Dragon get please expalin

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HE NRL salary cap issue won't go away with St George-Illawarra today asked to "please explain" amid claims they too had breached the system.

Just a day after the NRL punished New Zealand Warriors $430,000 and four competition points for salary cap rorts, the spotlight turned to the Dragons after former back rower Lance Thompson claimed he had a $100,000-a-year post-football job included in his previous contract.

Guaranteed post-football employment is allowed under the guidelines, but must be disclosed to the NRL.

For Thompson, who unceremoniously left the Dragons for the Sharks after last season, the job was a sweetener in exchange for a $200,000 pay cut.

Dragons officials would not comment on the situation today, but coach Nathan Brown said clubs feared repercussions for breaking the cap.

"I think every club respects the salary cap," he said.

"The message got through with Canterbury with what happened I don't think anybody wants that to happen with them.

"I always work with Peter Doust (CEO) on the salary cap ... every coach would actively take part in what players get paid because at the end of the day the coach is one whose job is on the line."

A startling report released by the NRL shows every club has been fined under the salary cap scheme in the past five seasons.

While not every breach is deliberate, it questions whether clubs take notice of the $3.36 million cap knowing minor breaches normally only attract fines.

Teams such as the Bulldogs (more than $2 million), Melbourne ($694,000), Newcastle ($539,000) and New Zealand Warriors (more than $1 million) have had several breaches recorded by the NRL.

South Sydney, Canberra, Manly and St George-Illawarra have near impeccable records during that time.

In total, the NRL has collected almost $2.7 million in fines, and deducted a total of 41 competition points.

But South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson, whose Rabbitohs have had a second tier cap infringement and fined for fielding an unregistered player, defended other clubs saying breaking the cap is sometimes unavoidable.

"The salary cap is not an exact science," Richardson said.

"It is always a major issue to keep under the cap.

"Sometimes you start the year thinking you are under.

"I don't see minor breaches anything like situations when people are caught cheating the cap.

"There is a big difference between trying to cheat and having the cap catch up to you."

With the salary cap in the spotlight, NRL chief executive David Gallop warned players could be personally punished if knowingly involved in breaches.

The NRL and the rugby league player agent accreditation committee have not ruled out sanctioning those involved in the Warriors scandal.

"At this stage we do not intend taking action against individuals but the door is not closed on that," he told Sydney's 2KY radio.

"(But) it is a warning to the players that if something is in negotiations they feel is a bit odd they should alert the club to the fact they are not comfortable.

"Players should be aware and look out for (third party) arrangements.

"If there was an exceptional case we would have no hesitation going after a player."

New Zealand Warriors meanwhile has not ruled out appealing the punishment meted out yesterday.

The Warriors have four more business days to appeal against the punishment and just 12 days to trim player payments to be under the cap for 2006 or Gallop won't allow them to start the season.

Warriors chairman Maurice Kidd, who met with players today, assured the club would be compliant by March 12 for its home game against Melbourne.

"It's not a significant amount (over the cap) and we think it is do-able," Kidd told 2KY.

"We have to work through our options of what we have got to do in order to get in the cap ... it is about finding legitimate ways we can do that this year."



I wonder if the NRL would have discovered the Warriors salary cap rorts if the club did not come clean on the breaches themselves?

I somehow doubt it.


I wonder if the NRL would have discovered the Warriors salary cap rorts if the club did not come clean on the breaches themselves?

I somehow doubt it.

I thought the dude was suss (ian whatever) and was investigating, then the new management investigated and admitted rather than wait for him to find it himself.


Journey Man
melbourne - $694,000 get didly squat - warriors get 4 points and not allowed to start the season.


First Grader
Fittler would have got the same deal at the Roosters, he signed a reduced deal when he signed his last contract with them now he is their kicking coach.

Probably getting $150k per season for 2 days work.

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