General Warriors extended a lifeline

Wiki_old

Guest
SYDNEY: The National Rugby League has extended a lifeline to the New Zealand Warriors, saying they may not be stripped of competition points before the start of the season.

But the size and severity of the club's punishment for salary cap breaches dating back to 2004 may hinge on the results of an internal investigation which saw individual player interviews begin on the Gold Coast yesterday.

Australian newspapers widely reported that the Warriors would be docked two to six points and fined up to $A500,000 ($NZ560,000) after admitting on Tuesday to a number of "discrepancies" in relation to the NRL's $A3.25 million cap.

NRL director of communications John Brady said yesterday it was not a fait accompli that the Warriors begin the 2006 season on -2, -4 or -6 points.

"There are a range of penalties that are possibilities . . . but no, we have not committed at all on what the penalty might be."

Brady said that could range from a fine to a points deduction, but that no decision would be made till all information was made available to salary cap auditor Ian Schubert.

The NRL has wasted little time in beginning its investigation, sending the Warriors a preliminary report of its findings earlier in the week.

It is understood the Warriors were given till tomorrow to interview players about the details of their contracts and issues relating to the cap and to report back to the NRL.

That process began yesterday on the Gold Coast, where the Warriors are preparing for a pre-season match against the Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Warriors chairman Maurice Kidd confirmed club chief executive Wayne Scurrah and executive director of football John Hart were talking to the players.

"We have to work through with them and discuss the issues. Part of the issue is to talk to the players and find out what they know," Kidd said, before adding that players would not have their contracts downgraded regardless of the findings.

"We will stand by any legally binding contracts."

Details of the Warriors' breaches have not been revealed, but offences reported in the Daily Telegraph in Australia ranged from funnelling payments to players through Cullen Investments, offering stars high-paying jobs when they retired and flying player agents to and from New Zealand.

The Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos are the only privately owned clubs in the NRL – making their payments via private companies particularly difficult to audit.

Whatever the outcome, Kidd said it was too early to say the club would be docked points.

"Until we complete the investigation and they (the NRL) complete theirs it's a little premature to start talking about penalties. You can talk about them, but it's only speculation," Kidd said.

"We are working as hard as we can to minimise the breach and therefore minimise the penalty."

Kidd has been in the firing line as the club's chairman, but may have been a victim of the management practices of his predecessor Mick Watson, who was the club chief executive from 2001 till October last year.

The Warriors have operated two boards, one for the Warriors which runs the day to day operations, and one for Cullen Sports, the owners.

Kidd was a member of the Cullen board and Watson the chairman of the Warriors board.

It is understood the Warriors board rarely met, which could go some way to explaining why the breaches were not detected by board members or Kidd as the club's chairman.

Watson could not be reached yesterday but is understood to be happy to talk to the NRL.

https://stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3581310a1823,00.html
 

MarkW_old

Guest
Well, that news is at least a little bit encouraging.
God knows Kidd and Scurrah will be in full alert damage control, furiously trying to sort this out in time for the season kick off.
Scurrah especially will earn a few brownie points if the club manages to avoid a points deduction.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
I pray to GOD that we won't lose points. No mention of player bans hopefully more media speculation. I feel a bit better after reading that.
 

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