NRL hold positive meeting with RLPA

National Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, has held a positive meeting with the Rugby League Players’ Association today with both parties agreeing that they continued to support existing provisions in relation to any move to access the financial records of individual players.

The NRL noted that the Melbourne Storm Club had accepted the penalty imposed by the NRL last Thursday over salary cap breaches and that while investigations would continue the primary focus remained on those persons at the club who were aware of the Storm’s overall salary cap position.

Under the NRL Collective Bargaining agreement, the NRL can seek access to an individual player’s records where there is sufficient evidence to warrant such action.

“We remain comfortable with the powers that are in place,” Mr Gallop said

“There are clearly a number of issues to discuss going forward but today’s meeting was a chance to explain a number of things that have taken place and it was a positive meeting.”

Mr Gallop also responded to reports today in which an anonymous third party relayed claims attributed to former Storm Chief Executive, Mr Brian Waldron, about salary cap breaches in the game.

Mr Gallop said that the NRL would welcome any information that could demonstrate breaches at any club and that the game remains committed to the enforcement of the cap.

“All clubs know the rules and must be accountable.

“We issue penalties based only on proof not rumour and wherever we have had clear proof of a breach we have acted. All information is passed to Ian Schubert and his team who do an outstanding job in policing the cap.

“The NRL does not have the power to conduct public inquires and command evidence on oath but with independent auditors, ASIC and the police all reportedly looking into the Storm there is no shortage of opportunity for anyone to bring forward information.

“I was asked yesterday whether I recalled Brian Waldron suggesting an “amnesty” in relation to the Salary Cap.

“I have said that while I had no recollection of the conversation, it was something he may have said but something also that would not have seemed significant to me because a number of people had suggested amnesties from time to time.

“The reason that amnesties were not considered, and will not be considered is that the line was drawn in the sand with the Bulldogs in 2002.

“It is impossible to take the action we did in relation to the Bulldogs and grant amnesties to others.

“We owe that to the players, the fans and the officials of the Bulldogs.

“At no stage would I have ever told him that it was not possible to grant an amnesty because of ‘concerns about the sport’s reputation’.

“That is rejected totally and the statement would be at complete odds with the actions we have taken in relation to the enforcement of the Salary Cap and the penalties that we have enforced (over 50 breaches totaling around $3.5million prior to this issue) including  those that have been taken against the Storm in previous years.”