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Cronulla star Paul Gallen says the Melbourne Storm should be able to compete for points this season, but only if and when the club meets the requirements of the current salary cap.<br><br>On Thursday, the disgraced Storm were stripped of their two premierships, ordered to repay more than $1million in prize money and barred from accruing points for the rest of the year, after it was revealed the club had cheated the salary cap.<br><br>An investigation into the Storm’s finances uncovered two sets of books, which allowed the club to hide player payments totalling over $1.7million over five years.<br><br>Gallen predicted the Storm would come out firing against New Zealand on Sunday night, but said it was unfair the Warriors had to play against Melbourne’s “illegal” team.<br><br>“The Warriors are playing a team that is basically an illegal team and if they don’t win, they don’t get two points and I find that unfair for the Warriors,” Gallen told BigPond Sports Weekend.<br><br>“There’s not going to be a right answer to this…but I’d like to see the Storm get under the salary cap and be able to play for points this year because they still have this illegal team going out and playing. <br><br>“Realistically, can we beat their team? We, the Sharks, played pretty well against them and couldn’t beat them in round one, so I don’t know if we could beat their team this year. <br><br>“I don’t know how they’d work it or who they’d let go, but getting under the cap is what they need to do.”<br><br>On Sunday, it was revealed that seven Storm players, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Dallas Johnson, Brett White, Michael Crocker and Steve Turner would have their salaries scrutinised as part of the NRL’s investigation into the salary-cap breach.<br><br>West Tigers captain Robbie Farah said it was hard to say whether the players involved knew that what the club was doing was wrong.<br><br>“The salary cap system is confusing and complex. As a player you’re just happy getting your money and all the perks that come with it. You don’t ask too many questions,” Farah said.<br><br>Gallen said there needed to be greater rewards for clubs that are able to develop and retain their own talent.<br><br>“There’s not enough reward for loyalty. If you can get a player to stay at the one club for eight, nine or 10 years there should be some bigger exemption under the salary cap,” Gallen said.<br><br>“I think it’s currently a $100k exemption, but at Cronulla I’m the only player that’s eligible to do that. I don’t mind the idea of having one or two marquee players exempt from the salary cap.”
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