SOME Illawarra Coal Rugby League clubs just don't get it!
With the Shellharbour City Sharks now odds-on to return to the South Coast Group 7 competition next year, the historic Illawarra competition is now at a crisis point, with several clubs struggling to keep up with the clubs that have leagues club backing.
I read in last week's Illawarra Mercury some club officials believe the solution could be to combine Illawarra, Group 7 and Group 6 to make a larger competition with two or three divisions.
But the bottom line is that the money some clubs are throwing at players prices other clubs out of the player market.
This means that some clubs just can't compete and radical boundary changes wouldn't make one bit of difference.
As I said earlier - they just don't get it - while a couple of clubs are splashing out the big bucks to try and be competitive against the other big spenders, clubs like Port Kembla (now happily on loan to Group 7), Berkeley and Corrimal struggle to keep up. How long is it going to be before one or more of these smaller clubs throw their hands in the air and say "enough", and leave the competition with an untenable five or six teams?
Instead of going to the Country Rugby League and asking for boundary changes, they would be better off sitting down and putting a ceiling on player payments.
This would take trust into the equation as it would rely on clubs sticking to the limit, but the alternative is far worse.
Heaven perish the thought, but players might start playing where they want to instead of chasing the big bucks.
I'm sure South Coast Group 7 would vehemently oppose any type of merger - why shouldn't they?
They have a very healthy 10-team (soon to become 11) competition.
Meanwhile, Group 6 seem to be plugging along well, so why would they want any format change, which would also involve a lot more travelling?
It will be interesting to see what happens during the next month or so.