Parramatta Cap Investigation..

NRL investigating Parramatta Eels over Anthony Watmough third-party deal
Date February 3, 2016 - 7:10AM

Adrian Proszenko
Chief Rugby League Reporter

The NRL is investigating whether Parramatta properly disclosed a third-party agreement for star forward Anthony Watmough in a development that could result in the club starting the season four points in arrears if the governing body rules it is a salary cap breach.

Fairfax Media can reveal Rugby League Central is examining the relationships between Parramatta, Watmough and two companies of which Stephen Moss - the son of Eels fan and former Macquarie Bank executive Bill Moss - is the sole director.

Upon shifting from arch rivals Manly, Watmough entered into a third-party agreement with ScoreCube, described as “the ultimate live sports scores and statistics App”. While the Eels declared that TPA to the NRL, it’s believed they did not disclose that ScoreCube is a wholly owned subsidiary of BlackCitrus, an IT firm that has, and continues to, provide a range of services to the club. The Parramatta Leagues Club engaged BlackCitrus as one of the parties to investigate allegations of membership tampering and the Eels continue to use the firm for a range of services, including producing an app for its junior leagues.

Salary cap rules forbid any company involved in a commercial relationship with an NRL club to also serve as a TPA sponsor. The onus is on the club to declare any potential conflicts of interest to the NRL

A spokesman for the NRL said a salary cap review is currently being undertaken with the Eels.

“We will not be commenting on the review until it is finalised,” the spokesman said.

The Parramatta Eels declined to comment.

“All agreements between BlackCitrus and past or present NRL players have been met with approval from all necessary stakeholders,” said Stephen Moss.

Watmough was trumpeted as one of the club’s biggest signings when he joined Parramatta, although a wretched run with injuries limited his effectiveness in his first season in blue and gold. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Watmough, his management firm or BlackCitrus.

Should the NRL rule there is a conflict of interest, it could result in another breach of the salary cap. There could also be implications for any officials who knew, or should have known, about the potential conflicts of interest that weren’t immediately reported to head office.

Parramatta is on notice after becoming the first club to overspend on all four salary caps in 2014. In that year alone, the top-tier NRL cap was breached on 17 occasions, while exemptions for players were often requested after they had already taken the field.

The Eels have already paid a hefty price, copping a $465,000 fine and warned they would lose four competition points if there were any other instances of non-compliance.

The club is still in the process of working through the 119 recommendations handed down during a governance review conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, part of the process of satisfying head office that proper systems and processes are now in place. Rugby League Central is demanding the club implement 52 of the reforms by February 29, but officials are pushing back on some of them. The most contentious revolves around the constitutional reform required to scrap the two-year election cycle for a triennial model, a move recommended to stymie the instability caused by the bitter battles for control of the boardroom.

Bill Moss had hoped to bring the big end of town to Parramatta through his brainchild ‘The Premiership Club’, aimed at boosting networking opportunities for the Eels. However, club officials chose to proceed with the initiative without him.

Parramatta last won a premiership in 1986 but there were high hopes for 2016 after an aggressive recruitment campaign.

Joining Watmough at the club is former Sea Eagles teammate Kieran Foran, who will wear the No.7 jersey made famous by the great Peter Sterling. Other signings include NSW Origin forward Beau Scott, former Blue Michael Gordon and, most recently, Roosters superstar Michael Jennings. However, the chances of reaching the finals for the first time since 2009 will be severely dented if the NRL were to start the Eels two wins behind the rest of their rivals.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/nrl-investigating-parramatta-eels-over-anthony-watmough-third-party-deal-20160202-gmjv4x.html#ixzz3z3Y00BY0
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There was a thread on this after the initial breaches were discovered in 2015 but I couldn’t find it…

So with this new investigation I so hope they get done and start 2016 4pts behind…

They way they have been able to recruit for 2016 without having cleared previous cap breaches is a joke…not only glamour Clubs it seems have a free ride…the NRL playing field is definitely not level…

Wish we could cheat gooder…

God I wish they would just do away with TPAs.

@Geo.:

There was a thread on this after the initial breaches were discovered in 2015 but I couldn’t find it…

So with this new investigation I so hope they get done and start 2016 4pts behind…

They way they have been able to recruit for 2016 without having cleared previous cap breaches is a joke…not only glamour Clubs it seems have a free ride…the NRL playing field is definitely not level…

Wish we could cheat gooder…

Yes GEO wish we could,but we really don’t want to be known as that,we will hopefully work our way out of trouble and win heaps of games the honest way and become the force of the NRL…

Maybe the NRL should thoroughly investigate the roosters as well.

I agree with sheer64, Third party Agreements, should not exist. 👿

Funny how they employed Ian Schubert to clean up their cap mess and it got worse. If the links to the club arethere as the articles says then i think the decision is pretty clear cut. They either disclosed a conflict of interest by one of their TPA providers or they didn’t. If they didn’t they have breached the cap rules again. After the warning they were given about this the NRL would have no option but to penalise them the 4 points.

Publicly disclose players salaries and TPA’s in full.

You can’t stop them making money from their brand, it’s a restraint of trade.

They would’t do it CB it would expose a huge disparity and we are talking 20% of the Cap at some clubs.
This also goes for Football Operations Costs. The usual story family members employed in the organisation, using related businesses as preferred suppliers for the club. It also goes as far as Sponsors and added benefits through vehicles, building homes etc. Its a farce of the highest proportions at the moment.

With releasing personal or commercially sensitive information making this sort of info public would sort the men out from the boys. Maybe then we may even give Jason Taylor a fair go as he is not working with the same ammunition.

Get rid of the monetary value of salary cap and this will all be fixed… Money can buy anything, but you cant exploit a points system.

The NRL Grades each registered player at the start of the year with an allocation of points.

Clubs can only have X amount of points in there squad.

Even though player Y is graded at the start of his contract as 40 points and as he gains more expereince by playing Rep Footy etc, the NRL still increase his points value each year, but these dont apply to his current contract.

It will make buying players alot more structured and transparent, and could easily see the introduction of a transfer fee between clubs?

@Tiger Watto:

Get rid of the monetary value of salary cap and this will all be fixed… Money can buy anything, but you cant exploit a points system.

The NRL Grades each registered player at the start of the year with an allocation of points.

Clubs can only have X amount of points in there squad.

Even though player Y is graded at the start of his contract as 40 points and as he gains more expereince by playing Rep Footy etc, the NRL still increase his points value each year, but these dont apply to his current contract.

It will make buying players alot more structured and transparent, and could easily see the introduction of a transfer fee between clubs?

I like the points Idea …it deserves further investigation…Rating a players value could be difficult if the reverse happens…injury loss of form etc…Some players would be of more value to one Club depending on needs than they are to another for Example…

Farah could be a 100 pt player for us yet worth 10 at say the Storm regardless of what you pay him…

Totally agree with a points system though seeing it introduced would require a miracle the big boys with the dollars wouldn’t want that to happen as it would even up things too much. Unfortunately cant see it happening but the only way in conjunction with transfers is the way to go.

Our game let’s itself down the way players are traded we could learn from other codes but we have an administration in the game which is more reactive than proactive.

@Geo.:

@Tiger Watto:

Get rid of the monetary value of salary cap and this will all be fixed… Money can buy anything, but you cant exploit a points system.

The NRL Grades each registered player at the start of the year with an allocation of points.

Clubs can only have X amount of points in there squad.

Even though player Y is graded at the start of his contract as 40 points and as he gains more expereince by playing Rep Footy etc, the NRL still increase his points value each year, but these dont apply to his current contract.

It will make buying players alot more structured and transparent, and could easily see the introduction of a transfer fee between clubs?

I like the points Idea …it deserves further investigation…Rating a players value could be difficult if the reverse happens…injury loss of form etc…Some players would be of more value to one Club depending on needs than they are to another for Example…

Farah could be a 100 pt player for us yet worth 10 at say the Storm regardless of what you pay him

I think this is one of the benefit of a points system. He is a 100pt player regardless and clubs would be less enclined to pay overs, having a nuetral or even negative effect on player salaries.

I dont have a problem in seeing players points drop due to form or injury.

This is so subjective though. Who decides what a player is worth? You only have to read this forum to see how some players are ‘rated’ by some members and pilloried by other forum members.
Does a 2 year SOO player on the rise rate as much as an 8 year SOO veteran who may be starting to slide?
I like the idea in theory, just not sure how it can work in the real world.
Still, one thing is sure, the TPA system is well and truly broken and needs to be turfed!

@TYGA:

They would’t do it CB it would expose a huge disparity and we are talking 20% of the Cap at some clubs.
This also goes for Football Operations Costs. The usual story family members employed in the organisation, using related businesses as preferred suppliers for the club. It also goes as far as Sponsors and added benefits through vehicles, building homes etc. Its a farce of the highest proportions at the moment.

With releasing personal or commercially sensitive information making this sort of info public would sort the men out from the boys. Maybe then we may even give Jason Taylor a fair go as he is not working with the same ammunition.

In going public with TPA deals you’d be better able to weed out non compliant TPA deals (such as Watmoughs.) We know already that TPA’s are what separates the likes of Souths, Easts, Canterbury and Brisbane from Wests, Penrith, Canberra and Cronulla.

The thing that is hard with the TPA’s is that clubs like Canberra and Parra who lack TPA clout would actually be able to compete if there were no salary cap. They’ve got money, they just are restricted by the salary cap, whereas other teams with big town connections can get around it.

But, as I said you cannot stop a player seeking a TPA to cash in on his brand.

@yeti:

This is so subjective though. Who decides what a player is worth? You only have to read this forum to see how some players are ‘rated’ by some members and pilloried by other forum members.
Does a 2 year SOO player on the rise rate as much as an 8 year SOO veteran who may be starting to slide?
I like the idea in theory, just not sure how it can work in the real world.
Still, one thing is sure, the TPA system is well and truly broken and needs to be turfed!

I agree yeti.

As a theory it is great. Real-world, it is totally unworkable. There would be ENDLESS debate about player value, teams lobbying the NRL because they have 80 points left but want to sign up an 82 player. It works in fantasy football, but by definition, it is fantasy.

Injuries can change values very rapidly, as can lapses in form, personal issues, unexpected concussions etc.

Also there is the idea that players have different value to different teams, so there is some level of unfairness of the NRL telling you what value a player has. This could lead to players being “too expensive” for prospective clubs and cutting down their transfer options = restraint of trade.

NRL has probably already gone as far as they can with lower limits on registered contracts, so you can’t put a Thurston in for a $1 contract.

I’m in favour of transparent salaries and TPAs. Might be a bit weird at first and some invasion of privacy, but it would make the caps available to all to scrutinise, and as such the policing would be much much better. I.e. it would be very hard to have under-the-table deals if the media and punters had access to actual team salaries.

My gut tells me we are heading that way anyway, as another revenue stream / avenue of interest for the code. It will just add to the existing and expanding interest in the code - they already market gambling, membership-only events, fan engagement, social media, team web pages, player stats, fantasy football, injury lists, team lists, player profiles etc.

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