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Betting on the wooden spoon suspended

Thought they changed that market to “most losses in a season” or something like that to avoid situations like this?

posted in Wests Tigers Discussion read more

Dumping JT as head coach? Certainly is a new idea from you bp!

posted in National Rugby League read more

A string of high-profile Cowboys NRL players - including star Johnathan Thurston, co-captain Matt Scott and State of Origin player James Tamou - have acquired properties from millionaire developer Laurence Lancini, who is the long-serving chairman of the North Queensland rugby league club.

A Fairfax Media investigation can reveal that over the past seven years, 10 high-profile players have bought vacant blocks of land and apartments from Mr Lancini’s companies.

Questions have been raised as to whether the property deals constitute a breach of the salary cap rules.
One of the Cowboys’ homes in the spotlight.

One of the Cowboys’ homes in the spotlight. Photo: Supplied

There is no suggestion individual players have broken rules.

NRL’s head of football Todd Greenberg and Nick Weeks, the head of the NRL’s integrity unit, flew to Townsville on Monday as part of their regular work.

Any team found to have breached the salary cap rules could have points stripped and face substantial fines.
The slab for a house for Jason Taumalolo.

The slab for a house for Jason Taumalolo.

The Cowboys are currently second on the NRL ladder.

The man known as “Mr Townsville” denied that any of the property deals were done in order to circumvent the salary cap.

Mr Lancini, 54, who is estimated to be worth $162 million, said that as “chair of the Cowboys” he is responsible for signing off on the salary cap. “I dispute anyone claiming that there’s been any untoward deals done with our players.”
An investment property owned by Tamou.

An investment property owned by Tamou. Photo: Michael Carayannis

Instead, said Mr Lancini, he was merely helping players with their investment strategy.

Players including Thurston, Tamou, Michael Morgan, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, and former players Matt Bowen and Luke O’Donnell have all bought blocks of land at a new residential suburb Bohle Plains, which Mr Lancini has been instrumental in developing.

The Cowboys chairman said he did provide several names of builders to use to construct premises on their vacant blocks of land.
One investment property owned by Thurston.

One investment property owned by Thurston. Photo: Supplied

Asked if any of them were sponsors of the club, he replied: “We try and give opportunities to all our sponsors, absolutely. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Mr Lancini would not disclose who the builder was, but Fairfax Media has learned that all the houses have been built by former Cowboys player Martin Locke, who had previously been employed as the club’s business development manager.

Mr Locke, who has a corporate box at the Cowboys and who is a member of the Stockmen, a group of local businessmen keen to assist the players, was adamant that no special deals had been done with any of the players with the construction of their houses.

“As a past player I would help them as I would help anyone else…but no discounts,” he said.

When asked who sold them the land, Mr Locke said: “The club has developers that will always try to point them in the right direction.”

In November last year, rising star Jason Taumalolo, was offered a lucrative deal to keep him in Townsville.

He subsequently bought a block of land in in South Vickers Street, Condon, from a company of which the directors are Mr Lancini and another Cowboys board member, Steven Titmus.

Mr Locke has recently poured the slab for Taumalolo’s new residence.

His manager, Chris Orr, said Taumalolo’s real estate purchase had nothing to do with contract negotiations. “His sporting contract is completely transparent and inside the NRL guidelines.”

Cowboys five-eighth Morgan, who scored a try in Queensland’s recent crushing State of Origin win over NSW, bought a block of land in August 2010 for $146,000 from Mr Lancini’s company and he hired Mr Locke to build his house.

Morgan, who re-signed with the Cowboys earlier this year, has recently signed a contract to purchase an apartment in Brisbane, from a company in which Mr Lancini has a share.

Asked if Morgan’s Brisbane property purchase had been discussed during contract negotiations, Mr Lancini said he “didn’t deny” that property purchase may have been spoken about at the same time as contract negotiations but that Morgan’s decision to buy had “never been an inducement” in the contract negotiations.

Thurston, regarded as the best player in league at the moment, also built a Locke home on his block of land at Bohle Plains, which he bought from Mr Lancini’s company in 2007 for $129,000.

In February the following year, Thurston paid $800,000 for a swanky apartment in Mitchell Street, North Ward. Mr Lancini’s company was again the vendor.

Also purchasing in the same building was Test player Willie Tonga, who was poached from the Bulldogs for the 2009 season. Tonga snapped a $735,000 apartment in the Mitchell Street building in November 2008.

The wife of Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott purchased a property from Mr Lancini’s company for $700,000 in April 2013. She had only owned the property for three weeks before it was on the market for $735,000. The Townsville property market has been in a slump in recent years and the property is yet to sell.

Asked if he thought it was a conflict of interest to be the chairman of the club and advising players to buy properties in which he had an interest, Mr Lancini replied: “Because I am giving young men advice, because they’ve come to me and asked the question. That’s a conflict?”

Mr Lancini said that all the properties were sold to players at market price. He denied that he could be seen to be gaining a financial advantage for himself by steering players into buying his properties. “I disagree. I am helping them! I am helping them set their investment strategy.”

Mr Lancini said he “verbally” advised other board members of his property sales to players.

On Friday, Peter Grimshaw, the media spokesman for the NRL, said there would be no comment “on the specifics of that case…until we have had a chance to talk to the Cowboys”.

Mr Grimshaw also said in an email: "In general terms, there is no problem with someone from the club advising a player on investment opportunities that may interest them or providing specialist advice on areas that they have knowledge or experience in.

"However, it would be a breach if the player was offered a financial benefit which he didn’t pay for [and] which was not declared.

“Financial benefits would need to be declared and if they are bona fide third party agreements, they are exempt from the cap.”

Fairfax Media has asked various player managers for comment.


posted in National Rugby League read more

@happy tiger:


So the rumours and txts starting to flow within the last hour is that its Cowboys and its to do with houses being built for players under market value.

Reckon its a good bet it will boil over tomorrow.


His next comment is saying that it is probably BS and someone trying to cause problems

Thats what I read too. I also said it was just a rumour……

posted in National Rugby League read more

So the rumours and txts starting to flow within the last hour is that its Cowboys and its to do with houses being built for players under market value.

Reckon its a good bet it will boil over tomorrow.


posted in Contracts read more

What do we do? Sign Martin on a long deal while also have Brooks/Moses on long deals?

Its not fun seeing him leave but honestly, whats peoples alternative?

posted in National Rugby League read more

Hoppa Jr on a stupidly massive deal and they had to wait 2 years before he could join the club, Sandlol, Watmough, Scott.

Peats wasn’t a star (and still isn’t). Norman hasn’t been huge. And now Foran on a botched deal?

Throw in Chris Walker, Whaturia, Carl Webb and Willy Tonga all while losing Hayne.

Praising Eels ability to sign marquee players is a bit much.

posted in National Rugby League read more

Definitely a terrible situation for Eels. As far as management goes even die hard Eels fans would admit that Tigers have had less issues than Parra over the last 10 years.