Play The Ball
As a lifelong Canberra Raiders fan I totally disagree. The status quo is more likely to kill off my Raiders within the next 5-10 years if something is not done. In the past five years we are seeing the same teams at the top and same teams in the second half of the table. The Raiders tried to pay Kevin Proctor $800K a season (and he turned them down). He isn't worth half of that in all likelihood. Like I explained in earlier posts the "have not" teams like Canberra, Titans, Sharks, Knights etc are having to pay elite $$ for mid range talent meanwhile the elite teams are getting superstars for half the amount because of TPAs. It won't work limiting TPAs because you'll lose the best players in the game. Those guys should get what they're worth. Here lies the problem of the broadcasters and sponsors wanting so much more - they pay plenty for it and the players have a rightful claim for their share of those increased deals but many of those players are happy to accept less money (but still more than what they were getting five years ago) to play on winning teams. The lesser teams can't get elite signatures so they pay overs for talent that isn't really elite - see Proctor for $800K at the Raiders. When all is said and done almost all clubs are spending the cap but the rosters are nowhere near close in terms of an even spread of talent. Using 2000-2010 as an example won't show it but try looking at 2010-2015 top eight sides. Try asking clubs privately about their thoughts on these matters. The rich are getting richer and unless something changes the weak will fold eventually.The Steve Price view is horribly wrong and really not relevant. Price was an established international world class player. That has nothing to do with a draft. At all. Price was viewed as a saviour. He wouldn't have been at age 19 sight unseen.
Your point is wrong on clubs staying stronger. The Chooks a few years ago had a terrible year. The Broncos missed the playoffs which was unheard of the Cowboys have down as much as us frankly. Storm are where they are because they systematically cheated and then somehow retained their core.
The only problem with the cap is TPAs due to the inequity of local commercial markets.
You could handle a team tanking? Wow I've heard it all. League fans are tribal by nature. They like to think of their players as theirs. So many fans proudly talk up who they produced. Doesn't happen in the US. In the US you have massive multi million multi year sponsorship deals and enormous gate takings and their branded merchandising is awesome. That allows sustainable economies (to a degree, but then some teams still fold), the NRL will never have the same economic free will. Crowds would plummet. Listen to the Warriors executive, they are straight up on their break even attendance figures. Imagine if you hit that at 30% because you are tanking. Firstly, it becomes terrible television product which reduces TV deals monies, secondly gate takings and merchandise plummet.
It is easily the worst idea that somehow sustains oxygen. It will be the death of clubs like Canberra I have absolutely no doubt. I also would fear for the Warriors.
I used Price as an example of good Aussie talent coming to NZ at the expense of local talent. He was on ridiculous money at that stage. Swap him out for Cherry-Evans as opposed to Johnson then. DCE is pretty elite and I'm sure Warriors fans would warm to players like him. I don't hear fans up in arms about Roger Tuivasa-Sheck heading to the Roosters rather than signing with the local Warriors to begin with. The silly thing is that we probably won't even notice the change.
In terms of tanking i'm suggesting the only time it might happen (and yes I'm fine with it) would be in the case of a team getting to July and finding themselves out of contention. They know the next Cam Smith is available in the draft at the season's end and they might tank for the rest of the year to improve their chances of getting him. I can live with that but it would be weighed up against the points you raise re crowd numbers etc. Crowd numbers would account for less than 10% of total revenue and if the second half of a season saw the takings drop off by 50% you are only going to see and overall revenue drop of around 2.5% - hardly the death of a club, particularly if season tickets climb due to picking up the best rookie in the draft for the following season.