Melbourne Storm icon Cameron Smith has defended the club's decision to celebrate the successful Storm sides of 2007 and 2009, despite the fact those seasons' titles were ultimately stripped due to the club's cheating of the salary cap.

The Storm celebrated its 25th anniversary since inception last Friday night at Marvel Stadium prior to a meeting with the Parramatta Eels, who also happened to be the team Melbourne originally defeated in the 2009 decider.

The club's decision to include the teams of 2007 and 2009 as part of the celebrations was met with extensive disapproval by fans of rival clubs.

However, standing by the Storm, Smith stated it was 'an in-house thing' that wasn't supposed to upset anyone.

"I think it was purely an in-house thing that they were doing for the fans and the players and particularly the old boys down there," Smith said on SEN.

"Everyone's going to have their opinion, and I don't try to tell people they're wrong if they have a different opinion to myself or any other Storm person that wants to still celebrate those grand final wins."

Smith claimed 'people wouldn't understand' Melbourne's reasoning behind the decision, explaining some players weren't fortunate enough to be a part of additional club success after the 2009 season.

"I don't ask them to understand the way we feel about it either. I completely understand people would say 'That's wrong, they shouldn't do that' and that's fine but at the same time, many people wouldn't understand the way we feel about it either.

"There were guys there that played in those grand finals and then were forced to leave the club in 2010. After that, they never had an opportunity to play in another grand final or an opportunity to win one."

Smith stated that while he understands why non-Storm people were frustrated about the celebrations, those people couldn't possibly understand how Melbourne fans felt during that dreary period of time for the storied club.

"There was punishment handed down at the time and the club and the players and all the administration and fans had to live through that. At no stage was it an opportunistic time to show it off or parade it around," Smith continued.

"The thing I want to get across is, I can understand why it's annoyed a lot of people and that's fine – as long as those people can acknowledge too that I don't think those people understand the way that the Storm people in that period feel about it at all."

Storm CEO Justin Rodski stood by his club's decision to 'acknowledge' the players from those teams that originally achieved those feats.

"It was important to acknowledge what those players from those two teams were able to achieve in those seasons," Rodski said via the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We understand that, retrospectively, the premierships were taken away from our club.

"But given we were celebrating 25 years as a club, we felt it was appropriate those players and teams were properly acknowledged."


  1. What people need to think about is IT WAS ONLY THE TOP 5 PLAYERS AT HAD THERE POCKETS FILL WITH CASH , the OTHER players had know idea it was happening. So 4 them it really hurts but CAM, SLATER, INGLIS, COOPER, AN PROBABLY 1 OF THE FORWARDS They knew it was coming .

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