Five clubs fined for cap breaches www.NRL.com 13 April 2005 The National Rugby League Board has endorsed a total of $275,000 in fines recommended for Salary Cap breaches established in the 2004 audits. The Board also today gave in principle support for proposed changes to 'Third Party Agreements' which would allow players to earn more money from club sponsors. Five clubs, the Bulldogs, the Storm, the Roosters, the Dragons, the Panthers, have been fined amounts ranging from $25,000 to $120,000. In approving the recommendations today, the NRL Board noted that the breaches were mostly of a minor nature and that they did not amount to a systematic attempt to breach the cap. However, the Board stressed that the success of the 2005 competition was a reminder of the importance of the Salary Cap in the game and of the need to maintain strict governance. In the case of the Bulldogs, the fine relates primarily to the sudden loss of sponsorship revenues early last year. The club had entered the season entitled to a Salary Cap allowance for sponsorship servicing and had contracted players on this basis. The club fully disclosed the issue along with two minor payment breaches. In the case of Melbourne, which has been locked into ongoing Salary Cap issues, the breaches relate to contracts dating back to 2001 and the fine is the total for breaches over that period. The Storm's new management has made every effort to ensure that all matters have been fully disclosed and that all current agreements comply fully with the cap. The full list of fines is as follows: Club: Bulldogs Amount: $72,295 Reason: Sponsor servicing shortfall Club: Dragons Amount: $32,286 Reason: Second Tier salary cap breach Club: Panthers Amount: $25,000 Reason: Late payment of club loan to a player Club: Roosters Amount: $25,000 Reason: Third party agreement Club: Storm Amount: $120,000 Reason: Third party contracts from 2001 Clubs have five business days to respond to the breach notices. As a result of today's meeting, all 15 clubs and the RLPA will be consulted over the final details of future Salary Cap changes which will allow greater freedom in relation to endorsement contracts between club sponsors and players. Under current guidelines players are free to earn any amount from companies who are not club sponsors but payments from club sponsors must be included either as part of an approved club sponsor servicing allowance or within the Salary Cap.