NRL chief executive David Gallop says he is willing to work with Melbourne's new management to get the club under the salary cap in 2011.
NRL chief executive David "Brains" Gallop addresses the media at NRL headquarters in Moore Park Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: The Daily Telegraph
But Gallop ruled out across-the-board pay cuts as solution at the embattled club.
Reacting to confirmation from Storm owners News Limited that the club is $1.325 million over the cap next season, Gallop said he was open to contracts being reworked.
News Limited chairman John Hartigan - who today announced the four independent Storm directors currently suing the NRL had been sacked - said the club was determined to hold onto the big four of Greg Inglis, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and skipper Cameron Smith.
He admitted the club would need the support of the NRL to make that happen, something Gallop said he was willing to do.
“Undoing years of salary cap cheating at the club is a complicated issue and not one that can be solved by just taking pay cuts,” Gallop said.
“Clubs can't be allowed to take players out of the market with huge offers one year and then cover things up with pay cuts the next.
“There are provisions for contracts to be renegotiated and for terms to be extended but that is a complicated process and requires total transparency.
“We want to get on with that process and hopefully we will be in a position to do so now.”
Gallop said he also expected the four independent directors - headed by chairman Dr Rob Moodie - would drop legal action pertaining to the manner in which the NRL came to the decision to strip the club of its 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches.
“Clearly we would expect that the court case will be discontinued,” Gallop said.
“The clubs owner does not wish for it to continue and, in any event, it has always been our belief that the court action is without any merit.”
Gallop described the decision by players and player managers not to co-operate with Deloitte's investigation as “disappointing.”
He also backed the penalties imposed on the Storm on April 22, despite the Deloitte's forensic audit revealing the breaches from 2006-2010 amounted to $3.17 million, 83 per cent higher than the NRL's initial estimate of $1.735.