New Year - same cheats


Winging it
Bulldogs bust the cap again

By DEAN RITCHIE Rugby League Writer
Daily Telegraph
April 13, 2005

THE Bulldogs will today face a fine of almost $100,000 for breaking the NRL's $3.25 million salary cap yet again.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Bulldogs are one of five clubs that have been caught by the NRL for overspending in last year's premiership.

Penrith, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne and St George Illawarra have also been sprung by salary cap auditor Ian Schubert.

Details of the Bulldogs' breach have been kept so secret that not even NRL board members, who will decide their punishment at a meeting today, have been briefed.

Bulldogs chief executive Malcolm Noad reluctantly conceded last night his club was facing a hefty fine.

"I'm waiting to be officially informed by the NRL," Noad said.

"I guess it will all come out after [today's] meeting."

Schubert telephoned Noad and the other club CEOs yesterday to warn them of the impending drama.

The Bulldogs' breach is significant but nowhere near the magnitude – and outright cheating – that led to the club being sensationally stripped of 37 competition points and fined $500,000 in 2002.

The Daily Telegraph understands the Bulldogs' breach is a direct result of the off-field upheavals from the infamous Coffs Harbour affair last year.

Clubs are allowed to claim 20 per cent – up to $200,000 – over the $3.25m cap if they have grown their sponsorship base since 2001.

Noad budgeted to spend the extra $200,000 but the Bulldogs lost so many sponsors due to the Coffs Harbour scandal the club could not justify the amount.

But one rival official said last night: "[The Bulldogs] have overspent and they've been caught."

Penrith were caught after loaning a player – believed to be fullback Rhys Wesser – $50,000 to a buy a house.

The money was paid back but not in time – and the club is in breach.

"That's where they have pinned us," said Penrith general manager of football operations Mick Leary.

"It was an oversight in administration. The money was paid back but it came too late."

Panthers chief executive Glenn Matthews added: "It was always declared. We made a mistake. It won't happen again."

Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan admitted his club had been identified as one that had also breached the cap.

"It is for a very small amount," Canavan said last night. "But I don't want to say much. I don't know how the board will view our situation."

Melbourne officials were tight-lipped last night but their breach is understood to be about $30,000 through "combined dealings" dating back to 2001.

The Dragons' breach revolves around the game's $300,000 second tier salary cap.

St George Illawarra plan to tackle the NRL on the breach.

"We are in debate with the NRL," said Dragons chief executive Peter Doust.

"It is about the second tier salary cap but we don't know the outcome as yet. We believe the second tier payment is debatable."

Doust said his club was over "by one player".

He is claiming injuries last year played a role in his club exceeding the cap.

The Wheel
Premium Member
There is no point "busting" a club for going over the cap about 6 months after they have won the premiership.

Giving them a fine does nothing, $100K is a small price to pay for a premiership. They should be docked competition points IMO.


agree 100%, an elite club with the turnover of the Roosters or doggies will gladly dsh up 100K as a fine the following year if it means have another quality player or two in their roster. Its hardly any form of punishment. Points is the only way to do it.

Im not suggesting all their points like last time, but even 2 or 4 points would really upset them, way more than some mediocre fine.


Journey Man
its just a crap system that rewards the finacially better off clubs. those who can afford will break it - and only by as much as it costs in money, not on the table. These teams have been over before - the penalties should get worse each year. Their cap should be reduced by twice what they are over for this year.

The Wheel
Premium Member
Every year the same clubs appear to get fined for similar "over spends" in previous years.

Maybe take away their points for the 2 byes if a club over spends.

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