Storm don't deserve chance in 2010: NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm don't deserve chance in 2010: NRL

By Steve Jancetic 23/04/2010 09:19:54 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop says the league had little choice but to exclude Melbourne from this year's premiership race because the disgraced club would continue rorting the salary cap for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Critics argued the NRL went too far in giving the Storm no hope for the future, with the club unable to accrue any competition points in the current campaign.

That was on top of the club being stripped of the premierships and minor premierships they achieved while making illegal payments to players.

But Gallop was adamant that the Storm had to be punished for creating an uneven playing field.

"It is not fair that they finish ahead of any other team in this competition in the 2010 season with the playing roster that they have assembled," Gallop said on Friday.

The scandal has raised fears over Melbourne's survival, with two major sponsors having already abandoned the club.

There is also the prospect of a fan backlash, both over their disgust at the club's management and at the fact the Storm will have nothing to play for but pride in 2010.

That predicament led to several former players and officials calling for the club to be given something to play for this year.

There were suggestions the club be stripped of the eight points that had already won before being given an opportunity to clean up their books, with the theory they then be allowed to rejoin the competition once it was proved their finances were above board.

But Gallop said cleaning up the mess would not be an easy process.

"Players have contracts - to simply ask them to take pay cuts to get below the salary cap would not dismantle the playing roster that's been put together at the Melbourne Storm," Storm said.

"Equally if players were to leave the Melbourne Storm, one asks the question `where would they go?'

"Our clubs are operating at their salary caps, it would be unfair on clubs and fans if players were placed in other clubs, putting them over the salary cap.

"In those circumstances it became clear to us yesterday that it would not be possible to allow the Storm to accrue points in the 2010 season."

The Storm have been given until March next year to get under the cap.

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