DEAL IN FULL: Nathan cleary have got signed up today to trade with the 49ERS for 3 years given $12.40millions

Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould accused the Titans of creating a “false economy” in the player market by paying backrower David Fifta $1.25 million per season.


Gould called the decision “reckless” and emphasised it had ramifications for clubs across the NRL as player managers inflated their client’s price tags.


The former Panthers general manager had no issues with Fifita taking the money but said the contract had been detrimental to the game.


Fifita has failed to live up the billing and Sattler agreed the controversial deal disrupted the entire player market.


“Gus hit the nail on the head… that David Fifita signing sent the market into a spiral,” Sattler told

We started comparing players, especially in forwards positions to what David signed on at the Gold Coast Titans so it made a false economy.


“The salary cap will do what it was intended to do. You’ll have players who want to stay together and others who chase bigger contracts at clubs which have the space.


“On the open market a lot of them are worth a lot more than they’re going to be on at the Penrith Panthers.

“We started comparing players, especially in forwards positions to what David signed on at the Gold Coast Titans so it made a false economy.

The end result is the decision they have to make on whether they want to continue to play finals or whether they want to go and help build a club”.


Gould famously set up the Panthers pathways which is currently paying dividends, with almost half their first-grade side coming through the system together.


Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai boast an incredible 93 per cent win record together as the most successful halves pairing since 1980.


“Why I’m so big on development is because you’ve always got to have those younger blokes coming through. And the system is you’re pushing guys out at the top and bringing in younger players at greater value,” Gould said on his podcast Six Tackles with Gus.


“At the start of the year I do an exercise. I go through and list every club’s roster and say well they’re all spending the $9.5 million salary cap.


“Then I go through each individual player and say if I sold that player at market value today, what would I get? Penrith I might get $15 million for all those players.


“But when I go down to the bottom of the ladder I might get $5.5 million.



“Everyone is spending the same amount of money but it’s about what your cap is actually worth at this time at market value.


“That’s the true difference and that’s what’s reflected in the premiership table, that’s what’s reflected in our results.


“If you went out and put every Penrith Panthers player on the market today… and just let everyone openly bid for them – what do you think they’re worth? They’re worth a hell of a lot more than $9.5 million.”

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