No guarantees on fab four: Gallop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No guarantees on fab four: Gallop

By David Beniuk 16/07/2010 07:14:14 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop says it's not up to the league to ensure Melbourne's 'fab four' don't defect to Super League or a rival code in the wake of the club's salary cap scandal.

The fallout from the Storm's cap disaster would reach its worst possible scenario for the league if it resulted in Greg Inglis wearing an Essendon or Wallaby jersey.

The other members of Melbourne's star quartet - Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith - could also be tempted by moves to other codes or the UK as the club sheds around $1.3 million in talent.

All four are signed beyond next year but already backrower Ryan Hoffman and winger Anthony Quinn, also signed beyond 2010, have been linked to Super League clubs.

Gallop conceded any of the four superstars quitting the NRL would be disappointing but stressed the league could not make that call.

"That's a concern of course and I hope that doesn't happen but it won't be up to us to tell players where they've got to play and it's important that they get their contracts honoured," Gallop told Sky Sports Radio on Friday.

Melbourne without their biggest names would struggle to be competitive, another scenario the NRL would be keen to avoid for its outpost in AFL heartland.

But asked if he cared whether the big four stayed in Melbourne or moved to other NRL clubs, Gallop said: "I don't think it's our place to care.

"What we're about is the top 25 players being within the total remuneration that we allow clubs to spend.

"We don't choose which clubs players go to."

Storm captain Cameron Smith stressed the importance of the club remaining strong next season after warnings from News Ltd boss John Hartigan it risked fielding a "pub side".

"It's important for this competition and I know that the NRL certainly know that, our club certainly knows that so the quicker they can both sort something out the better off we'll all be," Smith said.

Gallop on Thursday flagged the NRL's support as the Storm restructured its playing roster and he said the league's salary cap team would work with the club to get it ready for the 2011 season.

"We'll sit down with them and we'll work with them within the rules," he said.

"If there's a way that they can keep those four players within the rules then we won't stand in the way of that."

Gallop, meanwhile, hit back at suggestions from a former Melbourne director he had justified the penalties against the Storm on the basis of the Deloitte report, which he was yet to receive.

"No salary cap finding has been based on the Deloitte report commissioned by the owner of the Storm," an NRL statement read.

"The NRL has said that it suspects the figures in the Deloitte report will be accurate based on the process that was undertaken (which included consultation with the salary cap auditors).

"It has not accepted a report that it has not seen and has based no decision on the Deloitte report.

"The NRL has expressed its wish to have the salary cap auditor review the report and to assess its findings.

"The final determination in relation to Melbourne's salary cap position for 2011 will be made by the salary cap auditor."

Amidst the fallout of the figures made public on Thursday, the Rugby League Accredited Player Agent Scheme said it expected to receive any complaints about agents early next before determining "appropriate action".

And the Rugby League Players Association confirmed concerns about private details appearing in the media and the short notice of a meeting organised by Deloitte had resulted in players declining to be interviewed.

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