The Melbourne Storm Breach The Salary Cap, Lose Points, Premierships – Reaction

The Melbourne Storm have deceitfully breached the NRL salary cap over a total of five years. They over spent $1.7 million dollars over five years that they filtered through a second set of books that they did not submit to the NRL.

As a result, the NRL has stripped the Melbourne Storm of two NRL Premierships, from 2007 and 2009. They have stripped the club of 3 Minor Premierships won during that period. They will strip the club of all 8 of the Minor Premiership points they have won for the 2010 season as well as giving them an extra 30 point penalty which means the Storms 2010 season is over.

On top of this the NRL has fined the club $500,000.

You have to hand it to the NRL, when they found out what was happening (Via a former Storm employee) they smashed the club about as hard as you possible could have imagined.

I can’t think of another example in any sport where a club has been stripped of titles.

The Reaction
I found out about this around two hours ago, and I feel gutted.

I’m not a Melbourne Storm fan but I always admired the club. I loved watching them play, I loved the relentless push for perfection, the week in week out intensity, the brilliant players, the winning history the young club had built.

I had been starting to look at this Storm teams place in the history of the game. Ironic huh?

Four straight Grand Final appearances, Two Premierships wins, Three Minor Premierships… all seemed amazing in a salary cap era. It was too good to be true!

To find out that was all built on a lie is devastating. It is a crushing blow to fans, to the game, to the salary caps integrity, nothing good comes from this.

The True Premiers
I think the NRL should organize two separate NRL Premiership presentations for the Manly Sea Eagles for 2007, and the Parramatta Eels for 2009.

I think both clubs should be very proud of their achievements, they should officially be named as Premiers for both of those seasons and the record books should reflect that fact.

I think fans should claim these titles for these two clubs. You can love them or hate them, these two teams were beaten by a team that was cheating. The game needs to confront that, they need to reward the clubs who have done the right thing.

Brian Waldron
A former AFL club CEO, Waldron made the switch to the NRL and took over as the CEO of the Melbourne Storm.

He seemingly did a great job with the club, his knowledge of the Melbourne sporting landscape was a key. he was in charge during an unprecedented run of success for the club which saw the club gain a foothold in the Melbourne sporting scene, even to the point where they will move into a brand new 31,000 seat stadium in a few weeks from now.

Just watching the NRL Press Conference being held, Waldron has a lot of explaining to do and I would not like to be in his shoes right now. As News Ltd CEO John Hartigan said of Waldron “He seems to be the architect of the whole thing”.

Thank God he is the Rugby Unions problem right now…

The biggest problem for him and anyone else involved in this? They look to have been hiding money from News Limited. The word “Fraud” has already been used.

The 2010 Season
Well the Dragons would have to be favorites for the NRL Premiership now. I’d put the Tigers just behind them but really, now it becomes a wide open race.

How the Storm plays from now on will be interesting. They are a very intense side that really focuses on the business end of the season. To not have that intensive any more will have a massive effect on how they play.

If I was running the club, I’d sort out a tour of England during the NRL Finals, if only to recoup some money. Play non playoff Super League clubs or even a couple of French teams. Something for players to look forward to and to get them out of Australia during the finals.

Do They Lose Players?
The Storm are $700,000 over the 2010 NRL salary cap. They will need to get themselves sorted at least by next year.

Players will probably take pay cuts, but it means they will not be signing anyone news. It also means they will not be getting Israel Folau by any stretch of the imagination.

They will do everything they can possibly hope to keep their best players, but lets face it, they will be fighting an uphill battle.

Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman would be the players they will want to keep above all others.

Thing is, you wouldn’t take a pay cut if you were those players. You also now have a horrible place in history hanging over your head down in Melbourne. Do you stick around and place for less, or move on?

A Very Sad Day
This is gutting. The people that did this have betrayed the game.

I know as a non Storm supporter but a fan of what they have done, I feel like I have been lied too. I can’t imagine how true Storm supporters feel like right now.

Right now the clubs needs to be rebuilt. A new management, clear the place out of the cheating administration and get people in there to sort the mess out.

There will be some people that will very happily want to see the Storm destroyed as a result of this. This would be terrible for the game. The Storm needs to be protected to a certain degree because they mean so much strategically to the game.

Daily Telegraph: NRL Hit Melbourne Storm With $1.5 Million Salary Cap Breach

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