NRL report recommends Waldron ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL report recommends Waldron ban

By David Beniuk and Russell Jackson 11/05/2011 07:01:34 PM Comments (0)

The NRL report into the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal recommends the club's former chief executive, Brian Waldron, never be allowed to work in rugby league again.

Waldron, his deputy Matt Hanson and two unnamed Storm financial executives should all be barred from any involvement in the game, concludes the explosive report which was released by the NRL on Wednesday.

It described a "toxic culture of deceit" which saw rorting the league's salary cap as "a bit of a game".

Waldron - described by club owner News Limited's boss John Hartigan as the scandal's "chief rat" - as well as Hanson and former chairman Rob Moodie all signed false statutory declarations, the report says.

NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert, the author of the report, is scathing of Waldron.

"He has shown himself to be entirely unfit for any position where he has obligations of trust, responsibility or leadership," he writes.

Current Sydney Roosters recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan, who previously held that role with the Storm, was among those who acted with Waldron to "set in train the wholesale cheating", the report says.

It says unnamed sponsors were complicit in paying extra money to players, who should have heard "alarm bells" warning something was wrong.

Players are not named in the report but for one, no longer at the club, the alarm bells should have been "deafening" because he was receiving close to double the amount his contract specified.

Four player agents' suitability for accreditation is questioned but they are not named.

However, agents Alan Gainey, George Mimis, Issac Moses and David Riolo have already been asked to show cause as to why their accreditation should not be revoked. All four have denied any wrongdoing.

NRL boss David Gallop said his organisation stood vindicated with the findings now in the public arena.

"A lot of people down there have learnt a lot of lessons, there's no doubt they've had the wool pulled over their eyes and there's also no doubt that they were to a certain extend asleep at the wheel," he said.

"There is an element who look at the salary cap as some kind of game.

"It's a serious part of the business and these sorts of breaches can literally destroy a whole lot of people's good work.

"I think it's a new era for the Melbourne Storm and part of releasing this report is to give closure and allow them to move into the future."

The Storm were stripped of two premierships, prizemoney and fined $500,000 as a result of the scandal.

They would also be stripped of the 2010 World Club Challenge title, the NRL said.

Gallop said he couldn't rule out future attempts at rorting the cap, but the Storm example showed such schemes would unravel.

"I've never professed that the salary cap is 100 per cent water tight and that's why, when we do find something like this, we need to send a harsh message," he said.

"I don't believe there is widespread rorting of this nature in the game but I'm not naive enough to think that their may not be some people pushing the boundaries."

They may include the Wests Tigers who were coincidentally told on Wednesday they are facing a hefty $187,000 fine for a cap breach.

Gold Coast, St George Illawarra, Parramatta and Canberra were also fined smaller amounts for breaches.

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