Saints could face cap probe, AFL says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints could face cap probe, AFL says

By Steve Larkin 23/04/2010 04:53:09 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has not ruled out investigating St Kilda's salary cap when disgraced sporting administrator Brian Waldron was at the club.

The Saints on Friday pledged to cooperate with any investigation into Waldron's tenure when chief executive at the AFL club from 2002 to 2004.

Waldron, the man at the centre of the Melbourne Storm salary cap rort, has quit as chief executive of the new Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise after revelations the Storm concealed $1.7 million worth of payments to its top players over five years.

The NRL on Thursday stripped the Storm of two premierships, among other penalties.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said any investigation into St Kilda would be determined by the league's investigations officer, Ken Wood.

"He (Wood) may decide to ask some questions again, but at this point I'd say we're very comfortable with our cap and the policing that we have got around it," Demetriou told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday.

St Kilda chief executive Michael Nettlefold defended his club's corporate governance as among "the highest standards in the AFL".

"We have a close working relationship with the AFL, including with the TPP (total player payment) and assurance department, headed by Ken Wood," Nettlefold said Friday in a statement.

"The AFL player payment audit processes are incredibly thorough and most professional.

"Should the AFL feel it necessary to review any of the previous work undertaken with St Kilda Football Club, in any form, we would be fully supportive."

In 2002, the AFL fined Carlton almost $1 million and took away top draft picks for salary cap cheating.

Demetriou said the penalties dished out by the NRL to the Storm served as a warning for AFL clubs.

"It probably reminds everyone in the game that there is a heavy price to pay if you want to cheat the system," Demetriou said.

"The public ridicule and the exposure is immense, people get hurt along the way.

"This is a timely reminder I think to everyone in our code."

Carlton coach Brett Ratten said times had changed since his club was caught out.

"The AFL, in auditing clubs and going through them, I think do a fantastic job to stop any of these situations," Ratten told reporters in Melbourne.

"We don't know what's actually gone on across the road (at Melbourne Storm) but I think the AFL monitor everything so closely [because] of the lessons of clubs previously, us included, it has been the biggest lesson of all time.

"You get fined and you lose picks and it makes it very tough for your club going forward"

"With the AFL monitoring clubs' books [now], I think that's been addressed really well."

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams said since Carlton was exposed as salary cheats, he had not heard of similar situations.

"Ken Wood and the AFL are very mindful of what might happen and they spend a lot of time at every club looking through drawers and back cupboards trying to identify whatever is presented is actually the facts," Williams told reporters in Adelaide.

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