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National Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, has today said that the former directors of the Melbourne Storm should let the club move forward and stop trying to rewrite history.

“The statements made by Mr Peter Maher, Dr Rob Moodie and others all propose ways of escaping the fact that the directors were at the helm of a club that was systematically breaching the rules,” Mr Gallop said.

“Each day they suggest some fanciful offer to cooperate with any inquiry but the one that is actually being conducted.

“It is nothing but public relations manoeuvring.

“They have tried to ignore the months of NRL investigation that led up to the penalties being imposed, ignored the club’s own admissions, its own undertaking to accept the penalties and, other than a somewhat questionable apology from Dr Rob Moodie, they have failed to show any remorse for what has gone on at their club.

“I want to publicly recognise the passion they have for the Storm but passion can sometimes distort logic in the Board Rooms of football clubs.

 “It is time to now let the Storm move on.”

In relation to media reports concerning the former directors, the NRL makes the following points:
» Melbourne Storm Chairman, Dr Rob Moodie, on behalf of his directors:
»» Publicly accepted the penalty.
»» Publicly announced there would be no appeal
»» Publicly and unconditionally undertook to cooperate with the NRL in its ongoing investigations
»» Publicly and unconditionally undertook to cooperate with Deloitte in its investigation

» These undertakings were not met

» On May 12, 2010, a legal representative of some Melbourne Storm directors approached an NRL lawyer threatening legal proceedings and proposing a meeting to negotiate a reduction in penalties on the basis that both the meeting and the threat of proceedings would be kept completely confidential. It was proposed to be neither public nor transparent.  Before the NRL could provide a formal reply, a Melbourne media outlet was advised that legal proceedings were being prepared

» The offer was therefore not seen as genuine and was a clear attempt to have the club judged differently from any other in the competition

» The NRL offered to submit to legally binding arbitration during court proceedings. The Storm’s legal advisors refused

» On May 25 legal advisors writing on behalf of the independent directors stated that the club would not cooperate with NRL Salary Cap inquiries during court proceedings

» The club consistently refused to provide its estimate of Melbourne’s Salary Cap position for 2010, something they were clearly in a position to determine

» To suggest therefore that the NRL should have commissioned the Deloitte report and that the directors would have then somehow cooperated is disingenuous

» The Deloitte report should have been an opportunity for some of those directors to satisfy the public about what they did or didn’t know and they refused to do so

In relation to media reports concerning the Deloitte report and the NRL’s reaction to it, the NRL makes the following points:
» The NRL has based its Salary Cap penalties on its own investigations

» These were carried out over a period of months prior to April 22 and resulted in admissions made by the Melbourne Storm club and its Chairman, Dr Rob Moodie, in regard to systematic cheating

» The penalties were as much to do with the escalating nature of the system as with the growing sizes of the breaches. This was highlighted by NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, on April 22 ….. “While the amount itself is cause for concern, the most damning indictment is the systematic attempt by persons within the club to conceal payments from the Salary Cap Auditor…”

» On the day that the penalties were announced, the NRL made it clear that it expected  the size of the breaches could grow significantly as further information came to light

» The fact that the Deloitte report appears to support that view does not give rise to the penalty being reviewed

» No Salary Cap finding has been based on the Deloitte report commissioned by the owner of the Storm

» The NRL has said that it suspects the figures in the Deloitte report will be accurate based on the process that was undertaken (which included consultation with the Salary Cap Auditors)

» It has not ‘accepted’ a report that it has not seen and has based no decision on the Deloitte report

» The NRL has expressed its wish to have the Salary Cap Auditor review the report and to assess its findings

» The final determination in relation to Melbourne’s Salary Cap position for 2011 will be made by the Salary Cap Auditor

» The Deloitte report is an investigation by an owner into the activities of its company

» By nature this will be more wide ranging than an external audit in relation to Salary Cap rules

» The owner of any club is entitled to audit that club’s payments and carries some responsibility to do so

» The NRL will always act on the basis of its own investigations which may include reviews of all available club audits 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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