Officials to blame, not the players: NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Officials to blame, not the players: NRL

By Steve Jancetic 23/04/2010 07:40:59 AM Comments (0)

The NRL is pointing the finger at officials and not players for the systematic salary cap rorting which has resulted in Melbourne being stripped of two premierships and all their competition points in 2010.

NRL chief executive David Gallop said it would be "very difficult for individuals" to be aware of the breaches, with John Hartigan - the boss of News Limited which owns the Storm and also half of the NRL - labelling former Melbourne chief executive Brian Waldron the "architect" of the five-year breach totalling $1.7 million.

Waldron left the Storm earlier this year to take up a role as chief executive of new Super 15 rugby union franchise Melbourne Rebels, a position Hartigan believes should now be in question.

"He's the centre and while it's early days, he appears to be the architect of the whole shooting match," Hartigan said.

"In my view if we're to be honest as a company and as a sport we should look further than rugby league.

"We don't want people like that in sport in Australia."

Acting Storm chief executive Matt Hanson and another "senior Storm official" have both been stood down, but the witch hunt has only just begun.

Hartigan says he knows of more people within the Storm organisation who were aware of the illegal payments, with Gallop admitting the league had been given a helping hand by a whistleblower no longer with the club.

"There are other people that I believe are involved that are no longer with the club - our enquires so far have identified five people who knew about the efforts to conceal these payments," Hartigan said.

"We can only act on these that are directly in our employ now.

"We haven't formed a view about other people within the club so we'll await the results of that forensic enquiry to see if there are going to be further actions taken about anyone associated with the club."

But while it may seem difficult to conceive that the players were unaware of two sets of books being kept, Gallop however moved to distance squad members from the blame.

"The focus in the cap is on clubs, it's about the remuneration that the player's paid in total by clubs to players," Gallop said.

"It's not necessarily fair to single out players if they get caught up in something like this because they aren't aware of what is said in statutory declarations on behalf of the club to the NRL.

"At the extent of any sort of salary cap breach it's very difficult for individuals to get a handle on unless they are the people in control of the cap at the club and that's where our focus is."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news