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NRL to tell all on Storm rort

The Sunday Age

Sunday March 27, 2011


THE NRL is just weeks away from releasing its final investigations into the Melbourne Storm salary cap rort, with the report set to detail what went on at the club and who was responsible.NRL chief executive David Gallop said he aims to make the key details public. "Our final report into what happened in Melbourne is with our lawyers at the moment but should be completed shortly," Gallop said. "In the next few weeks I hope it will be completed and released. It won't all be released publicly - I'm not exactly sure just yet how much, that's in the hands of the lawyers."The ramifications for a number of people, including player managers, are still an issue. And getting to the bottom of what happened down there has been a complicated process. But it's a credit to Ian Schubert and his guys that they dug and dug and dug and ended up uncovering some pretty poor practices, which were designed to avoid detection by the NRL."Gallop said the 100-plus page document was expected to be even more revealing than the original external report carried out on behalf of News Ltd by Deloitte."Contrary to what was said at the time, we never accepted the Deloitte report as our position on the Melbourne Storm," he said. "We always wanted to complete our own investigation as to how this all happened and it's taken some time to do that."We've dealt with the part of it that relates to the conduct of player agents, so the rest of it deals with the details of how Melbourne Storm breached the salary cap to the extent that they did to the massive extent that they did. That details the people involved in it."Gallop didn't want to speculate on whether that included players, but acknowledged it included many people, from the chief executive down.Twelve months since revelations of rorting were first brought to the attention of the NRL and public, Gallop also revealed police had dropped their investigations into the massive betting plunge on Melbourne winning the wooden spoon in the days leading up to the NRL's announcement that Storm would be stripped of all its points.Gallop said there would be no action taken against anyone involved in the Storm betting plunge. "Obviously there was a plunge on the wooden spoon, but our view of that was that as we closed in on what was going on in Melbourne, some of that became known to punters and they took a punt on it," Gallop said. "But that's happened regularly when we've been involved in a serious salary cap investigation."Gallop reiterated his belief the NRL had made the right decision in stripping the Storm of its two premierships and any 2010 premiership points. "The attacks on the process that we used to arrive on the decision were one of the most disappointing aspects of what happened. The process was very much dictated to by the admissions of their people in charge at the club and their desire to see the issue dealt with quickly. They backflipped on that and chose to blame others rather than themselves for the predicament the club found itself in."He said he was delighted to see the new-look, salary cap-compliant Storm side back playing for points and leading the NRL ladder. "It's good to see the Storm back playing good football in the new ground that we helped to get built for them."

© 2011 The Sunday Age

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