Gold Coast chief executive Graham Annesley says NRL salary cap cheats will always get caught after the Titans were punished for irregularities.
Gold Coast chief executive Graham Annesley says breaching the NRL’s salary cap is just not worth it, with the truth always likely to eventually emerge.
The Titans were slapped with a $300,000 fine after an NRL investigation confirmed a breach in regard to former star playmaker Scott Prince.
They were also docked four competition points but that, along with $75,000 of the fine has been suspended for two years because the club self-reported the breach.
Annesley personally reported the anomaly to the NRL shortly after his appointment as Titans’ CEO in August last year.
It’s believed the breach relates to Prince’s departure from the Titans at the end of 2012 and subsequent move to rivals Brisbane.
In a statement released on Thursday, the NRL said Prince had been paid substantially more than the contract lodged with the NRL by a previous administration.
“This difference in remuneration was never disclosed by the previous Titans administration or Mr Prince and was only unearthed by the new management,” the statement said.
“Mr Prince’s role as an NRL One Community ambassador expires this month and will not be renewed.”
Annesley said he didn’t know the specifics of the breach but former CEO Michael Searle’s stake in the club was not in jeopardy with the NRL finding no evidence to link Searle to it.
The Titans were one five clubs hit with penalties.
Manly, Newcastle, Sydney Roosters and the Wests Tigers were issued with fines of more than $90,000 for less serious cap breaches.
Annesley, a former member of the NRL executive, said while he can’t promise there won’t be more skeletons lurking in the Titans’ closet he is 100 per cent confident the current administration is working within the boundaries set by the NRL.
“There’s just absolutely no point in trying to do anything outside of the rules because whenever there is an incident like this there’s always more than one person that knows about it and eventually these sorts of things get uncovered,” he said.
“There is just simply no value in doing it and it won’t happen under my administration.”
Annesley said he was confident the fine would not affect the Titans’ ability to recruit players and he refuted media reports the club was currently unable to pay its full cap allocation.
In a separate investigation into the Broncos, the NRL said it had found no evidence of a salary cap breach.
NRL integrity manager Nick Weeks said the league’s investigation had been impeded due to not being able to obtain information from the Broncos Leagues Club and “others from the Broncos” who have left the game.
“Given the evidence currently before us, there are former officials from both clubs (Brisbane and Gold Coast) who are unlikely to be registered to be involved in the NRL in the future,” Weeks said.
The Broncos released a statement on their website following the NRL’s announcement saying they considered the matter now dealt with.
“The Broncos self reported this matter to the NRL earlier this year in an act of transparency, and always had faith the club would be found to have no case to answer.”
The four other clubs were hit with varying fines due to breaches in 2013.
Manly were hit with a $6000 fine for an overspend breach, the Knights $35,519 for the same offence, the Roosters were slugged for $40,000, with $20,000 suspended for two years, with the penalty due to “a lack of substantive notes of negotiation.”
The Tigers were fined $9326 for an overspend on the National Youth Competition.
In 2010 Melbourne Storm were stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships and fined $1.6 million, after they were found to have rorted the salary cap by at least $1.7 million over five years.