BY A.J NASH AND SCOTT DILLON
The NRL has handed down heavy sanctions on the Manly Sea Eagles for major salary cap breaches.
Manly has been fined $750,000 and two club officials – COO Neil Bare and former CEO and current Roosters boss Joe Kelly have been banned from the game for 12 months. The club will also be penalised $660,000 from this year’s salary cap and the same amount in 2019.
The NRL has reported that the breaches total $1.5 million and includes 13 players over a five year period.
Coach Trent Barrett has received a warning while former GM Bob Fulton is not expected back into the game any time soon after his involvement.
“The investigation found a number of cases where players were offered undisclosed benefits outside the salary cap to attract them to the club,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“These benefits were in the form of third-party agreements which were never declared to the salary cap auditor.
“In other words, Manly had a financial advantage in securing the services of players who may otherwise have gone to other clubs.
“Our salary cap is the main reason we have the closest competition in Australian sport and we will not tolerate any attempt to breach it.
“Every club needs to be aware that any attempt to cheat the salary cap will eventually be detected and the club involved will be heavily sanctioned.”
The NRL studied over more than 800,000 documents, emails and texts messages before announcing their findings.