Let us see full salary cap audit:Storm directors

EVEN though he admits he may not see the full report himself, NRL chief executive David Gallop has rejected claims by Melbourne chairman Rob Moodie that the report into the Storm’s salary cap, commissioned by News Ltd and expected to be released today, will not be independent.But that view is likely to be tested again with the revelation that News will release to the public only a short summary of the official report by auditor Deloitte. The summary, which it is thought may be as small as 12 pages, has been compiled by the media company. A News spokesman said yesterday the company was unable to release the full report for legal reasons but that the summary would be ”a dozen” pages and would include an overview of the club’s finances and details of player payments, how the salary cap breaches were structured and who was involved.A source close to the Melbourne Storm’s independent board members said it was ”ridiculous” that News was releasing only a summary of Deloitte’s findings. The insider said: ”The directors have always felt that the Deloitte audit was only commissioned with a view to exonerating News and in order that they look respectable in relation to corporate governance. But the fact News Ltd will only make public their synopsis of what Deloitte found shows they have no intention of being upfront about the findings.”The directors have always maintained they want transparency, but again it seems we’re not getting it.”The forensic auditing into the salary-cap breaches by Melbourne between 2006 and this year, which led to the stripping of two premierships and all competition points from this season, was handed to News executives last week. But the fact the findings have not yet been released has heightened the fears of Melbourne’s independent directors.The relationship between the directors – Moodie, Gerry Ryan, Peter Maher and Petra Fawcett – and the NRL and News has become increasingly strained, and there were suggestions last night that News Ltd chief executive John Hartigan was preparing to sack the four, who have taken legal action against the NRL over its punishment, today. The Herald revealed yesterday Moodie was asked to resign on Tuesday by News chief operating officer Peter Macourt, given the report found the club’s breaches over five years amounted to $3.2 million, almost double what had been initially thought.Moodie flew to Vienna yesterday on business but not before turning up the heat on the NRL and News. He maintained the investigation should have been carried out by the NRL before the club was handed its punishments, and not by an auditor funded by the club’s owners.Gallop responded by saying: ”We conducted our investigation and found wholesale salary cap rorting. We imposed penalties on the basis of what we found and what the Storm admitted to. They accepted those penalties and those penalties remain 100 per cent appropriate.”Gallop also defended the integrity of the Deloitte report, suggesting News had no choice but to pay for it as 100 per cent owners of the club. ”I don’t understand the criticism of that process,” he said.Gallop said he had not seen the report and was ”not sure” whether he would be given access to the complete version or the News summary.”It will be important that [NRL salary cap auditor] Ian Schubert gets an opportunity to verify the findings. While he’s already had some discussion with Deloitte, I’m sure he’s keen to see the findings himself.”But Gallop stressed the NRL’s major interest in the report related to the Storm’s salary cap position for 2011. ”No doubt the salary cap auditor will look at the report in relation to their 2011 position, but we have dealt with them for the period between 2006 and 2010,” he said.While it will be ultimately up to Schubert to determine how far over the cap the Storm will be in 2011, Gallop thought the Deloitte figure – believed to be $1.3 million – would be the final one, meaning Storm officials will likely be able to quickly press on with plans for next year.Moodie said it was ”unfair to so many people, like staff and players whose lives are being held in the balance” while the report remained with News but was not available to the Storm.Gallop described as nonsense Moodie’s assertion yesterday that the NRL and News did not have the best interests of the Storm at heart.
Nanjing Night Net

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