News Ltd denies salary cap warning claim - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

News Ltd denies salary cap warning claim

20/07/2010 04:34:41 PM Comments (0)

News Ltd has strongly denied it was forewarned the Melbourne Storm were significantly in breach of the NRL salary cap.

Former acting chief executive Matt Hanson reportedly claimed he informed club board member and News Ltd employee Frank Stanton in mid-March that the Storm were about $700,000 over the cap in 2010.

He also reportedly told the Deloitte investigators, hired by club owners News Ltd after the salary cap scandal became public on April 22, about that conversation.

News Ltd issued a statement on Tuesday refuting the reports in the Fairfax media.

"Mr Stanton absolutely denies Mr Hanson said this to him and Deloitte has confirmed that Mr Hanson did not provide any such details to its investigators," it said.

News Ltd said Hanson had told the club board - which includes News Ltd employees Frank Stanton and Craig Watt - on February 12 and April 9 of four issues being investigated by the NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert amounting to a total of $183,345.

And it said Hanson had expressed belief that all of them could be resolved by negotiation.

The issues were whether Dallas Johnson's termination payment should be accounted for in 2009 or 2010, Foxtel appearance fees paid to Cameron Smith, how the club accounted for fringe benefit tax calculated on agents' fees and $25,000 paid toward the players' end of season trip.

"Apart from the four issues ... Watt and Stanton maintain they were unaware of any other salary cap issues, including the side letters and extensive third-party payments, until a few days before the NRL announcement on April 22," it said.

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