Salary cap revelation dents Anderson's plans

New coach Daniel Anderson’s plans to haul Parramatta back to the top of the NRL ladder are under threat following revelations the club is already flirting with salary cap disaster in 2010.<br><br>Anderson and other members of the football club fronted the new Leagues Club board last night and presented a dire salary cap situation that means the struggling Eels will again be only bit-part players in the transfer market for the second year in a row. <br><br>So worrying is the situation that while much was made of Brett Finch’s apparent run-in with Anderson, his request for a release was actually seen as a godsend in the front office where the number-crunchers were expecting major cap dramas beyond 2009.<br><br>Even with the extra $300,000 freed by Finch’s departure the Eels remain right on the cusp as they struggle to retain the likes of young props Tim Mannah and Josh Cordoba – a problem exacerbated by the back-ended contract previously offered to captain Nathan Cayless.<br><br>New Leagues Club chairman Roy Spagnolo – who swept to power as part of the rebel ticket that ousted the old board late last month – admitted the situation wasn't ideal, but assured fans "it will be okay".<br><br>“They (the football office) let the board know where we are at with player retention and the upgrading of certain players,” he said, confirming that a meeting had been held at Parramatta Leagues Club last night.<br><br>“I was a little bit aware of it, probably more so than some of the other guys, but it will be okay.”<br><br>A source close to the Eels camp told NRL.com that Anderson and his staff faced an uphill battle in their efforts to piece together the remnants of a disastrous 2008 season and what he described as some poorly thought-out retention and recruitment decisions.<br><br>“Daniel Anderson has inherited an absolute disaster,” the source said. “I think the board was quite shocked last night because some of the things that they had heard previously were a bit of a misnomer.”<br><br>Parramatta fans have already vented their frustration at the club’s plight by voting the old board out but may have to bide their time before any dreams of a bright new future become reality.<br><br>With their salary cap already stretched, the Eels could be forced out of negotiations with Dragons back-rower Ben Creagh, but Spagnolo hadn't ruled out attracting fresh blood for the 2010 season.<br><br>Club officials have been talking to Dragons prop Justin Poore, while Penrith duo Matthew Bell and Keith Peters are also in the club’s sights with the hooking role at the top of Parramatta’s list of priorities.<br><br>“It just depends,” he said. “I guess as time goes on we’ll know more about where we go from here but as for the presentation it was very informative and answered a lot of the questions that we had.”<br><br>Instead, the Eels look set to focus once again on retention rather than recruitment with veteran back-rower Joe Galuvao set to be offered a new one-year deal with the club.<br><br>Seemingly on the scrapheap as recently as last season – when he admitted he was happy to play out the remainder of his current deal for feeder club Wentworthville – the 30-year-old has already played as many NRL games this season as he did in 2008 and is enjoying a new lease on life under Anderson’s rule.<br><br>“He is really enjoying his football again,” said his manager, Allan Gainey, after Galuvao was forced out of South Sydney 18 months ago.<br><br>“He has a good rapport with the coach who has given him a lot of confidence and told him that he is an important part of the team.<br><br>“Souths flicked him up to the Queensland Cup which had him down in the dumps but he has come a long way since then.”