General Agent asked to explain loan link

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From www.stuff.co.nz

By STEVE KILGALLON

Embattled player-agent Jim Banaghan will be asked to explain his links to a $100,000 loan taken out by the Warriors in 2004 and paid over in full to a Brisbane bank account.

The loan is thought to be one of around seven issues over which Banaghan faces investigation by an NRL committee. He will be asked him to show cause why he should retain his agent's accreditation.

The loan issue may be some weeks off resolution, but is one of the final pieces of fall-out surrounding the Warriors' salary cap scandal.

It is understood the $100,000 payment is among the dealings the club should have declared under the salary cap. Earlier this year the Warriors were docked four points and fined $400,000 for serious breaches of the cap.

The Sunday Star-Times has learned questions arose over the loan after the Warriors conducted their own internal audit following the cap issue.

It may be weeks before Banaghan, who oversees the affairs of eight Warriors players including Ruben Wiki, Brent Webb and Nathan Fien, faces questioning over the loan, but he may have to give answers before that on an issue considered even more serious.

The Rugby League Agent Accreditation Committee wrote to Banaghan's lawyers on Friday giving him 10 days to respond to a charge that could cost him his licence. He has already requested a personal appearance to explain himself.

The accreditation committee chairman Geoff Bellew and its investigator Paul Osborne declined to comment.

The activities of another agent, George Mimis, also remain under the microscope.

The committee has found Mimis guilty of executing a contract for Steve Price that did not include all of the Warriors captain's payments from the club.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the contract Mimis negotiated for Price included a sign-on fee, an annual payment for co-hosting a weekly radio programme, a car, and management fees, as well as his salary. But the contract registered with the NRL for Price contained only player payments believed to total about $350,000 a season.

The committee are now waiting on final submissions from Mimis' legal representative, Mark Petrucco, before close of business tomorrow, before deciding his fate.
 

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