Manly defends Orford deal July 26, 2005 FIGURES emerged last night which Manly claim will clear the club of any salary cap wrong-doing during an NRL investigation into Matt Orford's contract. The Daily Telegraph obtained the exact details of Orford's contract which dispel unsubstantiated reports the halfback received up to $695,000 a season to join Manly. The Sea Eagles yesterday lodged Orford's contract with NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert. Club officials claim Schubert worked in consultation with Manly financial controller Wayne Honeywood through Orford's negotiations. Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show Orford is on a four-year deal worth $1.854million. He will receive $250,000 in his first year, $550,000 for his second season, $577,000 over his third year and $477,000 for the fourth and final season. Orford was last night angry at the figures in Sunday's Sun Herald which claimed he was earning nearly $700,000 a season. "The contract suggestions outlined in the Sun Herald story was absolute rubbish," Orford said."I'm a private person and wouldn't disclose my contract terms to anyone. "I'm sick of constant speculation over my career." Manly executive director Paul Cummings said his club was unconcerned about the NRL investigation. Asked did he harbour any worries, Cummings said: "None whatsoever. "I guarantee you everything has been above board. "Today we have given the contract to the NRL and also had discussions with Ian Schubert this morning. "We don't foresee any issues in all this." Orford's manager George Mimis would not confirm or deny the figures but took aim at Storm management. "Matt's business affairs are confidential," Mimis said. "I can't confirm or otherwise whether those figures are accurate. "However, I can assure you the reported numbers were absolutely wrong. "The Manly offer was acceptable to Matt based upon the commercial terms, football and the lifestyle aspects which were in excess of both Melbourne and Souths. "The deal was never $700,000. "It's ironic that as soon as a club misses out on -- or does re-sign -- a marquee player, they automatically scream of salary cap breaches. "In this instance, Melbourne had four months to sign Matt. "If anyone should undertake an investigation, Melbourne should review their front office negotiation strategies." NRL chief executive David Gallop confirmed his organisation was considering looking into Manly's Orford deal. "The lodgement of the contract has yet to be finalised," Gallop said. "When it is, it's up to the salary cap auditor to decide what to do next. At this stage, there isn't much more we can say about it." * A FOUR-YEAR contract extension will ensure Cameron Smith is Melbourne Storm's next captain -- but he won't be the club's next halfback. While he started his Storm career as a No.7, and played much of his junior football at the scrum base, coach Craig Bellamy said the Queensland Origin hooker would not be considered as a replacement for the departing Matt Orford. "If we got a bad run with injuries or something he is always an option for us," Bellamy said yesterday. "But I'd have an unhappy footballer on my hands if I looked to move Smithy from his preferred spot. "He is one of the game's best hookers and that's the role we want him to play."