Titans, salary cap breach?

The NRL is investigating an alleged salary cap breach involving claims a sponsor agreed to build Gold Coast skipper Scott Prince a $400,000 house.

A report on News Limited websites claims a former sponsor of the Titans had agreed to build the club’s marquee man a house, free of charge.

The NRL says it is taking the allegations seriously, although early investigations have been met by denials from Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle.

“We will certainly look into it further but at this stage we have spoken to Michael Searle and he strongly denies any breach of the salary cap and has offered complete access to the salary cap auditor to examine all accounts,” NRL chief executive David Gallop said.

News Limited say they will publish more details of the alleged breach on Saturday.

The NRL refused to confirm what information had been passed on by the media organisation, but said it would welcome further information.

“We are always happy in the meantime to receive any information that people wish to bring forward,” Gallop said.

The Titans failed to return calls to AAP.

Prince - the inaugural captain of the Titans - re-signed with the club on a massive five-year deal in April last year, the contract not set to expire until the end of the 2014 NRL season.

How Scott Prince salary cap scandal allegedly unfolded

Source: The Daily Telegraph

IT’S the $30 million white elephant that has now caused a jumbo-sized salary cap headache for the Gold Coast Titans and their skipper, Scott Prince.

Titans boss Michael Searle’s dream of creating a multi-purpose Centre of Excellence has now turned into a fenced-off nightmare that’s prompted the former builder, Alex Simpson, to go public with allegations of a $400,000 salary cap breach involving Prince’s new house plans for his waterfront property.

On the verge of being completed adjacent to Skilled Park at Robina, the Centre of Excellence is now under security lockdown as the Titans source additional finance and a new builder.

The site was closed in early February, just weeks after Searle and Simpson - whose company Simcorp was hired on a $16.4 million contract to build the centre - had a spectacular falling-out over unpaid monies.

The club and Simcorp have accused each other of owing money, with Simpson claiming the Titans have accumulated $5.2 million in debt that’s made the builder unable to pay about 40 sub-contractors.

With the dispute now before the Queensland Supreme Court, the Titans have strenuously denied they owe any money to Simcorp.

Court documents lodged by the club claim it has paid all invoices. The Titans also claim they are owed $1.022 million by Simcorp in lieu of disputed variations.

But the project endured challenges when Searle requested and was given a $2 million advance on the Titans’ entire 2009 NRL grant to raise additional funding.

Gold Coast ordered Simpson and his sub-contractors off the site on February 4. The club had moved into several offices and the gym, but was ordered to vacate the following week when the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service found the incomplete building did not yet meet its safety regulations. The cash-stricken sub-contractors have since formed a sub-committee, which has sided with Simcorp. The Titans re-assigned the job to Simcorp in March 2008 after the original constructor’s principal David Taylor died.

At the time, Simcorp was the $170,000-a-year jersey-front sponsor of the Titans Toyota Cup side. Simcorp also took naming rights on the Titans ballboys.

It had also agreed to a $13,750-a-season game day sponsorship of Prince, which eventually covered both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Simpson now alleges the 2009 fee was waived because of the agreement - made earlier that year - to build the star playmaker a new house free of charge.

The Titans have confirmed Simcorp was not expected to pay cash for Prince’s 2009 sponsorship, but claim the waiver was offset by financial arrangements pertaining to the building contract. An email chain between Searle and Simpson on September 17 last year - sighted by The Daily Telegraph - also confirms the Titans were comfortable that Prince’s game-day sponsorship was on a no-cash basis.

Another email chain between the pair, on December 3, 2009, also addressed Simcorp’s sponsorship of Prince. In his reply to Simpson, Searle confirms that Simcorp must pay cash for its 2008 sponsorship but does not make mention of last year’s deal, despite the fact the builder’s previous email directly raised the issue of Prince’s new house.

The club, through its lawyers, has denied any knowledge of a deal for Simcorp to build Prince’s new house free of charge in return for the 30-year-old agreeing to be the face of the builder’s developments. Prince’s lawyers have also denied the allegation.

The Titans did confirm they lodged and registered a $20,000 NRL marquee player sponsorship between Prince and Simcorp for 2009. The NRL’s records confirm that’s the case. But Simpson has alleged that Prince stood to effectively gain $80,000-a-year, factoring the worth of his $400,000 house over the length of a five-season contract extension that was announced almost 12 months ago.

Under the NRL’s salary cap laws, marquee player deals are restricted to $50,000-a-year when they involve a club sponsor. In a Statutory Declaration, Simpson maintains he and Prince talked regularly. Simpson also has a framed Toyota Cup jersey in his garage, which is personally signed by Prince and includes a message of thanks for Simcorp’s support.

“To be honest, I’m doing this with a heavy heart because I like Scott Prince and I’m a life-time rugby league fan,” Simpson said.



THE MAIN PLAYERS

Michael Searle: Super sharp Titans CEO. Considered a major candidate to eventually assume throne as chief executive of the NRL when David Gallop decides to move on. Salary cap breach allegations are major issue

Scott Prince: Superstar of the NRL and face of league on the Gold Coast. Re-negotiated a five-year extension until the end of 2014 last year, which was announced in April. Considered one of the code’s good guys

Steve Robinson: Scott Prince’s long-term manager. Alleged to have been present when the secret deal with builder Alex Simpson was allegedly struck

Alex Simpson: Gold Coast builder and Titans sponsor entangled in complex legal battle with the Titans over $30m Centre of Excellence. Simpson’s company Simcorp claim the Titans owe them $5.2 million. The Titans counter-claim Simcorp owes them $1.022 million

TIMELINE

July 2008: Scott Prince purchases $1.3 million property at 6 Garden Grove, Carrara February 2009 Prince allegedly rings Gold Coast builder and Titans sponsor Alex Simpson to set up meeting

February 2009: Prince allegedly rings Gold Coast builder and Titans sponsor Alex Simpson to set up a meeting

February 2009: Prince, his agent Steve Robinson and Simpson meet at the Aiport in Coolongatta to discuss the deal

March 2009: Simpson agrees to build Prince a $400,000 home free of charge in return for Prince being the face of Simpcorp Constructions advertising campaigns in Coffs Harbour and Papua New Guinea

April 2009: Gold Coast announce Prince has signed new five-year contract until end of 2014

June 2009: Simpson meets Prince at the Garden Grove address to discuss designs for new home

July 2009: Simpson and architect Brian Kenny meet Prince at his home to further discuss plans

August 2009: Architect Kenny sends sketches for Prince’s new home to Simpson

September 2009: Architect Kenny sends DA drawings to Simpson to prepare to submit to council for Development Approval

December 2009: Simpson meets Prince who signs the Development Approval forms to submit to council

\


For some reason I could just sense something fishy going on when Prince re-signed.

If its true I wonder what the NRL will do, they wont really want to dock alot of points from the Titans because they want the game to grow up there.

If they dock a lot of points from them, then the fans wont turn up, the AFL will jump in and try to convert some disillusioned fans to their AFL side similar to when the Super League war began, many fans jumped onto the Swans and the new Super Rugby competition.

Personally id like to see them docked points though, do the crime, do the time.

Princey…nice deft play son!..what were you thinking???..then again, they all do it!!!

Oh, no! How sad … truly!

hahahahahahaha

How the hell can you build a new house on the Gold Coast for $400k these days anyway lol.

It wouldn’t suprise me from Searle and co. However, to be fair, it is a Telecrap story therefor credibility=zero

@smeghead:

However, to be fair, it is a Telecrap story therefor credibility=zero

But it was the Telecrap scoops who busted Princey having lunch with Scotty Sattler in 2006!! Maybe they’ve got it in for Princey like they do with Benji!! 😲

The plot thickens:


Fresh allegations rock Michael Searle and Gold Coast Titans in wake of Scott Prince salary cap saga
Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE builder at the centre of the Scott Prince salary cap furore last night produced fresh allegations that Gold Coast Titans CEO Michael Searle begged him for money to pay players and staff.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained three separate email exchanges between Searle and Simcorp builder Alex Simpson, who claims he was requested to loan the Titans a total of $650,000 midway through last year.

With the pair now engaged in a $5.2 million legal dispute over the unfinished Gold Coast Titans Centre of Excellence at Robina, Searle has reserved comment.

But sources close to the Titans claim Searle was calling in debts that Simpson owed to the club, as opposed to asking for loans.

Searle’s tone in the emails, however, is urgent and reveal that Simpson was appraised of intimate details about the club’s financial position in the lead-up to last year’s finals.

Simpson has since rocked the NRL by alleging that he was also approached to build Prince a $400,000 house that would help keep the classy No. 7 on the Gold Coast for life.

He has produced building plans and a council DA, signed by Prince, to support the allegation as well as an email exchange with Searle on December 9 in which the house was specifically mentioned.

Simpson claims Searle knew about the deal, which was not declared to NRL auditor Ian Schubert. He has also had his claims publicly tested on a polygraph, which recorded the highest possible truth reading of 99.9 percent.

Both Prince and Searle have vehemently denied there were any plans to circumvent the cap by building the Titans skipper a new house free of charge. But the fresh round of emails allege that Searle asked Simpson for money on numerous occasions.

In one exchange - sent on September 3 - Searle asks Simpson for $300,000 and reveals how Titans players “are off the richter” and how staff “haven’t been paid”.

After Simpson indicates he will prepare a cheque for $300,000, Searle replies: “Thanks mate … I am dead without it today … players off the richter … plus my staff haven’t been paid yet … this is so f … ed … CBA have been so poor on this … If they just game [sic] us the overdraft like they said we wouldn’t be screaming.”

Another email chain, dated July 31, was headlined: “I’m desperate mate … Any luck with the bank.”

Simpson has also released bank details that confirm the monies requested were transferred from his Westpac account to the Titans.

His records show that $200,000, $150,000 and $300,000 was paid to the club on June 30, August 4 and September 3. Simcorp was engaged to build the $30 million Centre of Excellence in March 2008, when the company sponsored the Titans’ Toyota Cup side. It also took out a $13,750 gameday sponsorship of Prince for both 2008 and 2009, the final year of which was on a no-cash basis.

Simpson claims he wasn’t required to pay cash for the 2009 Prince deal because of the house agreement.

Searle, denying any knowledge of the house plans, claims the cash-free arrangement was in lieu of Simcorp’s work on the Centre of Excellence.

The NRL has confirmed Schubert is investigating the claims about the Prince house deal. The Daily Telegraph can also reveal Searle met with NRL boss David Gallop in Sydney as the Prince story broke last Friday afternoon.

But an NRL spokesman last night said the meeting had been arranged before the allegations were made public and was for a different purpose.

Michael Searle - another white shoe brigade with big dreams that exceeds his small pockets.

This also was a club that if the NRL had stuck to their word would never have been admitted - any penalty? - i don’t think so - swept under the carpet? - a huge definitely.

Bwahahahahaha……

Billy Slater, Greg Inglis face salary cap scrutiny

  • **Josh Massoud

  • From: The Daily Telegraph**
  • March 30, 2010 12:00AM

BILLY Slater and Greg Inglis could be the next Melbourne Storm stars in the sights of NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert.

The NRL has already announced that Schubert will travel to Storm headquarters in the next week to comb the premier’s books for third party sponsorships that have not been properly declared.

Skipper Cameron Smith - who has a $100,000 third party deal with Fox Sports - > is already a target because Schubert believes the Storm should have declared $45,000 of that arrangement under its cap. Although the club and Smith claim otherwise, Schubert thinks the Australian vice-captain has not done enough work with Fox Sports to warrant an exemption for the entire deal.

Inglis and Slater, like Smith, have signed long-term contract extensions with the Storm over the past two years, also have third party agreements with non-club sponsors.

The NRL last night refused to confirm what other players might be scrutinised but a well-placed source said Inglis and Slater were both on the hit-list.

According to the source, Schubert will also be attempting to satisfy himself that Slater and Inglis have done enough work with their third party sponsors to justify the exemptions that Melbourne have claimed.

If guilty, its likely the Storm would face a fine that reflects what amounts should have been declared.

I see the stinking class act Storm are under the watchful eye of Shoey as well…

What do they care though…they got Fox(News LTD) paying Cammy a 100K…I think I’ve seen him on twice…when the NRL fine them for breach…it doesn’t matter anyway…

The losses are forked out by News as a write off to them…Ha HaHa…win/win…

Level playing field indeed!!!

If I was A Canterbry supporter ( and thank the Lord I’m not ) i would be spewing at the way the NRL are treating alleged salary cap rorts by some of the codes glamour teams ( insert NRL glamour teams ) Titans and Storm - we all know this will go nowhere - Melbourne has to exist for reasons unknown by everyone but David Gallop and a few expansionists[ if need be expand the game everywhere else - it will never be popular in Melbourne - DAH! ], and the Titans are beseiged by the AFL, have a white shoe brigade running the show who are more intent on shoreing up their investments than running a football team.
The outcome will be a slap on the wrist a small fine [paid for by News Ltd] and a spot in the finals - what a joke!!!

I don’t agree with TV channels ie Nine, Fox Sports who have contracts with the NRL being considered as third party sponsors for players. To me third party sponsors should be completely divorced from any contractual agreements whatsoever with any club or controlling body. Otherwise Balmain Tigers who may a contractaual agreement to fund Wests Tigers could also seperateley fund Benji on a third party agreement.

Had to laugh at the telegraph today (and virtually every other day I look at it). They are describing the house Prince is allegedly being given as a $400,000 palace. I don’t know how expensive houses are on the gold coast but $400,000 hardly sounds like a palace.

Mind you, I wouldn’t be complaining if I was given one for free…

@Juro:

Had to laugh at the telegraph today (and virtually every other day I look at it). They are describing the house Prince is allegedly being given as a $400,000 palace. I don’t know how expensive houses are on the gold coast but $400,000 hardly sounds like a palace.

Mind you, I wouldn’t be complaining if I was given one for free…

thats just the house - he already owns a million dollar waterfont block of land to put it on - $400,000 would get you a pretty swank house.

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