Greenberg’s warning for future NRL cheats
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has threatened to strip competition points from clubs who break rules in future, fed up that current penalties haven't proved a significant enough deterrent.
Greenberg dished out $1.5 million in fines, imposed a $640,000 salary cap penalty for 2019 and threw two leading figures out of rugby league indefinitely.
Yet is seems some clubs aren't listening.
Now the NRL boss has warned he will hit clubs where it really hurts - the loss of competition points.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan and Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe faced the humiliation of having their registrations cancelled by the NRL.
The Sharks were fined $800,000 after Flanagan defied an NRL edict insisting he could not contact club officials or players during his 2014 suspension over the supplements scandal.
And Pascoe was banned for his involvement in an undisclosed payment to make hooker Robbie Farah a club ambassador in retirement.
Angry that clubs continue to disobey rugby league's rules, the ARL commission has told Greenberg to beef-up penalties, including loss of competition points.
It is a dire warning to the next club who is caught breaking the rules.
Fines, Greenberg says, don't appear to be working.
"I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be here again proposing penalties for breaches of the game's rules. You will recall in 2016 we imposed a $1 million fine and other sanctions on Parramatta for breaches of the salary cap," Greenberg said.
"Last year, we fined Manly $750,000 and imposed salary cap penalties for the same thing. Across these two matters, we removed the registrations of seven club officials.
"So it is extremely disappointing that clubs are still looking to gain an unfair advantage by deliberately flouting the game's rules.
"Over the last couple of years, we have put fines in place and under our current rules, $1 million is the maximum fine we can apply to a club.
"We have taken people out of their livelihoods and career. I have said this before and I will say it again today, it's a great privilege to work in the game of rugby league. It's not a right.
"When people don't follow the rules that are applied to them, we have to have consequences. We have done that consistently over the last couple of years.
"It's clear that if this continues to happen, the commission want us to consider bigger penalties.
"The biggest penalty, ultimately, outside of your livelihood, is competition points and if we have to get there, we will."
Privately, the NRL is stunned that clubs continue to break the rules with such regularity.
And Greenberg has had a gutful.
At an NRL media conference, Greenberg claimed it was a "simple warning."
"It is clear that the penalties imposed by the NRL are not deterring some clubs from trying to cheat the salary cap or breach the rules to gain an unfair advantage," he said.
"The commission has therefore asked me to review the penalties for salary cap offences.
"That would mean looking at increased fines, increased suspensions and stripping clubs of competition points. We will take whatever steps are required to protect the integrity of our competition."