Parramatta Administrator Max Donnelly has released the following statement to the Eels’ members following reports released in the media on Tuesday morning suggesting the Eels were not salary cap compliant.
The Eels were quick to deny all allegations on Tuesday morning, and Donnelly has now addressed the matter further, speaking to the club’s members and fans surrounding the “untrue” rumours.
Donnelly’s statement can be found in full below, or on the Parramatta website here.
I am writing to you in relation to a media report this morning regarding allegations in relation to the Parramatta Eels salary cap compliance.
I want to assure Members and fans that the claims aired in the article are categorically untrue and have no substance or evidence to support them.
Since I was appointed as the Administrator of Parramatta Leagues Club in July 2016, the Parramatta National Rugby League Club (PNRL) has been fully compliant with the National Rugby League Salary Cap, as confirmed by the NRL on numerous occasions over the last two years.
The 2017 salary cap was audited by the NRL Salary Cap auditors and was proven to be compliant and in 2018 PNRL’s Salary Cap was subject to a recent mid-year audit by the NRL Salary Cap auditors and was proven to be compliant.
More specifically to the allegations regarding subsidised accommodation for players, for any apartments owned by Parra Leagues and occupied by a Parramatta Eels player, there is complete transparency with the NRL. The Club has provided the NRL Salary Cap auditors with all player payment reconciliations since 2016 and these reconciliations detail the amounts related to the use of an apartment.
The NRL has consistently reviewed the amount designated to be included in these player payment reconciliations and the NRL Salary Cap auditors have consistently advised over the last two years that they are comfortable with the amounts provided for any player’s use of any Parra Leagues -owned apartment occupied by a Parramatta Eels player.
Since July 2016, there has been numerous audits and reviews of the business undertaken by the National Rugby League, Liquor and Gaming NSW, the Australian Tax Office and Ernst & Young. None of these reviews and audits have found any impropriety in relation to the Eels salary cap compliance or highlighted the specific issues raised in today’s media.
While I accept that media has obligations in relation to public interest, I am nevertheless disappointed that the claims from a disgruntled former employee of Parra Leagues, who has no knowledge or involvement in the Eels salary cap process, has been aired without due process or the opportunity for the Club to provide its position.
Today we have had on-going dialogue with the NRL Integrity Unit and Salary Cap auditors and our discussions will continue. I am confident that there are no issues with our salary cap compliance.
I want to thank Members for their continued support and will keep you up to date with any further developments.