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News: NRL probes under-the-table payments to Parramatta players

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    <p>THE National Rugby League is poised to investigate property deals involving Parramatta Eels players that may have occurred at the club during the time Tony Zappia was football manager.</p>

    <a href="http://www.silvertails.net/news/4049-nrl-probes-under-the-table-payments-to-parramatta-players.html">Read the full article</a>
     
  2. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Wow. I am glad I am not the investigating journalists on this one.

    Ch 9 will be salivating at the chance of getting the rights to this. 'The NRL Underbelly: a tale of two clubs' :)
     
  3. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Yes. It's very "Underbelly" like isn't it.
     
  4. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    The porn king and his links to teams
    Dylan Welch | smh.com.au July 5, 2009

    CONTROVERSIAL links to the sporting and political world, allegations of selling pirated and illegal hard-core films, as well as appearances in sex tapes and a Filipina porn star girlfriend - welcome to the world of Con Ange.

    Now hailed as one of Australia's porn kings, Mr Ange is a controversial figure in the already colourful pornography industry.

    He also haunts the periphery of the scandal rocking rugby league, with revelations in May of his relationship with disgraced Cronulla boss Tony Zappia and accusations that Ange provided "adult material" to players.

    Today The Sun-Herald can reveal Mr Ange is also involved with another of the men involved in the scandal, Vince Lombardo. Mr Lombardo is the property developer friend of embattled Parramatta chairman, Roy Spagnolo.

    Mr Ange and Mr Lombardo co-own St Paul's Tavern in downtown Brisbane, which they developed and reopened together in 2002.

    Mr Ange, 49, also recently created a weight-loss company with former State Liberals leader Kerry Chikarovski.

    Mr Ange was contacted by The Sun-Herald yesterday about this story but declined to answer anything over the phone. He asked that the newspaper instead email questions to him. He did not respond to the email and he did not answer his phone for the rest of the day.

    Well-known in the adult industry, the wig-wearing entrepreneur had his beginnings when he opened an adult book store in Sydney two decades ago. Through a series of canny business manoeuvres Mr Ange turned that modest business enterprise into one of Australia's biggest adult store chains.

    A senior adult industry source who has known Mr Ange since he appeared on the scene in the 1980s, said Mr Ange represented the "bad" end of the adult industry.

    Mr Ange is one of the "top three" adult businessmen in Australia, after the owners of Club X and Sexytime, and has interests in as many as 50 separate adult stores, the source said.

    Then there is Mr Ange's business involvement with Ms Chikarovski, which was formalised in February when the pair created a company named Pharmaslim.

    Ms Chikarovski, who runs a political lobbying firm, is the sole director and holds a 30 per cent stake in the company. Mr Ange holds the remaining 70 per cent stake.

    Speaking from London, Ms Chikarovski said the company was not yet operational. "It's just a proposal at the moment."

    The Sun-Herald does not suggest she has any association with any other aspect of Mr Ange's business interests.

    Mr Ange's primary business, Everything Adult, is in the top four adult store chains in Australia and has 23 stores across the three eastern states. He has interests in many of the stores either through the freehold or full or part ownership of the business.

    His involvement in Everything Adult has also caused him numerous legal headaches. Mr Ange and business partners have been repeatedly fined in Queensland and NSW for selling X-rated videos as well as hard-core films that had already been refused classification.

    The most recent fine was in Queensland last September, when he and business partner Costa George were fined $5000 each.

    Another area of Mr Ange's life that has attracted controversy is his relationship with the National Rugby League.

    Mr Ange has infiltrated the game to such an extent that he travelled with Parramatta players on an overseas tour several years ago, took the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks to a North Sydney restaurant for a slap-up pre-season meal and pays over the odds at Manly Sea Eagles so that he can gain ready access to the dressing rooms.

    It is well known among the players that Mr Ange is happy to provide free "product", although when he turned up to the North Sydney restaurant earlier this year with two boxes of condoms, lubricant and adult films the players were nonplussed by at least one genre of movie: several gay porn films were left in the restaurant when the group left.

    Mr Ange was well known to the Sharks through his association with Mr Zappia and he was allowed free access into the dressing rooms, sometimes with "friends". But Mr Ange was originally a Manly Sea Eagles fan. He still pays $70,000 a year to the club for season tickets in a corporate box. The largesse allows him a status within the club on par with a major sponsor.

    Mr Ange is the co-owner of US adult film production company Wildlife Digital, most famous for its Screw My Wife, Please series of films. According to adult film websites, the company has released about 150 adult films.

    Mr Ange, under the stage name "Con Aussie", has also produced dozens of his company's movies. What is less known is that he also features in many of his movies as an extra, although not in any sex scenes.

    In one movie, Manila Exposed 1, Mr Ange and his then friend, Connie, are filmed walking in Manila. They hold hands and buy ice-creams. In the next scene Connie and another young Filipina kiss, and proceed to have explicit sex with two men.

    A former employee of one of Mr Ange's Sydney adult stores alleged some of the DVDs and video cassettes in the store were pirated.

    Mr Ange owns a shopfront only a few roads from his family's $2 million mansion, "St Malo", in North Sydney.

    The warehouse was recently moved a few doors up the street. Both the former staffer and a former business partner recall going into the old warehouse and seeing commercial-grade colour printers that were being used to print out facsimiles of movie covers.

    The former clerk said several years ago he had seen a bank of DVD and video-cassette machines at the warehouse Mr Ange allegedly used to copy movies he bought overseas.
     
  5. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Just wanted to highlight the bullet we dodged...

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sport/nrl/story/0,27074,25397215-5016547,00.html
     
  6. OneEyedEagle

    OneEyedEagle Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    More like the double barrel shotgun. If I remember right back in the days of the Northern Eagles it was canvassed that we would be sponsored by a local brothel?

    Can't wait for the new tele series Underbelly - Imagine who they can get to star in it. John Elias, Joe Kilroy (have all spent time locked up) and Greg Bird has also been sentenced and appealing the charge just to name a few.

    Can anyone else add to the list of players with checkered pasts.
     
  7. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Watch out for defamation lawyers at thirty paces with that list.  Fun to see Parramatta management going at each other.  Spagnolo, Lombardo, et. alo. 
     
  8. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Zappia family link in club orders
    Jacquelin Magnay and Kate McClymont | July 6, 2009

    THE disgraced former chief executive of the Cronulla Sharks, Tony Zappia, had been using a company owned by his wife, his sister and his brother-in-law to provide tens of thousands of dollars of club equipment and apparel to the Sharks.

    It appears a similar company owned by Mr Zappia's brother-in-law supplied the Parramatta Eels with equipment when Mr Zappia was football manager at that club.

    An examination of the Sharks' club accounts conducted in the past week found four invoices totalling about $30,000 which the company, Gearonline Sports Group (NSW) Pty Ltd, received for the supply of equipment and clothing.

    The present Sharks board was unaware of the family association between Mr Zappia and the company but has now implemented procedures to prevent any conflicts of interest.

    The Sharks have begun an investigation into the financial situation of the club since Mr Zappia's resignation last month.

    He had secretly started an organisation called Beyond Sharks Foundation - with $20,000 cash provided by a club supporter, Clint Elford - without informing the Sharks board. It appears another $10,000 given by Mr Elford to Mr Zappia and banked by him in his personal account was passed on to the club and used for football-related purposes.

    Gearonline has five directors - Mr Zappia's wife, Raelene; his brother-in-law Giuseppe Romeo; his sister Giuseppina Romeo; and other close associates Anna-Maria Stabile and Giuseppe Stabile.

    Australian Securities and Investments Commission records show the company is registered with Roy Spagnolo and Associates, the accountancy firm in Fairfield of Mr Zappia's close friend, Roy Spagnolo, who was recently elected chairman of Parramatta Eels.

    The Herald revealed on Saturday that Mr Spagnolo had been involved in a string of failed property development companies which had gone into liquidation owing the Tax Office more than $1 million.

    His associates in these companies include a relative of the late crime boss Robert Trimbole, and Pat Sergi, named at the Woodward royal commission as a crime syndicate principal.

    The Herald also revealed that the National Rugby League is to investigate property deals involving Parramatta Eels players that might have occurred at the club during Mr Zappia's tenure as football manager.

    As many as six players might have been involved in "opportunities" in construction companies as part of an add-on to their contracts.

    Sharks officials were annoyed to learn there appeared to have been no tender or quotations sought before the purchases were made through Gearonline. Some of the purchases were underwritten by the NRL because they related to promotional materials such as polo shirts and embroidery and junior league equipment.

    The new Sharks chairman, Damian Irvine, said the club was satisfied the equipment ordered through Gearonline was for legitimate football purchases but said he had not been aware the company was related to Mr Zappia through his wife. He said that under the new regime all transactions involving family- related companies required disclosure and a tender process.

    "We are very disappointed," Mr Irvine said. "This is not the way business will be conducted at the Cronulla Sharks."

    It is understood Mr Zappia used a similar company, then known as Gearonline Group (Australia), to buy club equipment when he was the football manager at the Parramatta Eels.

    That company was owned by his brother-in-law, Giuseppe Romeo. The orders, for club and training equipment, were stopped when other Eels officials became aware of Mr Zappia's family connection to the company. Eels officials were later ordered to seek at least two quotations before making any purchases.
     
  9. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the Eels have gone from the Frying Fitz, into the fire.  Good riddance to them, the NRL would be better off without them. 
     
  10. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Interesting how their fan base has dissolved from the heady days of the eighties.  Now they're just a team to beat and their management, totally dodgy.  looks like Spagnolo and his mates used the old stupid dumbarse football players to win control.  Asset stripping anyone?
     
  11. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      I reckon you're 100% right there.  I might even appluad you. 
     
  12. brookiegreg

    brookiegreg Active Member

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    This porn king bloke Ange sounds like he's the brother of Reg Reagan - what an amazing OTT story! Dontcha love the phrase "wig wearing".....meowwwwww!!
     
  13. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Apparently Paul Osbourne will be named as their new CEO this weekend

    Am I correct in assuming he is a pretty clever operator and had some sort of career in politics ?
     
  14. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      LOL, if you count the ACT Legislative Assembly as politics, then yes.  Given its proximity to Parlaiment House it's a bit like calling an ABC Childcare a feeder school for University. 

    He's profligate in the breeding stakes, but not real smart. 
     
  15. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Cheers Mata, I just remembered hearing something on the ABC about him being elected for something

    So you don't see him as a bloke that will improve the Eels a great deal ?
     
  16. OneEyedEagle

    OneEyedEagle Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      LOL, if you count the ACT Legislative Assembly as politics, then yes.  Given its proximity to Parlaiment House it's a bit like calling an ABC Childcare a feeder school for University. 

    He's profligate in the breeding stakes, but not real smart. 
    [/quote]

    That’s being a bit harsh on the bloke Mata, Ozzie isn't that bad bloke. I knew him from our old school days when he used to go to Christian Brothers. Was a practical joker, die hard blue bag supporter, all round good guy and has (well back then) drop dead gorgeous sister with a massive set on her chest, certainly got all the boy's attention on the basketball court.... Plenty of bouncing going on.
     
  17. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Osborne is a good guy and will do well for the Eels. He is a smooth operator with some integrity, which is something they badly need.
     

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