need some direction sooner rather than later.”