It shows what can happen when football and rugby league combine.
The NRL has announced salary cap breaches in 2010 against the Wests Tigers, the Gold Coast Titans, the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Parramatta Eels and the Canberra Raiders following the completion of audits for the 2010 season.
The largest breach notice is in relation to the Wests Tigers, who claimed a ‘long serving player allowance’ contrary to advice from the salary cap audit team – attracting a fine of $187,140.
The remaining breaches across the other four clubs were around technicalities of the use of second tier players and how payments for education, accommodation and terminations were made by clubs.
The NRL also announced that final findings of the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal investigations, with no new penalties or infringements detailed. The breaches led to the Storm being stripped of three NRL competition titles, prizemoney and fined $500,000.
“The compliance across the vast majority of clubs has been encouraging but the penalties are a reminder that the Salary Cap will be enforced,” NRL Chief Executive, David Gallop, said today.
“Six clubs were breached last year, most notably the Storm. It is pleasing to see the number down this year but the warning bells for anyone looking to break the rules could not be any louder.
“For the most part we are seeing a genuine wish to comply with the rules from the clubs but this remains an area in which we are always conducting thorough investigations.
“The salary cap audit team works incredibly hard to monitor the clubs and deserves considerable recognition for the role it plays in making the Telstra Premiership the closest and most exciting competition in Australian sport.”
The 2010 Salary Cap Breach notices are as follows:
Wests Tigers $187,140
Gold Coast Titans $76,380
Parramatta Eels $44,988
Canberra Raiders $31,657
St George Illawarra Dragons $15,694
The Titans have also been breached a further $2,500 for failing to properly register a Toyota Cup player.
All clubs will have until Friday, May 20, to make submissions to the NRL chief executive in relation to the breaches before any penalties are imposed.
The Wests Tigers have responded to the breach notice put forward by the NRL, stating:
“Wests Tigers has always supported the NRL Salary Cap principles and rules. We believe that the objective of equality amongst Clubs is fundamental to the strength and competitiveness of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
“We also respect the need for Salary Cap compliance to be closely monitored and managed by the NRL.
“In relation to our 2010 position, however, we strongly disagree with the findings of the Salary Cap audit. The application of the Veteran Player Allowance has been the subject of many discussions with the NRL over an extended period of time. We have maintained a consistent view on our entitlement to the Allowance throughout these discussions. We shall reinforce this view in representations to the NRL Chief Executive in accordance with the prescribed process.”