NRL issue Manly with breach notice following salary cap investigation

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    The Manly Sea Eagles have been issued a breach notice on Monday by the NRL as a result of their investigation into the club’s salary cap.

    An NRL statement said that there were “preliminary findings” of “potential breaches of the salary cap” by the club, and that Manly could face a significant fine if they are confirmed.

    They may also be required to adjust their salary cap for the 2018 season, which could lead to them needing to shed players.

    Manly now have a five-day window in which to respond to the NRL’s breach notice before the league reaches “final determinations”, however, the door has been left open for this period to be extended upon request.

    The full statement issued by the NRL on Monday is as follows:

    NRL Statement
    The NRL today issued a breach notice to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles after concluding its investigation into salary cap issues at the club.

    The notice concerns preliminary findings of potential breaches of the salary cap over the last five years.

    Should these preliminary findings be confirmed, proposed sanctions could include a significant fine on the club.

    The club could also be required to adjust its salary cap for 2018 to recognise commitments made to players that are found to be in breach of the cap.

    In addition to the matters relevant to the club, show cause notices have also been issued to two current club officials, requiring them to demonstrate why their registrations should not be cancelled.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the Manly club and both officials have already been provided with opportunities to assist the NRL during this investigation.

    They will now be given a chance to respond formally to the preliminary findings before final determinations are made.

    Mr Greenberg said that, in accordance with the NRL Rules, the parties have been given five days to respond to the breach notices but, given the seriousness of the allegations, the NRL would consider a request for an extension of time.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • December 11th 2017 @ 4:43pm
      KingCowboy said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

      Even if they lose points, I don’t think they were ever in the position to challenge for the title this year. They over achieved in 2017 and would have been fighting for position in the lower half of the eight at best. Green will be a big loss for them this season!

      • December 12th 2017 @ 9:55am
        Cole said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Their over achieving in 2017 was in part due to the all out war going on at the club last year, Barrett himself is quoted as saying that he used the siege mentality to rally the players resulting in their sitting in the top four for most of the season. Those folks on the insular peninsula love this stuff, the ‘us against the world’ feeling, some Manly’most successful periods have been based on it. Remember the sign on the hill at Brookie “everybody hates us, we don’t care”

        So I would say, if anything, this should shorten their odds at making the 8 maybe even the top 4, although they will miss Green…

    • December 11th 2017 @ 4:52pm
      Peter Phelps said | December 11th 2017 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

      Take their premierships off them.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 5:15pm
        KingCowboy said | December 11th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

        Which ones? 2011 and 2008?

      • December 11th 2017 @ 6:52pm
        Pedro said | December 11th 2017 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

        Probably not a totally ridiculous idea. As I understand they got in to trouble because they back ended the contracts of many of the great players who helped them win comps in 2008 and 2011. The whole issue of back ending contracts, third party sponsorship and the salary cap more generally is a bit of joke. You only get pinged if you are stupid, unlucky or dobbed in by disgruntled employees or former employees. As for Lyall Gorman saying “historical” issues he must be trying for a start with the Catholic Church. Then again it worked at the Sharks.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 5:57pm
      Brendon said | December 11th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

      I read a report saying that the team is compliant for next year and will have no points stripped. So really, very little punishment….

      Melbourne may have cheated, but at least we won when we did 😛

    • Roar Guru

      December 11th 2017 @ 7:09pm
      Edward Kelly said | December 11th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

      The salary cap is a joke whilst third party agreements are allowed. The NRL is not a level playing field!

    • Roar Guru

      December 11th 2017 @ 8:36pm
      eagleJack said | December 11th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

      Luckily for us Andrew Gee is simply going to resign to make this go away.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:14pm
        Peter Phelps said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

        I reckon the Storm should sue the NRL for their premierships back.

        It is clear that every club is rorting the salary cap and there is clear evidence that the punishments dished out to the storm were disproportionate and excessive simply because they won something. The sharks and their players got off extremely lightly for there systematic illegal drug taking and the Eels got off lightly considering their transgressions were greater than those of the Storm and that the entire board clouded in their execution. It is also clear that the due diligence, appeals process and opportunities for mitigation afforded to other clubs were never offered to the Storm. If Manly are afforded every opportunity to mitigate their transgressions as in recent history then any 2 bit lawyer would easily win its case for Melbourne.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 9:22pm
          E-Meter said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

          Aah lawyers. Always makes you feel good to hear that word. Melbourne got caught and copped it. Too bad.

          • Roar Guru

            December 11th 2017 @ 10:48pm
            Renegade said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

            “I don’t know where this boat came from”

            Cool story Cam

          • December 11th 2017 @ 11:12pm
            Peter Phelps said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

            They got caught and they copped it but the process was not fair and was not the same as afforded to subsequent transgressors. Also the punishment they received was significantly in excess of that received in recent cases of a similar magnitude. There is a clear case here. The storm (or rather Waldron) committed the crime but the process was neither fair nor was it in line with how other clubs have been treated subsequently.

            Say what you like but every time the Storm or Smith or Bellamy gets mentioned some smart a.rse mentions boats or salary caps or something despite the fact that this is 8 years old yet the Eels larger transgression of only last year is ancient history all ready. Double standards or what !

            I would love to see a court rule on this case case because 1. the true facts will come out and 2. a real comparison and out come would be independently judged and not by a biased Sydney centric mafia.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 11:28pm
              R2k said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

              The storm had an unfair advantage and won the comp.
              The eels did not win the comp when they an unfair advantage.
              The sea eagles are yet to start playing in this years comp and they didn’t win last years.
              What would you like to happen? Maybe a scenario where they play for no points all year? Or maybe just no Sydney NRL teams at all? Thatll stop that evil Sydney centric mafia.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 6:44am
                Peter Phelps said | December 12th 2017 @ 6:44am | ! Report

                No, just fair play.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 12th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                William Dalton Davis said | December 12th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                I think the floated idea that they’ll be punished by having that 400k added to their cap for next season preventing them from making the half signing they need as well as the substantial fine they’ll be paying (probably 400k) is fair play.

            • Roar Guru

              December 12th 2017 @ 7:34am
              The Barry said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

              In 2002 the Bulldogs were 900K over a 3.45M cap

              In 2016 the Eels were 500K over a $6.8M cap

              In 2006 the Storm were 300K over a 3.6M cap

              In 2007 450K over a 3.9M cap

              In 2008 950K over a 4M cap

              In 2009 1M over a 4.1M cap

              In 2010 1M over a 4.1M cap

              All three clubs had the seasons they were caught rorting and all titles won while rorting wiped.

              I really can’t see how the Storm were treated unfairly. Particularly given the scale of their rorting and length of time doing it was worse than anyone else.

              Which of their ill-gotten premierships should they have been allowed to keep? Some of them? All of them? How is that fair?

              • December 12th 2017 @ 5:23pm
                BleakCity said | December 12th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                Well stated TB.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 7:21pm
                Pedro said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

                At what stage could you keep a premiership after going over the salary cap? 10% over the cap, 5%, 1%, $200?

              • Roar Guru

                December 12th 2017 @ 8:07pm
                The Barry said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

                Good question…I don’t know.

                I think it also comes down to intent.

                Multiple teams go over the cap every year and get fined but rarely lose points.

                A lot of these are errors and self reported by the clubs.

                I think there’s a big difference between a financial accounting and a deliberate, systematic attempt to rort the system like the Storm, Bulldogs and Eels did.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 13th 2017 @ 1:41am
                William Dalton Davis said | December 13th 2017 @ 1:41am | ! Report

                This case would’ve been interesting if the Sea Eagles had won the comp during their 5 years of cheating. Such a minuscule amount each year, however they were still fielding an illegal squad because of it. I’d say there’s a lot of merit to saying if it can be well proven that the actions were intentional it shouldn’t matter what the figure is.

            • December 14th 2017 @ 3:51pm
              Silvertailboy said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

              Manly has copped it (everyone hates Manly) for nearly 50 years regarding “buying premierships”and not “developing their juniors”. And that was for nothing “illegal”. So 8 years is a mere drop in the ocean.

        • Roar Guru

          December 12th 2017 @ 7:17am
          The Barry said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

          Storms punishment wasn’t disproportionate though.

          The Bulldogs were found to have massively systematically rorted the salary cap and they had the season they were caught rorting wiped.

          The Eels were caught…they had their seasons wiped.

          The Storm copped exactly the same punishment. The seasons they were caught rorting were wiped from the records. The only difference was they won more while rorting, unsurprising given they were cheating more and for longer. But hardly disproportionate.

          Manly’s punishment is yet to be handed down.

          I really don’t know what’s disproportionate about the penalties. In fact, they seem remarkably consistent to me.

          I know the internet isn’t the place for moderation, but why don’t we wait and see the scope of the breaches and the punishment before we get frilly about the punishment.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 9:50pm
      jamesb said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

      The salary cap system is flawed. A player’s earnings should never be a true reflection of a players ability.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 11:16pm
        Peter Phelps said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report


        I have said for a while that a performance stats based system is the best way to evaluate a players worth and then all clubs can be measured by their sum total of such worth. Salaries would be a completely separate club/player affair.

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