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NRL ratifies Parramatta Eels salary cap sanctions
The NRL has confirmed that it will impose a 12-point competition penalty for the Parramatta Eels, as well as imposing a $1 million fine and the deregistration of five board members.
The sanctions were ratified by NRL today (9th July) as a result of the club’s systemic salary cap rorting.
With the Eels were accused of breaking the NRL's salary cap in five of the previous six seasons, the NRL also confirmed that the club would be stripped of its 2016 Auckland Nines title - which will cost the club a further $370,000 in prize money.
Five former officials - Chairman Steve Sharp, Deputy Chairman Tom Issa, Director Peter Serrao, Chief Executive John Boulous and Football Manager Daniel Anderson - have been deregistered.
The NRL claimed the club hid payments, issued fake invoices to suppliers before passing those payments on to players, as well as procuring illegal third-party agreements.
In a statement, NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said he had considered the responses from the Eels and its five officials to the 3rd May breach notices, but there was "insufficient information ... to warrant any change to the penalties originally proposed".
Greenberg (pictured below) stated “the overall impression that I got from the responses is that no one at the club has taken responsibility for the deliberate, systemic and blatant breaches of the salary cap.
"We have to take a stand to demonstrate that the NRL will not tolerate contraventions of the salary cap which plays such a crucial role in giving us one of the closest competitions in Australian sport."
Greenberg said the club can appeal the ban, but suggested it should now focus on improving the governance and operations of the club, with the NRL's assistance.
He added “the Parramatta club now has one of the biggest decisions it has ever had to make in its 69 year history.
"It can appeal the decision, which is its right, or it can accept this decision and turn Parramatta into the powerhouse club it should be.
"It is my view that it is time for the club to move on and do the right thing by [coach] Brad Arthur, the players and the fans."
Greenberg said the NRL wanted to work with "the right group" to move the club forward.
He continued “from what I understand, there are three separate groups looking to make a play for the board. We need to think carefully and work with the right group to make sure that ownership and the running of this club is what it should be.
"A clear message I'd like to provide to Parramatta members this morning is they must make clear decisions here to put people in charge of their club that puts their players and their fans first.
"We're disappointed with the conduct of people at this club and we continue to be be disappointed. We must move forward. We must find ways to get this club governed and led by the right people."
Greenberg reserved praise for the club's players and coach, saying they had been "phenomenal" in turning up every week amid the chaos surrounding the Eels.
2nd June 2016 - NSW POLICE TO INVESTIGATE NRL MATCH-FIXING ALLEGATIONS
2nd June 2016 - PARRAMATTA STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT ENTERS DESIGN PHASE
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