NRL

The NRL said today that the Manly Warringah Rugby League club has been fined $750,000 for breaches of the salary cap over the last five years.

In addition, the NRL has suspended the registration of two officials.

The club will also have a $660,000 penalty applied to its salary cap in 2018 and 2019.

CEO Todd Greenberg said an investigation by the Integrity Unit had uncovered evidence of deliberate breaches of the cap.

“The investigation found a number of cases where players were offered undisclosed benefits outside the salary cap to attract them to the club,” Mr Greenberg said.

“These benefits were in the form of third-party agreements which were never declared to the salary cap auditor.

“In other words, Manly had a financial advantage in securing the services of players who may otherwise have gone to other clubs.

“Our salary cap is the main reason we have the closest competition in Australian sport and we will not tolerate any attempt to breach it.

“Every club needs to be aware that any attempt to cheat the salary cap will eventually be detected and the club involved will be heavily sanctioned.”

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Manly invited the NRL to conduct a salary cap review in July 2017.

The ensuing investigation reviewed more than 800,000 documents, emails and text messages and other data from the phones and computers of club officials.

In addition, numerous current and former officials and players were interviewed.

There were no findings of wrong-doing by the providers of third-party agreements to Manly Players.

Instead, the club breached its obligations under the NRL Rules in relation to those agreements.

As a result of the investigation, the NRL has imposed the following penalties:

  • A fine of $750,000 with $250,000 suspended if the club undertakes appropriate governance changes to ensure there is no repeat of the breaches
  • A $660,000 penalty to be applied to the club’s salary cap. This will impact the club’s salary cap this year and next year
  • Manly Chief Operating Officer, Neil Bare has had his registration suspended for 12 months but will be eligible to return to the game on January 1, 2019 if he undertakes appropriate governance training.
  • Sydney Roosters CEO Joe Kelly, who was previously employed at Manly, has had his registration suspended for 12 months but will be eligible to return to the game on January 1, 2019 if he undertakes appropriate governance training.
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Mr Greenberg said the club is currently cap compliant and no competition points will be deducted.

“We have to ensure the penalties for cheating the cap remain a deterrent,” he said.

“We have had such a successful start to the 2018 season that every fan from every club can reasonably expect their team to play in the finals.

“So we make no apology for taking a hard stance against breaches of the cap – it is something we will continue to be vigilant in protecting.”

Manly and each Club Official has the right to appeal the matter to the NRL Appeals Committee.

47 COMMENTS

  1. That looks a bit too light to me.
    A couple of 12 month suspensions to management, which are effectively only 9 month suspensions.
    A $750K fine, which can be reduced to $500K.
    $330K reduction in salary cap for 2 years. Given the big jump in the cap this year that equates to a reduction of around 3% p.a (for 2 years). The breaches were found to be deliberate, and in excess of $1.5 mil. over 5 years. Given previous salary cap’s that equates to around 5% p.a over a 5 year period.
    I can understand not deducting points (although disregarding round 2 would be nice), but overall, it looks a bit too light.

    • I think you’ll find it’s 660 each year off the salary cap, for this year and next..
      I think it seems very fair.
      Compliant this year, no one at the club that’s done wrong now, they have very much cleared Barrett or any players completely.
      It has already cost manly Mitchell Pearce or hodgkinson as they weren’t allowed to sign players..
      Not in excess of 1.5 mill, it’s no more then that, figure I heard was actually closer to 1.1 mil over those years…
      If people take of there “I hate manly” glasses this is very fair punishment and can’t be compared to the others that got caught…

      • to be fair mate, not many “I hate Parra” Manly supporters were very balanced in their comments when the Eels were caught were they?

        • The difference is parra we’re still way over the cap, manly aren’t and it’s already cost hen players..

        • Eels47,
          Your probably the one on here I respect and listen to his opinion the most, and I’m happy for people including eels supporters to take the p!ss about manly cheating and eveything, but like you say yourself the punishment is fair in relation to others and it’s the ones who will carry on about the punishment not fair and should loose points that I was referring to as “ I hate manly “ glasses…
          Surely people can realise ma lot are cap compliant now we’ll and truly unlike the eels from 2016, that’s surely a msssive difference

        • Crowy, it’s not with “I hate Manly glasses” (although I do of course) and as per Eels’s comments, I think we’re being pretty fair, especially given what we copped from some (only some) Manly supporters.

          I understand we were still over, and we had bigger bleaches, so it’s not apples with apples, but as far as effects on your team, it’s a light slap on the wrist (3% of your salary cap for 2 years only).

          That said, I can also appreciate that as a supporter, it’s not your fault.

        • Cheers crowy. I honestly don’t think almighty had his “I hate Manly” glasses on though. It think ParraMatt is the one you are referring to though. I completely agree on the no points deduction too, as would most fans I think. You are correct, Manly are under the cap this year, and the precedent for deducting points is the team being over the cap in the year they were caught.

        • No it wasn’t pointed at anyone in particular, just some definetely get a bit excited when it comes to the manly parra jarbs definetely from both sides…
          I honestly think it’s fair, except the officials should er life time bans and Fulton shouldn’t be allowed back onto nrl if e knew also.
          Think it’s been clear from very start Barrett now players knew anything and Barrett has been very compliant and helpful in there investigation definetely helps also

        • Crowy, “It has already cost manly Mitchell Pearce or hodgkinson as they weren’t allowed to sign players”.

          In fairness, that was probably more Manly’s fault than the NRL, given Manly kept stalling the process with their extensions. The original allegations, with supporting evidence from the NRL, were made in early December.

    • I disagree almighty, it seems pretty fair. The $ value is pretty low compared to the Eels for example, and were’t we fined $1m? I am not sure how they came up with the $660k on the cap though. I was under the assumption, based on the Eels as an example again, that the future reductions in salary cap wwould be equal to the amounts over the cap the team was. Based on that would it not average out at $300k per year over 5 years, not 2?

      • We were fined $1 mil, with a $250K clawback from memory, plus we had to pay back the $400K in prize money the 9’s, and were stripped of that.

        The management suspensions seem too light, but will clubs want them down the track anyway?

        I just don’t understand the $330K p.a (when the cap is over $9 mil) in the context of $1.5 mil of deliberate breaches (when the cap probably averaged around $6 mil). I don’t think they should lose points, but I think they should lose more off the cap, given that’s all they will lose, from an overall “team” perspective.

        • I am not sure, and I don’t think it is clear. Fox Sports have mentioned that Manly will be working with a $9M cap this year and next, with the other teams at $9.3M and $9.5M respectively. That doesn’t make sense either though as a total of $800k?

        • You would think they would make it very clear set out in an official statement..
          See I took it as 660 per year which equates to about what they were over, seems fair…
          But 330 a year is very random amount. And the other you say from Fox is even more random

        • $660k per year sounds like close to what it should be, but I must admit I took it the same as almighty, $660k over two years….

          A $660,000 penalty to be applied to the club’s salary cap. This will impact the club’s salary cap this year and next year

          That suggests a total penalty of $660k to me….

        • It’s been clearly stated on the NRL site that it’s $330K this year, and a further $330K next year.

    • I reasonably recall a lot of slander being directed at the eels and their supporters at the time, it was harsh and over the top from some of them the majority of the time as well cries of indignation that “manly would never do that…” – karma is a good thing.
      In some respects I think the punishment is fair but on some other counts it is grossly short.
      The zero points deduction I don’t have problem with, nor the fine (eels were fined $1-1.2m in total but was reduced to 750k, with 250k suspended if my memory serves me correct) however I do have issue with the reasonably lenient suspension/s of the key players, in particular the CEO, a nine month suspension for deliberately rorting the salary cap and then getting parachuted into the Roosters CEO role stink of double standards.
      All Eels Directors and staff caught up in the arrangements were handed life bans from anything to do with RL, so the suspension to Joe Kelly is grossly inadequate – he should be banned for life as well.
      No doubt he will be suspended on full pay and would effectively be on leave for 9 months but still running the roosters by remote control.
      A life ban is appropriate for him and Bozo and anyone else caught up in it – its only fair.
      Also, what happened with the player manager investigation – its fizzled away again

      • That seems very fair statement..
        Totally agree all officials who were complicit on this should get life time bans, without doubt…

      • but the perception is that as he is now on the roosters payroll its all kosher and he should be allowed to “get on with it.
        Apparently Uncle Nick is going to appeal the suspension.

        • Funny how big players from both the Storm and the Manly saga ended up at the Roosters…. Maybe Uncle Nick does his homework on his staff hey?

          At least the NRL sanctioned Kelly, unlike O’Sullivan. Although I imagine they will be scared off by the appeal and he won’t serve any actual suspension.

      • Don’t forget though billy, that the Liquor and Gaming authority sanctioned our board, leaving the NRL with very little choice. I do agree though that the suspensions of those involved are light.

        I vividly remember the “Manly would’t do that” and the “Manly always open their books to the NRL” lines being thrown around too, on top of the attacks on fans (attacks on the club are fine I think). Having been through something similar, I feel for the Manly fans obviously, but there is also that part of me that is grinning from ear to ear remembering those few who really carried on a couple of years ago….

        • eels, you are 100% right in relation to the board, however mine was more directed at Daniel Anderson, Jason Irvine and other non board persons who were barred for life – I get it why they were so have no gripe there, just the usual inconsistencies.
          Also, looking at the players in the Melbourne and Bulldogs saga – correct me if I am wrong, but they were also banished for a lifetime from the game…
          I also still struggle with the fact that the guy who was heading up our recruitment at the time and a key player in the deals, wasn’t sanctioned and was employed by the Broncos (and still there afaik).

  2. Does this mean that some players are gonna be forced out?
    I’d love to get my hands on Taupau & Trbojevic

      • I one will be forced out at all…
        Will affect manlys recruitment but that’s it, don’t forgot manly are already a mil under the cap this year, so if it is only 330 off this years cap, still on a position to bring on players especially of Lussick is leaving like the rumour, he is actually on 330 so we could possibly still have close to a mil under minus lussick

    • Trbojevic brothers might get forced out next time they go to sign a contract just because of what salaries they could command, especially Jake. According to the site, both are contracted until 2020 so this won’t effect them but Manly may have to breach again to afford to re-sign them! 😛

  3. One of the suspensions is the roosters CEO?

    Should we follow the bread crumbs to the roosters 4 sets of books and see what we find there?
    Will make Manly’s error look amateur

  4. To be honest, thank god Todd and his team have give the above punishments – i thought it would be a lot worse than the above
    Manly can’t whinge that we couldn’t sign Carney, Hodkinson or Pearce – we stuffed up and now got to deal with it. Glad this saga is over and we can move on.

  5. Greenberg and the NRL have caused this mess by allowing TPAs to continue as they are. TPAs are a rort mechanism endorsed by the NRL. and ALL clubs are doing exactly the same. These statements are classic coming from an ex Bulldogs CEO- the club that were found to be the BIGGEST cheats in the history of the game. Until Storm took over that prestigeous title. To be fair the NRL should investigate all other 15 clubs over the past 5 years and see what they find. I think they are too scared to open pandoras box. OR just fix the dodgy TPA system

    • The NRL are still yet to discover a large scale breach o n their own. Any investigation would be fruitless as the clubs will just continue to hide the evidence. Without someone coming forward, or a police investigaton, the NRL will continue to find nothing.

  6. Wow!…isn’t Todd Greenberg a hypocrite!…
    I would like a journo, who can get near him to ask the following…
    While he was CEO at Canterbury Bulldogs, he offered Luke Lewis a decent contract …but he also offered, on the ‘side’ a house to Lewis if he signed from Penrith…Lewis, as we know signed with Cronulla, because he didn’t like the Bulldogs culture…
    Also, Tony Williams signed with the Bulldogs from Manly, because TG offered to pay the legal fees for Williams brother, who was in trouble with the law…i bet that wasn’t declared…
    You can’t tell me that Brisbane and Melbourne aren’t rorting TPA’s…please…hidden agendas on the NRL…

    • I don’t think any club is squeaky clean on TPA’s, and even if they are, you only have to look at the registered TPA’s to see a massive discrepancy between clubs. That said you can’t ban them, as that would seriously weaken the sport.

      This whole issue needs a round table approach with practical people, without vested interests, to nut out a solution.

  7. The rorters are way over the cap but sadly the nrl turn a blind eye the game is rigged from the nrl down fact man has been corrupt since time began if you think not dream on…

    Shadow….

  8. When Parra got got caught cheating they were under the cap for 2016.
    Greenberg added all the dodgy TPA’s to their cap for 2016 which is what put them over the cap for 2016. This is why Parra were stripped of points.
    My question to Greenberg is why did he do that to Parra but hasn’t done it to Manly?
    Todd Grenbergs position as CEO is untenable and he must resign immediately.

  9. When Parra got got caught cheating they were under the cap for 2016.
    Greenberg added all the dodgy TPA’s to their cap for 2016 which is what put them over the cap for 2016. This is why Parra were stripped of points.
    My question to Greenberg is why did he do that to Parra but hasn’t done it to Manly?
    Todd Greenbergs position as CEO is untenable and he must resign immediately.

    • The NRL couldnt go to hard on Manly as they might break the club once an for all financialy.As for me being a Manly hater cummon…seriously..They wouldnt even come in my top 3 of disliked clubs ,not top 5 even.Just happens thers a few Manly supporters on here and they give it to Eels supporters,just a laugh….

  10. Inside reports suggest Manly will have to shed these players to continue to be cap compliant… Lussick, Tapau, Walker, Brown and Sironen… Unlucky .

        • Well what you’ve said makes no sense.
          Nrl already said manly is 400k under cap this year including the 330 off, and 330 off next year isn’t going to make us loose a million in players just in walker and taupau, so I’d say he secretly does have a wine or 17, cause that makes no sense.
          Lussick was already leaving and Brown was never being offered a new contract. That’s 680k just there we won’t be paying next year… taupau and walker both signed long term now

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