Power in Donnelly's hands to quash Eels' appeal
New Parramatta Leagues Club temporary administrator Max Donnelly has the power to prevent the Eels appealing the NRL's recent punishments in regards to salary cap breaches dating back to 2013.
On July 9, the Eels – who now sit at 14th on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder – were stripped of 12 competition points and fined $1 million by the NRL.
Donnelly as of Tuesday evening became the sole authority of the Parramatta Leagues Club board after the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority determined the club's directors "had ceased to be effective as a governing body".
As the leagues club owns the Parramatta Eels – and did have the same directors – all properties of the football club is now a responsibility of Donnelly as well.
Though optimistic the Eels' governance issues would be dealt with and a new board would be in place by the start of the 2017 season, Donnelly said he'd seek legal advice in regards to the club's imminent appeal.
"I'm meeting the club's lawyers [on Thursday] to understand the legal reasoning and basis behind the club appealing its sanctioning – which is the points and the $1 million fine – so I can get my own advice on the matter," Donnelly said.
"I need to investigate the legal merits of the appeal to get an understanding, and then get a separate opinion as to whether it's worth funding.
"I could effectively stop it."
In the grand scheme of the Eels' future, Donnelly's aim is to split the structures of the leagues club and the football club which ideally would end any friction between the two.
"The most common problem was there were the same members on the boards of both clubs and therefore there was no independence," Donnelly said.
"It's best for the club they be separated but I'm happy to listen to people about hostility. From where I sit now it's about installing proper boards.
"That would be the process that should evolve. At the moment, it's just me. And as I understand, I don't have any factions within myself."
Donnelly also confirmed he won't have a crucial role in terms of recruitment and retention but said every salary cap "transaction" moving forward will have to be green-lighted by him.
"The salary cap space is a football issue so I'm not on top of that at the moment," he admitted.
"I'll need to get on top of that, but the Eels will be salary cap compliant. Well, they are now. I'm conscious of it though and it's a matter of knowing what you have or buying what you can buy."