The Manly Sea Eagles have today been fined $750,000 for breaches of the salary cap over the last five years.
Two of the club’s officials have also been suspended over their involvement in the breach and the club has also copped 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.
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“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.”
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
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.