David Gallop has hit out at Melbourne Storm for their failure to accept the sanctions imposed on them for breaching the salary cap in 2010.
The Storm were found to be $1.7 million over the cap for a period of five years, stripped of their two premiership in 2007 and 2009, three minor premiership, forced to pay a $500,000 fine and return $1.1 million in prize money and play for no points for the remainder of the 2010 season.
Gallop told Christian Nicolussi from The Sydney Morning Herald that the Storm’s latest attempts to re-examine the sanctions imposed on them is 100 per cent wrong and tarnishes the reputations of the board members who worked cooperatively with the NRL at the time.
“The penalties were tough because they had to be. These Storm people should consider how tarnished the entire sport would be if they kept those trophies,” Gallop told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Of course this latest attempt to criticise the process is also 100 per cent wrong and simply ignores the fact that they completely agreed to the process being truncated.
“Any credit they got for fronting up at the NRL and co-operating is now wiped out by their later backflip.”
Gallop’s comments are in response to Cameron Smith’s accusations the former NRL chief hung the Storm out to dry during the salary cap scandal.
“When people ask me who I’m most angry with for what happened they generally think I’ll say (chief executive) Brian Waldron but it’s not,’’ Smith wrote in his biography ‘The Storm Within’.
“It’s true he made some mistakes but I remember him as a good chief executive. My anger is mainly directed at the NRL for the penalties they handed down and the way the whole matter was handled. And for that I blame David Gallop.
“By punishing us before undertaking a thorough investigation Gallop put the players in a position they should never have been in. It allowed the media to give the public the idea we had knowledge of what happened. We were hung out to dry by the boss of the game.
“There have been three major salary cap breaches since the Storm in 2010 – by Manly, Parramatta and Cronulla – and they were all handled better than ours was. Thorough investigations were conducted for months before any penalties were handed down.’’