Storm reviews legal action against NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm reviews legal action against NRL

By Daniel Fogarty 19/07/2010 06:41:58 PM Comments (0)

A group of supporters is likely to take over Melbourne Storm's legal action against the NRL if the club's new directors decide to drop the case.

Melbourne's new directors will decide by Wednesday whether to continue the action against the NRL over its salary cap penalties.

The Storm's former directors were all sacked by owner News Ltd when the extent of the club's salary cap breaches were revealed last week, leaving their case in limbo.

Storm lawyer Leon Zwier told the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday that independent lawyer Howard Obst would conduct a review of the case, which will be completed by Wednesday.

A further mention of the case will be made in court on Thursday when it is expected that it will be announced whether the matter will proceed.

If the club choose to discontinue the case it is likely a group of Storm fans will seek to be given standing in the matter or pursue their own action against the league.

It is understood lawyer Peter Gordon wrote to the NRL on Monday asking the league to recognise the legal standing of Storm fans.

Mr Gordon has also asked the NRL that the group not be required to pay security of costs.

Before they were sacked, the independent directors were seeking a Victorian Supreme Court injunction restraining the NRL from stripping Melbourne of the 2007 and 2009 premierships and preventing it from earning points this season.

A trial was due to begin in the first week of August.

The former independent directors, Peter Maher, Rob Moodie, Petra Fawcett and Gerry Ryan, were sacked last Thursday, after the release of an independent investigation into the club's salary cap rorting.

The audit, carried out by accounting firm Deloitte and announced by owners News Limited, found the Storm were $3.17 million over the cap since 2006, more than 80 per cent more than originally thought.

It also named 13 players who received payments outside the cap.

Mr Zwier said on Monday if the case proceeded the Storm would be calling Moodie and former Storm chief executive Matt Hanson as witnesses.

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