Thursday, 22 April 2010
Melbourne Storm Cheat Salary Cap - Lose 2007 & 2009 NRL Premierships
The news was as shocking as it was disappointing. At 4pm this afternoon (Thursday April 22, 2010) the National Rugby League officially stripped the Melbourne Storm of two premierships in 2007 & 2009, three minor premierships from 2006, 2007 & 2008, fined them at least $500,000 and demanded that $1.1million in prize money be returned. And that's just the start of the punishment - in 2010 they will play for ZERO competition points and the 8 points they have from the opening six rounds are also deducted.
In short - this is a massive penalty for some massive breaches of not only the rules of the game but the trust of the fans.
Melbourne fans have the right to feel anything they like towards the team. The players can't be totally innocent in this but the fact is that management would be the ones who dictated that the club go down this path... Naming the CEO who was allegedly involved would serve little purpose but he's no saint anymore.
Above is the video reaction to the incredible news - this is way bigger than the Bulldogs punishment in 2002 and in my opinion trumps Super League from the perspective of how totally disappointed I am that a club thinks that winning at any cost is the right way to go about things.
And perhaps the saddest reality of that last comment is that are we naive enough to think that clubs in the rest of the NRL are being totally honest about their dealings when it comes to the payment of their players?
Check out the video for one suggestion that the Melbourne Storm should DEFINITELY implement if they want to regain any respectability with fans and the game as a whole.
Every game for the rest of the 2010 season that Melbourne play at home should allow entry by fans FREE OF CHARGE. Food, parking etc would carry a cost - but getting into a ground to watch a team that has basically cheated its way to one time greatness... should not cost a cent for the rest of the year.
By W D Nicolson