Manly lodge appeal with NRL over salary cap sanctions
Manly Sea Eagles have told the NRL they will lodge an appeal over the salary cap sanctions handed down to the club on Monday.
Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn confirmed to NRL.com the club had alerted the NRL Appeals Committee of its intention to protest the $750,000 fine and the $660,000 in salary cap restrictions.
"We've sent them our intention to appeal," Penn said. "It's early days yet until we hear what the process of appeal will be.
"But we've put in our application to seek leave of appeal. Then next week we will put in more formal documentation, and more detailed in nature, of our position."
On Monday NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg and chief operating officer Nick Weeks announced that up to 15 former Sea Eagles players were paid $1.5 million above the salary cap over five years.
Not only will $330,000 be taken off Manly's salary cap in both 2018 and 2019, the club has to pay a $750,000 fine, which will be reduced to $500,000 if the club agrees to undergo certain governance changes.
In addition two officials, Manly chief operating officer Neil Bare and former CEO Joe Kelly - who is now the boss at the Sydney Roosters - received 12-month bans.
Immortal and former Sea Eagles football director Bob Fulton, who left the club in October last year, will need NRL approval to take up any official role in the game again.
The allegations uncovered by the NRL's Integrity Unit was that a series of third-party agreements (TPA) organised by the club and offered to players during contract negotiations were not declared to the NRL salary cap auditor.
On Thursday, Penn declined to specify the areas around which Manly would base its appeal.
"We'd prefer to wait until next week before we say what the grounds are," he said.
"But it's around the technicalities around the contract process as it relates to the salary cap and third party agreements (TPA).
"We think the two are somewhat separate whereas the NRL, in their whole examination, have combined the two.
"Traditionally we believe they have been separate issues."
If leave to appeal is granted, the matter will eventually be heard by the three-person NRL Appeals Committee headed by Ian Callinan, QC.
Meanwhile, the Manly Sea Eagles will play their round four match against the Canberra Raiders at Lottoland on Saturday.