Knights officials have rubbished suggestions the club won't be able to afford new St George Illawarra recruit Tyson Frizell next season if the NRL drastically reduces the salary cap.
After months of speculation, the Kangaroos' Test backrower last week announced he was quitting the Dragons at the end of the season after accepting a three-year-deal from the Knights worth a reported $700,000-a-season.
The offer was made back in January but the timing of the announcement, that coincided with clubs including the Knights standing down all their staff without pay due to the postponement of the premiership, attracted plenty of criticism with a ban in place on player negotiations and new contracts being registered by the NRL.
There were also those who questioned if the deal would even go ahead due the parlous financial state of the NRL and the clubs.
But Knights CEO Phil Gardner said any potential cap reduction would not impact the club signing Frizell.
"If the salary cap comes down next year, everybody comes down commensurately with it," Gardner said.
"So the rules will stay the same. We'll only be able to spend whatever the cap is but if the cap changes and comes down, all the player payments will go down by that percentage. So it doesn't matter where Tyson is as far as our deal with him goes because he will be impacted exactly the same. That would be across the board."
Currently, the salary cap for next season is set to go up by $100,000 to $9.9 million with a projected $10 million for 2022. Remarkably, a decade ago, it was just $4.1 million.
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It has been suggested clubs could be looking at a cap deduction of well over $2 million, particularly if the competition fails to get back up and running this year. Players are already expected to have to settle for a possible 72 percent pay cut this year if there is no more footy.
Gardner said any talk of trying to predict next year's cap is premature.
"At this stage, there is still a chance all the money will be there for next year and there has been no discussion around the salary cap being reduced for next year," he said.
NRL boss Peter V'landys has also publicly stated he believes a salary cap reduction next year would be a "last resort" measure.
Gardner said clubs are now breathing easier due to the financial assistance from the NRL and Federal government in recent days.
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