Hull FC, like Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos, are a big club who didn’t have the season they wouldn’t have wanted in 2023.
The Black and Whites started the season with two wins before losing seven games in a row. There was a spell in the season when it looked like they would have a chance at securing a spot in the play-offs.
But, as has been the case in the majority of their recent campaigns, they finished the season in poor form and missed out on the play-offs.
The club have made some big steps to get to where they want to be in 2024. They have signed the likes of Herman Ese’ese and Franklin Pele.
But in a recent interview on the club’s website, Adam Pearson revealed that the club are unable to afford three marquee players like some of their rivals.
Though they are still operating at the full cap: “For sure, we’ll never come off-cap. I don’t think you can compete in Super League if you’re not at-cap. We’ve been at-cap now since 2012 when I came in.
“The difference is that there is now three marquee players and we don’t have three marquee players, whereas a Warrington, potentially a Wigan and a Catalan will do so that’s going to be the difference in spend on wages.
“But if you recruit smart, coach smart, play smart, that gap between not having three marquees and having them should be from a team basis closed.”
Talking about keeping up with the cap, Pearson said: “Yeah I mean with exemptions as well, homegrown players that type of thing, we’re slightly over £2.1 million. Back in 2013 we were getting £2.1 million from Sky, this new deal for 2024 is £1.3 million so there’s an £800,000 swing on losses and income there. Yet the cap has gone up so it’s a £1.3 million swing and that does take a lot of good bookkeeping and close accounting to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.”
It will be interesting to see what the club is able to achieve in 2024 under a man many feel is the greatest Super League coach ever: Tony Smith.