That Eels penalty is utter garbage. The management involved were also the auditors who stitched up the Storm. I usually think this guy spurts crap but this time he's on the money:
Storm backers to pursue legal action over Melbourne's stripped titles due to salary cap breaches
The Parramatta Eels' penalty for salary cap rorting could be the best thing that's happened to the club, says Fairfax's Andrew Webster.
'We can still make finals' $3m breaches since 2013
Legal advice that the Storm would win court action against the NRL for the sanctions imposed on the club for salary cap breaches has been re-actioned after the disproportionately light penalties against Parramatta.
As reported by Fairfax on Monday, a coterie of influential Storm supporters, including former club director Peter Maher, failed in an attempt to have the NRL review the 2010 penalties and will now pursue legal action, armed with advice from arguably the nation's leading barrister, Allan Myers QC.
The tepid defence of Todd Greenberg that he was not the NRL chief executive at the time the Storm penalties were handed down has not placated the wealthy Storm backers.
Having failed to gain any relief from the NRL on Integrity chief Nick Weeks's benchmarking of the salary cap excesses at other clubs, including Parramatta's over-spending, Maher's men will now address the issue of the process taken by the administration of David Gallop to punish the Storm.
Legal advice from eminent Melbourne barrister David Grace QC on May 5, 2010, addressed to the then chair of the club, Professor Rob Moodie, says in part, "In the opinion of both Allan Myers QC and myself there are strong arguable grounds that the process adopted by the NRL in making findings and imposing penalties and sanctions was contrary to its own Rules."
A key aspect of the case against the NRL is that no mention was made of 2006 and 2007 breaches in a notice sent to the club by NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert, yet following ad hoc and hasty admissions by the inexperienced Moodie during a brief meeting in Gallop's office all trophies from those seasons were withdrawn.
Process aside, Weeks's revelation that Parramatta has been $3 million over the salary cap since 2013 dwarfs the Storm breaches of $220,000 for 2008 and $200,000 for 2009, identified by Schubert in his 2010 notice.
The average annual Parramatta over-spending is also greater than the figure of "$300,000 to $400,000" determined by Weeks to be the actual amount by which the Storm exceeded the cap in 2007, the year the club feels the punishment was most ad hoc and harsh.
Sure, the NRL later published Storm breaches of $3.78 million over five years but the break up of these amounts has never been revealed and club officials insist they have been "sexed up" to justify the draconian punishments.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy says the sanctions given Parramatta of a 12-point deduction in 2016, shedding $570,000 from player payments, a $1 million fine including $250,000 suspended and the deregistering of five officials, confirms his long-held view that Melbourne have been the only club punished in three tenses – the past, the present and the future.
Regarding the present, the Bulldogs are the only other club to have been excluded from playing for points in a current season, losing 37 in 2002.
Bellamy says, "When the NRL took our points off, I asked could we play for points the rest of the season and they said, 'No. You are an illegal team.'
"While I understand Parramatta have to shed $570,000 before they can earn points, we were not given that opportunity."
The Storm's monetary punishment of $1.6 million doubles the Eels' effective fine and trebles the Bulldogs' fine.
Regarding being punished for the past, Storm lost three minor premierships and two major ones, plus a World Club Challenge trophy.
While it can be argued Parramatta have been stripped of their only trophy, for this year's Auckland Nines win, the Raiders won premierships in 1989 and 1990 yet did not lose them when salary cap breaches were exposed in 1991.
Regarding the future, the Warriors were docked four competition points for the forthcoming 2005 season and the Titans given a four-point suspended penalty, but the Bulldogs were allowed to retain their playing roster and won the premiership two years later.
The Storm also won two years later (2012), yet with a radically different team, being forced to shed superstars like Greg Inglis.
Parramatta could win this year's trophy, surpassing their explosive late-season surge in 2009 when they made the grand final against, ironically, the Storm.
The five Parramatta officials who will be deregistered are clearly the ones who had an opportunity four times to disclose hidden payments and refused to do so.
The entire Storm board was sacked by owners News Ltd when they began action in the Supreme Court of Victoria to appeal the NRL penalties and identify the wrongdoers.
Six years later, some of those same directors return to court.
Go the jugular boys.