Storm trial could be in July - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm trial could be in July

By Daniel Fogarty 18/06/2010 04:08:54 PM Comments (0)

The dispute between the Melbourne Storm and the NRL over salary cap penalties could be heard as early as July, a judge has said.

It had been proposed that the trial will take place in August, five weeks before the start of the NRL finals series.

But on Friday, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Tony Pagone said there may be an opening to conduct the trial in July, giving the Storm some hope of playing in the finals.

The Storm are seeking a Victorian Supreme Court injunction restraining the NRL from imposing salary cap penalties, which include stripping it of the 2007 and 2009 premierships and preventing them from earning points this season.

They argue the penalties, which were announced on April 21, are in breach of NRL rules and the decision-making process in imposing them was not fair.

On Friday, Justice Pagone noted an affidavit from Storm lawyers to the court said the club wanted the matter to be heard soon so they could play in the finals.

The club has won several games since the penalties were imposed.

In the affidavit dated June 9, 2010, Storm lawyer Leon Zwier says the club would "likely" make the finals, which begin on September 10, if the penalties were lifted.

"If this proceeding has not been heard and determined prior to that time, the plaintiff will not be permitted to compete in the finals series regardless of the number of games it has won during the 2010 season," Mr Zwier said.

The affidavit said the club's inability to earn points could also impact its financial position by as much as $500,000, the amount the club would receive if it won the minor premiership and premiership.

The matter will return to court for a further pre-trial conference on July 12.

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