Parramatta Eels Chairman Max Donnelly said today that the Club has formally withdrawn its appeal against sanctions imposed by the NRL for salary cap related breaches.
The appeal was lodged by the Club’s previous Board shortly before its resignation.
The withdrawal follows a review of the NRL’s decision by the Club’s newly appointed interim Board. The review included legal advice from independent lawyers appointed to consider the appeal’s merits.
“After reviewing the independent legal advice it was clear that the appeal was only focused on mitigating certain aspects of the punishments," Mr Donnelly said.
“Based on my review, I believe the appeal had no chance of success and should be withdrawn”
Mr Donnelly also announced that, following discussions between the Club’s new Board and the NRL, $250,000 of the $1 million fine would be suspended for a period of two years pending governance reforms at the Club.
The suspended portion was originally proposed in the Club’s Breach Notice on 3 May 2016 on the basis that the Club undertake reforms of its governance structures.
“The suspension of $250,000 of the penalty is an important vote of confidence by the NRL in the Club and its new direction”, Mr Donnelly said.
“There are conditions to the suspension, and the Club is committed to ensuring those conditions are met over the coming 24 months. The conditions align with the objectives of the interim Board in building a stronger Club from a governance perspective.”
The conditions applying to the suspended fine include the Club’s full compliance with the NRL salary cap rules, the prompt payment of its fines and the implementation of independent boards between the Club and its parent, the Parramatta Leagues Club.
Mr Donnelly said that with the salary cap investigation behind it, the Club can now focus on making the club as strong as possible into the future.