Stuart. Thanks for your reply, & the best part is your understanding.
I have just watched the latest interview on the eels web site with coach Brad Arthur. This man has been a tower of strength at the club, yet so much of the questioning to him & the players deals with issues that are things they cannot answer, they are just as much if not more so victims of & in the problems from the leagues club administration & not theirs yet they cop it each week.
For me, & I am a long time eels supporter of more than 40 years & seen the many lows, but also the highs & I am proud of them in this drama which is the worst in the clubs history & again I do not know of one eels supporter who would disagree with that. What I want to see, is some honesty in the way things go on. honesty from top to bottom at player, club & NRL levels, start the process of cleaning up the game & have that level playing field for everyone to understand what is going on, what needs to go & to happen.
If this does not happen, the dissatisfaction at all levels will just continue to grow, & the game itself will decrease with a lot of uncertainty regarding the future & its survival.
From an eels supporters perspective, rather than just a fan, we are at the bottom now, but the future is bright, only thing that can stall or stop it will be from forces from outside.
Lets consider the value aspects of what the eels have done along with the others, especially the aspect that the storm was running two sets of books, seems to have been forgotten. In dollar terms with what the cap was back then compare it to todays cap value.
The dogs had someone of high profile taking the days merchandise money home to count rather than it going to the club.
The eels situation, goes back some years & precedes the board just suspended, when they had a CEO that was involved with one of the above mentioned clubs & quite open in what he did, & who actually recommended him to the eels, same as the more recent one just sacked, with references? The sacked board had self reported all the incidents they could last year, when a forced governance & salary cap audit was carried out by PWC & by the NRL auditors. At the end of which there was disagreement over some aspects of the governance review which were subject to further discussion re the bringing in the 4 items not agreed by the board.
The fine was subsequently reduced owing to the so called breaches being because of accepted needs owing to injuries & the team having to have 17 players name in the run on side. 4 points were suspended with the prospect of them being applied should further breaches occur. At that point of time, being end of 2015 the club was deemed as cap compliant & things moved along to this year.
Suddenly through leaked documents from board meetings the club was under suspicion again, the media goes into a feeding frenzy on all sides to find out every little area they could with what was going on. The eels are caught out, fined & docked 12 points, deemed guilty without knowing the exact charges. They got caught & as one reporter were guilty of the cardinal sin of the so called 11th commandment , Thou shalt not get caught.
So the club losses its whole board, an administrator appointed & guess what, this is what the members have been calling for now for some time. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. They got caught but the big area of where they got caught is with the wonderful fantasy land of TPA payments, being deemed illegal. Surely they never existed back when the Storm & doggies got caught, or they were all above board.
What comes out is the story of the clandestine world of TPA payments, player agent/managers trying for top ups outside the normal agreed NRL legal contracts that have limits on them. TPA as it seems have no limits & cannot be guaranteed by the clubs meaning any club & not just Parramatta. Also affecting these items is the aspect that people with businesses associated with a club cannot be used to provide TPA's, so the eels get caught with the son of a club supporter who has money & supplies items to the club is caught out, along with some other similar deals as well. possibly not much different to a player whose spouse owns a business & gets a contract for work at a particular club, or a house at another, or a car or two at another or the manager of another resigns & the NRL cannot touch him.
Thing is that all the clubs pay out TPA's of course all are legal except the eels ones which they say were guaranteed by the eels so they are illegal. Problem is that, how often do we here of players complaining about their TPA's have not come through, surely the wonderful agents who act on behalf of the players would not pressure the clubs to take over the failed TPA's would they? So to make it legal at least for the eels, they include in the punishment on top of the 12 points deduction, then a later addition of the removal of for & against points (a new tack on), the already $1m fine, all the TPA deals that were supposed to have been arranged by the agents, & not guaranteed by the club, into the next 2 years salary caps, thus the penalty is a continual one over what will end up being the years from 2015 (first offence) until 2018, when they should have a clean sheet.
So compare with the Storm & Dogs, & even the Warriors what is the comparison in terms of their specific years in money terms? The Storm was caught in the year following their GF victory, were deemed over the cap then & in the year they were playing in (so I understand) & why they were docked points in that year owing to them being over the cap again. For the eels, if they play in the finals it will be as the result of much adversity, along with the loss of 3 senior players in Jnr Paulo, Nathan Peats & Keiran Foran. Also back up center Ryan Morgan, along with several other injuries with the team flat out finding fit players to play, they have at least a full team out at the moment compared to the beginning of the year when they were supposedly cap compliant. But now we sit in a position of possibilities only for this year with two more years of cap punishments ahead.
The other interesting this is that the eels have the former NRL cap auditor who did the forensic audit in 2015 which concluded with the club being clear & cap compliant after players were not resigned & the applicable fines were paid. When this latest era began the same auditor worked with the club which had several players leave in order to become cap compliant. The win in the early 9's tournament which consisted of players primarily from the non top 25 team was stripped as was the prize money.
If other clubs supporters looked at the whole story, as to what penalties have been applied to the eels they may find things a bit different. Despite what some media journalists & commentators would have all in NRL land believing the majority of eels supporters are in denial regarding what has gone on, that too is not correct, as I know no eels supporter who actually believes we are & were not guilty. For over a year now there has been moves to try & force new elections but of a type to rid the club of factions & get business people on board. The fact that we finally had an EGM set up for next month is proof of that.
The other big thing that the eels supporters, & members would love to see, & I would think so would most others of all the clubs want to see the NRL really look into the whole area of the salary cap, especially the role played by all the player agents/managers in the way that these TPA's are sourced.
One thing that the NRL could do would be to have a clause in the standard contract along with any TPA agreed contract that the player & Agent/manager acting on behalf of the player, that simply states that any TPA entered into by the signatories to the TPA are not guaranteed by the club, & no claim can be made against the club or persons associated with the club.
Lastly, if there is one thing that I & I know many other supporters of not just the eels would love to see & I have seen many such articles written is for a forensic investigation to take place into what has happened with the eels, including how private interviews & the like were leaked to sections of the media, along with investigations into the handling of these issues by the NRL as well as the agents & their roles in placing clubs in the positions they are in now, all of them.
Well, I did it in fun, but gee imagine how it would have been received if another religion that is more used to being in the media was used instead. Would likely had a fat farm targeted against it, now see if this post gets removed.
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