The below is a statement from Parramatta Eels Chairman, Steve Sharp.
In order to address current rampant and misleading public commentary I advise Parramatta Eels Members, fans and the public of the following:
- The Eels have been assured by the NRL as late as Friday of last week (April 8) that the NRL has not reached a decision or determination in its current salary cap investigation;
- The Eels have also been assured by the NRL that the NRL investigation is proceeding unaffected by this speculation. Like all other clubs and broadcasters, we are completely reliant on the integrity of NRL processes;
- The Eels welcome these assurances from the NRL;
- As such, speculation as to findings of guilt or innocence, potential loss of points, fines, removal of Eels staff and the like is just that, speculation;
- The Eels have also been assured by the NRL the current Eels Directors, staff and I will be afforded the opportunity to assist the NRL’s investigators. We welcome this opportunity and look forward to assisting the NRL, especially given so much complex and historical material;
- Some current staff have already been interviewed and offered full assistance to the NRL;
- The Eels support the request of the NRL to interview the previous CEO Mr Scott Seward and any other former employees, officials or relevant parties they deem necessary;
- The Eels stand ready to further assist the NRL in any way moving forward; and
- We reassert our commitment to the ongoing reforms of the governance of the club made necessary by previous poor practices.
Much of the current speculation and misinformation is clearly being fuelled and driven by those opposed to these reforms.
We look forward to ongoing discussions in detail with the NRL in the proper forum to address each and every matter in detail. We are disclosing any and all relevant material within our knowledge to the NRL.
And we reject the wildly misleading and inaccurate comparisons between the current investigation into the Eels and the findings in respect of the Melbourne Storm and the Bulldogs in years gone by.
There has been much criticism of the Eels for not making more public comment as the investigation has proceeded.
We have chosen to be circumspect in any public commentary for this simple reason: public commentary has the effect of undermining confidence in the integrity of the NRL processes which every fan, every single NRL club and the game’s broadcasters rely upon.
If these processes are compromised, then the game and everyone who loves and is invested in the game are potentially diminished.
What we can say is that current Eels leadership is actively reforming the governance of the club in close association with the NRL. There have clearly been many serious previous problems at the club warranting this reform program.