9 Jul 2016

Slippery Eels sanctioned

6:15 pm on 9 July 2016

Australia's National Rugby League has docked the Paramatta Eels 12 competition points and fined them A$1 million dollars for salary cap breaches dating back to 2013.

Parramatta Eels logo

Parramatta Eels logo Photo: Supplied

In addition, the NRL deregistered five of the club's former board officials and stripped the team of its Auckland Nines title as part of the sanctions confirmed on Saturday.

The Eels' hopes of contesting the playoffs are now in jeopardy, with the four-times NRL champions plummeting from fifth on the table to 12th with nine rounds left in the regular season after the cancellation of premiership points.

The top eight teams in the 16-team competition contest the post-season.

The sanctions were tabled in May pending a response from the club, but NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said their submissions had changed nothing.

"The overall impression that I got from the responses is that no one at the club has taken responsibility for the deliberate, systemic and blatant breaches of the salary cap," he said in a statement.

"We have to take a stand to demonstrate that the NRL will not tolerate contraventions of the salary cap which plays such a crucial role in giving us one of the closest competitions in Australian sport."

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Photo: PhotoSport

The NRL in May said the club had been fined for salary cap breaches in five of the last six seasons, while hiding or misrepresenting banned payments to players with the knowledge of senior executives and board members.

The club will have a chance to appeal but Greenberg urged the Eels to move on.

"We're disappointed with the conduct of people at this club and we continue to be disappointed. We must move forward. We must find ways to get this club governed and led by the right people," he said.

The scandal has been compared to the massive salary cap scam by NRL rivals Melbourne Storm, who were stripped of their 2007 and 2009 titles and unable to play for championship points in the 2010 season.

The punishment adds to a tumultuous season for the Eels, whose prized recruit Kieran Foran announced on Friday that he had requested an indefinite period of leave after a season blighted by injury and personal problems.