General Aussie News Reports re: Salary Cap

LeagueNut_old

Guest
Here's some lovely depressing reading to kick-start your Wednesday ... :(

THE New Zealand Warriors will be docked up to six competition points and hit with a six-figure fine after rugby league's latest salary cap scandal was uncovered yesterday.

After owning up to player-payment "discrepancies" under their previous management, the Warriors will be the first team in 98 years of premiership history to start the season on less than zero.

The Auckland-based team has been caught in the biggest player-payment scandal since the Bulldogs were stripped of the minor premiership in 2002.

The Daily Telegraph understands the list of rorts included:

Funneling payments to players through club owner Cullen Investments;

Offering stars highly-paid employment after they retire;

Paying for player agents to fly to and from New Zealand whenever they wanted to;

Helping players secure commercial arrangements and only partially declaring them to the NRL.

Warriors chairman Maurice Kidd last night indicated he would fight any move to strip the club of points before the season started.

"It's obviously within their powers to do so but we wouldn't be happy with that," Kidd said.

Asked if he thought the points should instead be deducted from the Warriors' 2005 total – in the game's record books – Kidd said: "That's right. But we haven't got into those issues yet."

But NRL chief executive David Gallop countered: "While it's too early to speculate on a penalty, all clubs and fans have known competition points are in jeopardy when breaches strike at the heart of the competition's fairness."

Former Warriors chief executive Mick Watson is high on the list of interviewees the club is chasing in its investigation. The NRL may also seek to speak to him.

When informed of the drama yesterday, Bulldogs chief executive Malcolm Noad said: "If it's a systematic approach to circumvent the salary cap, our fans would expect the NRL to take very stern action."

NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert first got wind of the anomalies at the end of last season, when Watson and his regime departed.

Schubert warned club owners Cullen Investments he would be conducting a full audit in early 2006.

The new Warriors hierarchy, led by Kidd, decided to go on the front foot last week when they told the NRL a week ago they had found irregularities themselves.

"The chief executive (Wayne Scurrah) called me last Monday and said, 'I think we've got a problem'," Kidd said.

"He was preparing for the NRL auditor . . . they came across things that looked a bit, uh, unusual."

While there is speculation the breach amounts to up to $1 million, Gallop said the figure had not yet been calculated. The investigation is to be concluded by the time the premiership kicks off.

The Bulldogs were fined $500,000 for their infraction; one factor in the Warriors' favour is that they have been up front about the situation.

"Penalties handed out over the years have reflected that the level of concealment will be a factor, along with the size of the breach, in the penalty," Gallop said.

While the Warriors said they wanted to be "transparent", Kidd indicated the club didn't have much choice, either.

"You've got to talk to a lot of people . . . and there's always the chance of it getting out there without us leading it," he said.
https://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story/0,20281,18232653-5001023,00.html
 

LeagueNut_old

Guest
The players: Club will face points loss

NEW ZEALAND Warriors players will be asked to take short-term pay cuts so the club is under the salary cap in time for the premiership kickoff.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah and his offsider, former All Black coach John Hart, called a crisis meeting with the team on the Gold Coast yesterday to tell the players about the impending controversy.

The Warriors are caught in the middle of a salary cap scandal which is the biggest since the Bulldogs systematic rorting which stunned the code in 2002.

Chairman Maurice Kidd last night insisted no contractual details were discussed during those talks.

But The Daily Telegraph understands the club has assured the NRL it will be under the cap by the time it opens the season against Melbourne at Ericsson Stadium on March 12.

That means players being asked to delay some payments, as they are often asked to do at other clubs and as the Bulldogs did after their salary cap imbroglio.

In 2004 the Warriors imported four high-profile players from Australia, including national representatives Steve Price and Ruben Wiki.

It is the second salary cap breach by the Warriors after being fined $100,000 in 2001.

"It's too early to tell what we may or may not have to do in order to comply with the cap," Kidd said.

"But clearly, if we're going to kick off in the competition, we've got to be in compliance with the cap."
In further intrigue, Kidd said: "All our legally-binding contracts will be honoured".

That suggests players who received promises and handshake agreements over future employment and endorsement opportunities could be in trouble.

After the club previously going bankrupt and failing to pay players, some stars spoke up and asked if their contracts would be honoured.

"Wayne Scurrah showed up and told them there is an investigation going on into what the club have admitted to," agent Jim Banaghan said.

"They said the players had nothing to worry about and they wanted to speak to them all individually."

A look at the club's gains and losses for the summer gives a hint of the position they were in.

The Warriors made one of the biggest off-season recruitment strikes of recent years during the summer of 2004-05 when they snared international forwards Price and Wiki.
https://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,18227209-23214,00.html
 

LeagueNut_old

Guest
The fallout: Price wants more info

NEW ZEALAND Warriors captain Steve Price last night said pay cuts had not been discussed with players at a week-long training camp on the Gold Coast.

"We were only told about it today and we don't know too much about it," Price, who went through a similar situation as captain of the Bulldogs in 2003, said.

"We're going to want to see what is happening before we talk about it.

"It's only just started so to say something now would be stupid because we don't even know what's happening or how big or small this thing is.

"What you've been told and what I've been told is probably very different."

Price appeared to be unfazed by suggestions the Warriors could start the season on minus-six premiership points.

"It's hard for them in Sydney to know what's happening between our club and the NRL. No one knows for sure," he said in Ipswich where the Warriors development squad was preparing to play an Ipswich Jets side in a pre-season trial.

Price said team morale was "fine". "We trained today and it wasn't really talked about," he said.

Veteran prop Ruben Wiki said he did not want to discuss the salary cap situation. "That's for the club management," he said.

Price and Wiki were the two highest profile recruits to the club last season.
Price has already been through the game's biggest salary cap scandal when he was at the Bulldogs.

Coincidentally the Warriors play the Bulldogs in a trial at Carrara on Saturday night.
https://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,18227206-23214,00.html
 

IanS_old

Guest
Not nearly as bad as what it could have been.

Having said that, we'll be in for a rough ride for the next couple of years.
 

LeagueNut_old

Guest
The betting: Spoon market stirred

A NUMBER of betting agencies suspended bets on the wooden spoon market yesterday in the wake of the Warriors salary cap issues.

But TAB Sportsbet spokesman Glenn Munsie said his organisation would keep taking bets until there is a clear decision on the Warriors.

Munsie said there was a steady flow of money for the New Zealand team to win the spoon when news emerged yesterday afternoon.

The Kiwi side came in from $10 to $6 through the day.

They took a total of $2430 in bets on the Warriors from 4pm including one bet of $1200 at $6.50 and another of $500 at the same price.

"To be honest it's hardly caused a ripple so at no stage did we suspend betting," Munsie said.

"We're in the hands of the NRL, we're waiting on whether the Warriors are found guilty of anything and if there is any penalty."

Other betting agencies including Centrebet and Bill Hurley's Sportsbook suspended betting on the wooden spoon.

"We're turning it off, we're not sure of the gravity of the whole situation so we've temporarily suspended it until we get something concrete," Centrebet spokesman Gerard Daffy said. Canberra are wooden spoon favourites on TAB Sportsbet at $3.35 with South Sydney next at $3.75.
https://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,18227455-23214,00.html
 

LeagueNut_old

Guest
IanS said:
Not nearly as bad as what it could have been.
True, I guess we've gotta be thankful that (a) it's happening now instead of during the season, and (b) they seem to be pretty open about it all.

It still looks pretty ugly at the moment though. :(
 

IanS_old

Guest
LeagueNut said:
IanS said:
Not nearly as bad as what it could have been.
True, I guess we've gotta be thankful that (a) it's happening now instead of during the season, and (b) they seem to be pretty open about it all.

It still looks pretty ugly at the moment though. :(

Mate, by the sounds of things, they didn't have much choice.

People must have know that, this would eventually come back and hurt the club.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
LeagueNut said:
The players: Club will face points loss

NEW ZEALAND Warriors players will be asked to take short-term pay cuts so the club is under the salary cap in time for the premiership kickoff.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah and his offsider, former All Black coach John Hart, called a crisis meeting with the team on the Gold Coast yesterday to tell the players about the impending controversy.

The Warriors are caught in the middle of a salary cap scandal which is the biggest since the Bulldogs systematic rorting which stunned the code in 2002.

Chairman Maurice Kidd last night insisted no contractual details were discussed during those talks.

But The Daily Telegraph understands the club has assured the NRL it will be under the cap by the time it opens the season against Melbourne at Ericsson Stadium on March 12.

That means players being asked to delay some payments, as they are often asked to do at other clubs and as the Bulldogs did after their salary cap imbroglio.

In 2004 the Warriors imported four high-profile players from Australia, including national representatives Steve Price and Ruben Wiki.

It is the second salary cap breach by the Warriors after being fined $100,000 in 2001.

"It's too early to tell what we may or may not have to do in order to comply with the cap," Kidd said.

"But clearly, if we're going to kick off in the competition, we've got to be in compliance with the cap."
In further intrigue, Kidd said: "All our legally-binding contracts will be honoured".

That suggests players who received promises and handshake agreements over future employment and endorsement opportunities could be in trouble.

After the club previously going bankrupt and failing to pay players, some stars spoke up and asked if their contracts would be honoured.

"Wayne Scurrah showed up and told them there is an investigation going on into what the club have admitted to," agent Jim Banaghan said.

"They said the players had nothing to worry about and they wanted to speak to them all individually."

A look at the club's gains and losses for the summer gives a hint of the position they were in.

The Warriors made one of the biggest off-season recruitment strikes of recent years during the summer of 2004-05 when they snared international forwards Price and Wiki.
https://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,18227209-23214,00.html

Well that part has to be good news, though I don't know what changes have to be made in order for that to happen.
 

Kav_old

Guest
This situation shows up the ineffectiveness of the salary cap - there are too many loopholes.
I've always thought that an allocated value system where every player is allocated a value based on status and experience is both transparent and fairer. Full marks to the existing Warriors' management for coming clean but how many other clubs are getting away with it?

Kav
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
If we're underneath the cap by the time 2006 starts I don't see how they can deduct points from this season. That may save us. Then again it may not. Damn Mick Watson, and I'd find it hard to believe that Eric knew absolutely nothing about it either.
 

mosh_old

Guest
Kav said:
This situation shows up the ineffectiveness of the salary cap - there are too many loopholes.
I've always thought that an allocated value system where every player is allocated a value based on status and experience is both transparent and fairer. Full marks to the existing Warriors' management for coming clean but how many other clubs are getting away with it?

Kav


To be honest Kav I disagree. Its like speeding there are loop holes where people slow down when they see a speed camera or cop. The fact is you shouldnt be doing it, it is there for a reason safety.
The cap is there to make sure one club doesnt hog all the good players.


Who really cares about the loopholes, if your dumb enough to risk your season by exploiting them you deserve to be punished.

I would like to see the people responsible be dragged to court or face serious jail time as you cannot put a business in a position like this and walk away.
 

MarkW_old

Guest
The 6 point deduction talk is just media speculation at this point. The NRL of course make the decisions, not the press.
I'm hoping like everyone else that the Warriors just get fined and nothing more for 2006.

And talk about a rat down a drainpipe... anyone know where Mick is?

I think it's fair to speculate that Mick knew something about this cap breaching business and it would have played a part in his decision to leave.
 

MarkW_old

Guest
As for the merit of the salary cap... yes, there are ways and means of getting around it... finding loopholes etc. Telfer on Radio Sport pointed out that there is for example nothing to stop a club benefactor setting up an offshore bank account for a player which he can cash in upon his retirement/release. Such payments would never have to show up on the club's books.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is happening in some instances.

Most clubs would probably agree that the cap should be raised. I don't know if that would fix the problem of breaches, but it may afford clubs the ability to hold on to players and not see them head to the ESL etc.

One thing is for sure, whenever a law/rule/condition is put in place in any aspect of life, there are always those who will try and flout it - to work the system.
 

mosh_old

Guest
MarkW said:
One thing is for sure, whenever a law/rule/condition is put in place in any aspect of life, there are always those who will try and flout it - to work the system.

Yes your right and if you get caught [In the case of the Bulldogs, Warriors], you have to be prepared to cop the punishment both with the club and sackings of management.
 

MarkW_old

Guest
I've also heard from a reliable source, that certain Warriors players are under investigation for various kickbacks offered by the club for things such as travel expenses that were basically 'under the table' arrangements made with previous management.

No extra perks this year for the players methinks.
 

fiamacho_old

Guest
Why shouel the club accpect the -6? There have been other Clubs who were over the cap and they were just fined apart from the Bulldogs no one else had their points stripped.
 

MarkW_old

Guest
fiamacho said:
Why shouel the club accpect the -6? There have been other Clubs who were over the cap and they were just fined apart from the Bulldogs no one else had their points stripped.

I guess it all depends on how far over the salary cap they have gone, and how far back the discrepancies go (2004 from what I've heard).
 

raypower_old

Guest
I've always thought that an allocated value system where every player is allocated a value based on status and experience is both transparent and fairer.

I was chatting to some mates at work about a quota system and I reckon it'd be a great idea. The NBL has a points cap hybrid which doesn't seem to stop teams from competing nor paying their players. Of course there is the lure of Europe and the NBA but that said we have the ESL to compete with.

The fact that teams such as the Pirates and Cairns have been successful in the playoffs and the changes that were forced upon the Kings over the last 3 seasons with key players leaving and devlopment players coming through indicates that the NBL may be on the right track with this sort of quote system.

I hope and pray that the NRL takes into account it was last seasons squad that breached and fines us accordingly. As long as we can get under the cap before kickoff, maybe this will play in our favour.

On another note, didn't Carlton get sprung a couple of years back for salary cap rorts in the AFL? I think they got a caning in terms of a fine and also lost draft picks too and they're only just getting back onto level terms, I don't follow it too closely so please correct me if I'm wrong

Finally not too sure if anyone's posted this article by Roy Chesterton from the SMH but it's pretty decent reading

https://www.smh.com.au/news/roy-mas...shock-treatment/2006/02/21/1140284068937.html

Code violators get electric shock treatment
By Roy Masters
February 21, 2006
Page 1 of 2


WHEN the Warriors eventually recover from their inevitable points penalty, they will return to a playing field made more level by their transgressions.
A serious salary cap penalty sends shock waves around the code. It stops chief executives making illicit offers, paymasters smothering figures and club boards endorsing cooked audits. It may eventually halt unethical player managers demanding undeclared benefits, and players from encouraging their agents to seek them.

The most important asset in league isn't speed or size anymore. It's salary cap space. Big penalties stop clubs artificially creating it.

If the Warriors are docked four to six points, the evenness of the 2006 competition means they are unlikely to make the eight. But when they return competitively, it will be to a league made more even by their sins.

No one at NRL headquarters will admit it, but this electric shock treatment does them a favour. It's not the death penalty, as the Bulldogs proved with their return from a $500,000 fine and 37 premiership points lost in 2002 to win the title two years later.

But if NRL salary cap cop Ian Schubert can uncover a major breach every three or four years, it terrifies all clubs and saves the league a fortune in audit staff. It also allows CEO David Gallop to boast of the code's parity - seven different premiers in seven years. The AFL has a draft and a salary cap, yet Brisbane won three of the past five grand finals and were beaten in another.

Because the precise size of the Warriors' breach has not been assessed, the penalty is yet to be determined. New Zealand will argue it needs a competitive club to withstand the might of rugby union in the country.

Owner Eric Watson will also make noises about closing his franchise if the penalty is too harsh. But the then Bulldogs chairman, Gary McIntyre, made similar threats and got nowhere.

The NRL has demonstrated a high degree of precision with past fines, indicating that whatever the ultimate penalty to the Warriors, it will be in keeping with that history.

The smallest fine has been $12,800, to the Roosters for the 2000 season. The Bulldogs aside, the highest has been $120,000, to the Storm for repeated infringements up to 2004. Every club bar three - Canberra, Souths and Manly - has been fined since the NRL began in 1998.

The Raiders learnt their lesson when the club was placed in administration after major salary cap breaches in 1991; Souths were out of the league for a couple of years and, when re-admitted, had no players to spend money on; and Manly … well, maybe we should believe it's God's country after all.

The Warriors' situation is different from the Bulldogs', who had to be stripped of points because they were poised to benefit from their breach. There is no punishment in subtracting past Warriors points, meaning the only sanction the NRL can levy is a future one. The NRL will also insist the club starts 2006 under the cap, meaning the once-good ship Warriors may have to dump cannon.

The club has been throwing players overboard the past two seasons to clear the deck for Steve Price, Ruben Wiki and Nathan Fien, all of whom played last year. Nobody significant has been signed for this season.

If it can be established that a player willingly entered into a salary cap breach, the standard NRL contract allows it to punish him. It may also expose managers, meaning they could be deregistered under the new accreditation system.

Sydney clubs will be watching carefully for discriminatory treatment in favour of the privately owned, non-Australian club. Honest players and scrupulous managers will expect the NRL to punish their corrupt equivalents.

The Herald uncovered the Bulldogs' 2002 breach. Schubert has done this one on his own. The former Kangaroo is taking his role of policeman seriously. He now rides to work on a Harley-Davidson, circling a metaphorical playing field made more level by his vigilance and his increasingly impressive forensic accounting skills.
 

madbaz_old

Guest
Most cap breaches are 2nd tier breaches relating to reserve graders coming up to replace the injured first graderes but this is a 1st tier breach directly affecting the first grade team just like the Bulldogs.

Any 2nd tier breaches usualy just cop a fine but 1st tier breaches are more serious.
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
Am I the only one who found that article by Masters hard to swallow?

"Sydney clubs will be watching carefully for discriminatory treatment in favour of the privately owned, non-Australian club"

It's BS comments like that which will force the NRL to deduct points from the Warriors this season just to save face and not be on the end of criticism.

"Owner Eric Watson will also make noises about closing his franchise if the penalty is too harsh. But the then Bulldogs chairman, Gary McIntyre, made similar threats and got nowhere".

Has Eric Watson done this or is Masters making assumptions.

"The Warriors' situation is different from the Bulldogs', who had to be stripped of points because they were poised to benefit from their breach. There is no punishment in subtracting past Warriors points, meaning the only sanction the NRL can levy is a future one."

What sort of justice system is that? We can't get those responsible so let's just come down hard on who's there.

Let's face it guys, the increased media attention to the story, especially in sydney, is going to leave the NRl with no choice but to dock us points even if it does seem unfair on the current administration.

All I really ask in return is that they find a way to bring down those who aren't with the club now but were still responsible for this mess.
 

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