NRL ready to meet any legal challenge

The National Rugby League has today declared it is ready to meet any legal challenge in relation to the penalties imposed on the Melbourne Storm over systematic breaches of the Salary Cap.

NRL Chief Executive Mr David Gallop said:

“The NRL rejects completely the uninformed outbursts in the media today from certain lawyers regarding the process that led to the penalties imposed on the club.

“The NRL acted at all times in accordance with the rules that govern the competition and the law.

“A News Limited media release today suggests there is clearly a very unsatisfactory dispute between the directors and the owners. 

“The club’s practices could not be any more under the spotlight and if the threat of legal proceedings is an attempt to divert attention away from that issue then it may have the opposite effect.

“There is no doubt that any proceedings that take place could well help to identify if any Storm directors were aware of the club’s salary cap deception.

“It may also explain how that deception could have taken place without the knowledge of directors and in a way that led the Board’s Chairman, Dr Rob Moodie, lodging statutory declarations that proved to be false.

“These are the same directors who were part of a Storm Board meeting that openly discussed and accepted the penalty on April 22.

“There is no suggestion from them, even now, that Melbourne was not breaching the Salary Cap.

“The NRL has taken careful legal advice, including that of Senior Counsel, throughout all of the events that led up to the decision of April 22.  The NRL’s solicitor Tony O’Reilly was present at the meeting with the Chairman, the CEO and a Director of the Storm on April 22.

“We will strongly defend all aspects of the decision in court if necessary.”

At this stage the NRL is unaware of formal proceedings having been commenced by any party.