Raiders CEO Don Furner said the Raiders were extremely disappointed by the decision from the NRL and said it’s taken away the chance for a young player to have his special moment.
“We provided information to the NRL salary cap auditor which we believed stated a strong case for exemption for Mitch to play on Sunday and we are extremely disappointed with the response,” Furner said. “We fail to see any possible negative, had Mitch been granted an exemption to play. The NRL Salary Cap auditor provided reasons such as a negative ‘ripple’ effect on Sponsors, fans, media and employees and I am not sure if he is talking about Raiders sponsors, fans and media or those of the Sharks.”
“From our perspective, if Mitch was allowed to play it would have nothing but a positive impact for the code itself, participating teams and the watching public. His debut provides the opportunity to bring more people to the ground and generate media interest in a game where our Club can’t make the finals. We need to try to promote the match and encourage people to come along on Sunday night, in a timeslot that is very hard to attract crowds,” Furner said.
“Should we win the match there is little impact on where the Sharks can finish on the ladder, as they have already qualified with a home final in week one, so I can’t imagine them having a problem with it.”
“We all saw the positive impact the selection of Luke Brooks had on the Tigers two weeks ago and we were hoping for the same result for our club.”
“We constantly question why we invest so much into our junior development program, and this is another reason why we will review it, along with a zero benefit in developing your own juniors from a salary cap perspective.” Furner said.