NRL clubs upset at salary cap fines - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL clubs upset at salary cap fines

By Todd Balym 31/05/2007 06:17:08 PM Comments (0)

Several NRL clubs are fuming and will appeal salary cap fines, but the heaviest hit Canberra Raiders are willing to cop their punishment on the chin.

The NRL on Thursday handed out fines totalling $464,849 in salary cap breaches from the 2006 season, with the Raiders copping a $173,203 fine.

Premier Brisbane ($30,000), Melbourne ($63,266), St George Illawarra ($74,975), Newcastle ($19,260), South Sydney ($54,145) and Wests Tigers ($50,000) were the other NRL clubs fined.

Storm chief executive Brian Waldron is upset his club were fined for players working with Victorian Rugby League, despite the practice being considered legal in 2005, but he won't appeal the decision.

"They felt what was acceptable in 2005 was in their minds no longer in 2006," said Waldron.

"Are we happy? Absolutely not. We are disappointed like a lot of NRL clubs are.

"We are not happy with the $60,000 fine but to take it any further is a waste of time."

The Broncos will appeal a fine which relates to Shane Webcke's rum commercial last year, which was a legitimate third-party agreement, but were fined because the paperwork was late.

Tigers chief executive Steve Noyce is upset his club were fined for a "paperwork" issue surrounding their third-party arrangement, particularly when they are $25,000 under the maximum limit.

"We are surprised and disappointed and have already started with the appeal," said Noyce.

"We made a mistake and did not do all the paperwork right. If we are guilty of making a mistake we made one but it's a well known fact this club supports the salary cap 150 per cent.

"Through a lot of hard work we were able to get two people involved with a contribution of $75,000, however, they have deemed that one doesn't count as a third-party agreement.

"It's just an issue of paperwork."

Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said the club would fight their hefty charge over what they feel is a "difference of opinion with NRL management about how certain rules and regulations of the salary cap have been interpreted."

"Our breach relates to termination payments in unusual, one-off circumstances and a minor problem with the second tier," said Doust.

"We are entitled to make further submissions regarding this breach notice and we certainly will be taking this opportunity because we think interpretations can be argued."

Canberra chief executive Simon Hawkins said his club would pay their massive fine after player bonuses, fringe benefit tax and living away from home allowances put them over the cap.

"We will pay it and get on with it," said Hawkins.

"There's a whole raft of things and it's unfortunate for us.

"We are fine with it. At the end of the day we could have chosen to delay some payments for players but that would have put us behind the eight-ball for the 2008 season.

"This way we have a nice clean slate. The same thing won't happen this year and we'll just get on with it."

South Sydney will also appeal their salary cap breach within the five-day period while Newcastle officials failed to return phone calls.

NRL chief executive David Gallop recognised "clubs are generally trying to do the right thing" but reaffirmed the league's non-negotiable stance regarding salary cap breaches.

"The fines are an expensive lesson in the need for administrative diligence," he said.

"Compliance can be challenging at times but everyone is subject to the same rules.

"The fines certainly show that some should work harder in understanding all their obligations but there is nothing that we can see in these audits which would suggest the sort of systematic abuse which would require the loss of competition points."

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