NRL set to investigate Orford's financial records By Paul Kent The Daily Telegraph July 25, 2005 THE NRL is set to investigate Mat Orford's financial records when his contract is lodged with the League this week. The enormous speculation concerning Orford's contract with Manly has given the NRL what it believes are "reasonable grounds" to delve into Orford's deal under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed upon by the players' association. NRL chief executive David Gallop acknowledged the League's interest in the Orford deal but stopped short of using the term "investigate", saying the League will "look at" Orford's contract. The NRL is concerned with several matters, ranging from speculation that Orford knocked back two much larger deals to sign with Manly, to rumours that he is telling team-mates the deal is much larger than the four-year $1.8million deal Manly is saying. "We have got powers to call for a player's records where we have reasonable grounds for doing so," Gallop said. "Salary cap cheating starts with clubs deciding to cheat but if players are complicit in that then they are open to investigation and penalties. "The next step in the Orford matter is to wait for a contract to be lodged by Manly and until that happens I can't say what will happen next." Gallop later said: "All new contracts are looked at carefully." Orford's manager George Mimis said he would "welcome any investigation" but said he wants the NRL to be armed with more than has simply been reported in the past week. Advertisement: "I am surprised the NRL would be guided so much by speculation and media," Mimis said. "I will be requesting more factual information that they will be underpinning their investigation on because we have all read The Sun-Herald this morning and it is totally inaccurate. "It is absolute rubbish. It is baseless, factless journalism." The game has come under heavy criticism of late as doubts about the adequacy of salary cap policing continue to plague the game. Most criticism has centred around the NRL's inability to delve into the financial records of players In contrast, the AFL's salary cap auditor is given access not only to a player's complete financial records but also to those of his wife or partner, a fact that critics of the NRL system have not missed. Yet, despite not having such access, the NRL believes its "reasonable grounds" clause is sufficient to properly investigate salary cap cheating. Given the high level of speculation that has dominated the Orford signing, those levels of concern appear to have been reached. Both Melbourne chief executive Brian Waldron and South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson said their clubs offered significantly richer deals to lure Orford to their club. While Orford claimed a change in lifestyle played a significant part in his switch, Waldron left no doubts that he believed Orford was going for no other reason than Manly was offering more money. Waldron said Orford will own a Manly apartment in three years, will have his management fees to George Mimis and also former manager Wayne Beavis paid by the club, in a deal worth $700,000 a season. Throughout negotiations Manly has insisted it is not paying any more than the four-year $1.8million it has acknowledged paying.