Shock as Storm clouds erupt
EVERYONE was doing it, according to an official of disgraced NRL club Melbourne Storm.
The ‘doing’ was, of course, rorting the strict salary cap system the game operates and the official, chairman Rob Moodie, said that was what he was told by former chief executive Brian Waldron, when he confronted him on the subject.
Coffs Harbour fans have been like the rest of the State – and country – shocked and outraged at the depth of the deceit.
And sponsors are deserting the club in their droves.
Joint major sponsors ME Bank and HostPlus announced yesterday their relationship with the Storm was untenable while Skins sports clothing also quit the club.
“There’s a possibility the club may fold but we have strong support from News Ltd who want to keep rugby league alive and well in Victoria and have indicated they will help the Storm rebuild,” Moodie said.
Following the revelations on Thursday, Melbourne had cheated the salary cap to the tune of $1.7 million over five years, the club was hit hard by the NRL. It was stripped of their 2007 and 2009 titles as well as three minor premierships, docked all the points they have earned and will earn in 2010, and a $1.6 million fine which includes the handing back of $1.1 million in prizemoney.
Moodie implored the Storm’s strong but small supporter base to keep the faith as they played out the year, albeit for no premiership points.
“The timing couldn’t have been worse for a number of reasons, whether that’s the opening of the stadium. We have been trying to build a fan base and we have to go back before scratch,” he said.