Smith says there's no cap drama - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith says there's no cap drama

By Adrian Warren and Wayne Heming 27/03/2010 10:43:27 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has described queries over his salary cap situation as a "non-issue" and is adamant they won't have any affect on him.

Smith was the latest player to come under the salary cap spotlight following question marks over an alleged agreement by a developer to build Gold Coast Titans star Scott Prince a house free of charge.

The Storm rake's deal with pay television provider Foxtel was raised on Saturday, with suggestions it did not come under the NRL salary cap.

But Smith was non-plussed about the matter when it was brought to his attention on Saturday saying the particulars were handled by the Storm management.

"It's a bit of a non-issue, my job is to worry about my football," Smith told reporters.

"The things that are in my contract are obviously private but they are the things that our CEO works with the NRL to do," Smith told AAP.

"It's the first I've heard of this issue."

Storm general manager football operations Frank Ponissi said the club had discussed the issue in talks with NRL boss David Gallop and NRL auditor Ian Schubert.

Ponissi was adamant the money Smith received from Foxtel should not be included in the Melbourne salary cap.

"There was negotiations with the NRL and the club in December 2008 and January 2009 whether it should be inclusive in the cap," Ponissi told AAP.

"There was debate and basically we have been waiting for 12 months for a decision.

"We've been upfront with the NRL and it's been an ongoing thing for the last 18 months, waiting for some direction from the NRL in whether or not it's going to be cap-able.

"We think it should be, because it's a genuine third-party sponsorship where he's employed by Fox regardless of whether he is with the Melbourne Storm or not.

Meanwhile Gold Coast Titans boss Michael Searle says the club has nothing to fear following their own salary cap dramas.

News Limited reported on Saturday the NRL's salary cap auditor Ian Schubert was looking into allegations raised by a former sponsor currently engaged in legal action with the club who claimed an agreement was made to build a $400,000 house for Prince.

"Those allegations are entirely false," Searle said.

"We have opened our books to the NRL and welcome any investigation of this latest complaint, confident that a comprehensive investigation will quickly demonstrate there has been absolutely no breach whatsoever of the salary cap provisions.

"We welcome the investigation. We have nothing to hide and nothing to worry about.

"Not for one minute do I think (the allegations) are true." Prince has a contract with the Titans until 2014.

He is the face of the club after being a targeted signing from the Wests Tigers when the Titans entered the NRL in 2007.

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