It has come to light this week that NRL’s Cronulla Sharks are under investigation for potential salary cap breaches.
Reports in Australia revealed that the competition’s Integrity Unit first took an interest in the club since the spring and it was the Sharks’ CEO Barry Russell drew light to suspicious payments made before he arrived at the club in February. It is understood that the breach could be as much as $250,000 but, given the fact that not all of the thousands of seized documents have been examined yet, that figure may well be inaccurate.
An NRL spokesman explained that, on the available information, the club are compliant this season but that the breach could cast their 2016 premiership-winning season into doubt. Melbourne Storm have, in the past, been stripped of titles after breaching the salary cap and the Sharks will be hoping that the same fate doesn’t befall them.
Many NRL clubs have, in the past, breached the salary cap and they invariably result in a firesale as clubs either seek to get their house in order or pay back any fine they are hit with. Indeed, Darcy Lussick’s departure from Manly Sea Eagles to Toronto this year was as a result of the Australian team’s breach.