NRL stars bound to Ayoub - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL stars bound to Ayoub

David Beniuk 05/03/2011 02:12:34 PM Comments (0)

NRL stars are unlikely to be able to ditch controversial agent Sam Ayoub unless he is stripped of his accreditation or found guilty of a charge he faces over an alleged betting scam.

Ayoub's impressive roster includes Test halfback Johnathan Thurston, Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah and rising Canterbury star Jamal Idris, who is off-contract at the end of 2011 and will weigh up big money offers from several NRL clubs.

For Ayoub it is business as usual, with some who know him saying he would have taken events this week in his stride and the Bulldogs still expecting to meet him soon to continue negotiations over Idris.

Under NRL rules, agents need to be approved by the rugby league accredited player agent scheme (RLAPAS).

Part of that is a requirement they use a standard contract, which has get-out clauses for players if the agent is stripped of their accreditation or is found guilty of an indictable offence punishable by two years' jail.

Ayoub faces a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail after being charged with attempt to gain financial advantage by deception.

An agent can be stripped of their accreditation if a complaint is received by the RLAPAS committee and investigations find they are not a fit and proper person to represent players.

Players have no automatic get-out if, like Ayoub, their agent has merely been charged.

"What the rights and obligations are between players and managers are necessarily matters for them," RLAPAS chairman Geoff Bellew told AAP on Saturday.

"Those rights and obligations are set out in very clear terms in the standard form of the players agent contract which an agent is obliged to use as a condition of his accreditation pursuant to the rules under the accreditation scheme."

Rugby League Players Association boss David Garnsey, who also sits on the RLAPAS committee, said it would be premature to assume players wanted to end their relationship with Ayoub.

"He's been charged, certainly, but I'm a very big supporter and a believer that the presumption of innocence should be respected," Garnsey said.

"Just as I insist on that for my players, I insist on that for Mr Ayoub.

"He is entitled to fight these charges, that's what he intends to do and unless that operates adversely for him, then none of these factors will come into play."

Ayoub's stable of stars also includes Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy, also facing charges over the now infamous Canterbury-North Queensland match last August, as well as St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward, Cronulla forward Jeremy Smith and Canberra backrower Bronson Harrison who signed a new deal with the Raiders this week.

Thurston has publicly backed Ayoub and Garnsey said that was the common response among players.

"It's fair to say that the players at this stage have been very loyal to him," Garnsey said.

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