NRL fines seven clubs for salary cap breaches

LEE GASKIN
Last updated 15:17 05/07/2013

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Seven NRL clubs have been hit with fines totalling over $500,000 for breaches of the 2012 salary cap.

Cronulla and Canberra have been hit the hardest with fines of $150,000 and $144,393 respectively, while Newcastle ($88,749) and Manly ($85,000) were also slugged significant amounts.

Gold Coast ($16,217), Sydney Roosters ($14,348) and Parramatta ($4,700) were the other clubs penalised.

The ARL Commission said the fines, totalling $503,407, were imposed for a range of breaches across the top 25, second tier and NYC salary caps "and reflect the game's ongoing commitment to enforcing the salary cap".

"The salary cap plays an incredibly important role in the competition and all clubs need to be accountable for staying within the limits of the cap," NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle, said in a statement on Friday.

"This closeness of the competition over many years is tied directly to the fair and consistent enforcement of the salary cap rules and the effectiveness of the annual audit process.

"The fact that we are looking to review the cap going forward does not in any way alter the importance of clubs complying with the rules as they stand presently."

The clubs have five business days to appeal against the fines and their severity.

Canberra boss Don Furner indicated the Raiders would do so.

"We were aware of our overspend in both first tier and second tier salary caps however we will be lodging an appeal in the size of the fines and we're confident in that appeal," he said.

"This overspend related to representative bonuses, and payments to players outside the top 25 to cover long term injuries.

"In 2012 we had to activate a number of clauses in younger player's contracts, as we needed to fill the positions left vacant by long term injuries to our top squad.

"Breaches of the lower tier cap related to a number of allowances to our second tier players.

"We will be lodging an appeal this afternoon based on the fines issued to us."

The draconian nature of the salary cap has become a pressing issue with most NRL clubs and the ARLC indicated last month significant changes were set to be made to the way the cap was policed.

Penrith rookie Matt Moylan has become the poster boy for mooted changes after Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was forced to dump the boom rookie from his side for the round 13 match against Wests Tigers last month due to the strident second-tier salary cup rules.

Roosters rookies Dylan Napa and Kane Evans are two others whose careers have also stalled due to second-tier salary cup rules.

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