Parramatta Eels could be about to be hit with a significant six-figure fine over the biggest salary cap penalties since Melbourne’s infamous stripping of two Premiership championships.
The Eels were hit with a preliminary breach notice of $525,000 (£267,000) on Thursday for overspending in all four of the game’s salary cap categories last year.
They will also be penalised four competition points at the start of next season, unless the club undertake an independent review of their governance and organisational capability by February 29, 2016, and implement any recommended changes.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the breaches were the product of inadequate oversight and governance at the club, largely by previous administrations who had ignored multiple warnings.
“The salary cap is one of the reasons we have the closest sporting competition in Australia,” Smith said.
“We have to continue to take a hard line against breaches, particularly where a club’s governance and compliance systems are demonstrated to be inadequate.”