Hello World ,
Well I am in a state of shock after the disclosure today that a whistle blower had blown the lid on a salary-cap scandal involving one of the top National Rugby League (NRL) sides in Australia .
The top side is 'Melbourne Storm' who allegedly kept two sets of books and systematically over the last five years paid players in excess of something like $1.7 million dollars to what was reported to the NRL. The second set of books were hidden in a room away from the main office and were discovered by auditors doing a spot check due to the tip off.
The result has been what is possibly the harshest punishment handed out in Australian sporting history and is as follows:
Melbourne Storm will be stripped of the 2007 and 2009 Premierships
Melbourne Storm will be stripped of the Minor Premierships of 2006-8
They will also loose all competition points accrued already for the 2010 season.
They have been fined $500,000
Melbourne Storm will have to return $1.1 million in prize-money paid to them in the period (prize-money to be distributed evenly among the other 15 clubs)
Salary-cap breaches have been quoted to have been as high as $1.7 million over a period of 5 years.
The NRL has said that neither Manly (2007) nor Parramatta (2009) will assume the Premiership titles in their respective years. These are the teams that Melbourne Storm beat in the respective years.
Personally I think that it is grossly unfair to the loosing teams and they should be awarded the Premierships, as an example if the winner of an Olympic Gold is disqualified the Gold Medal is awarded to the Second Place getter.
Salary cap breaches amounted to at least $1.7 million over five years.
Any awards won by individual players will continue to be recognized.
I find this to be a very dark day in the History of Sport in Australia and will echo around the world. It enforces home to me that the ideal of Sportsmanship is just about dead and all that seems to matter any more is the almighty dollar.
Till the next time