Club accepts penalties for breach

iSelect Titans CEO Graham Annesley said today the club accepts the decision of the NRL to impose a fine of $300,000 ($75,000 of which is suspended) and the suspended loss of four competition points, should the club be found guilty of any further salary cap breach during the next two years.

The NRL announced the penalties today, along with those handed out to several other clubs.

The breach, associated with the playing contract of former captain Scott Prince, was reported to the NRL by Annesley in November 2013 shortly after he began as CEO.

“We have been co-operative and transparent with the NRL since day one. I always knew this day was coming and always knew it would involve a significant penalty,” he said.

“I wasn’t shocked by the penalty; the NRL have been fair in their assessment and in conducting the investigation. We will accept the penalty and over the last 12 months we have put in place processes to ensure that this will not happen again.

“I have absolutely no doubt that under our existing board structure and under our current administrative structure things like this simply will not happen in the future. I think it’s a great message to our members, sponsors and corporate partners that this club is now clearly being run on the basis of 100 per cent transparency and integrity.

“They should all feel confident that the club is taking all the right steps to ensure it has a bright, sustainable future. The fact we have been so open about this matter, and are prepared to stand here and take our medicine, should demonstrate to everyone that we are a club that is here to stay.”

The NRL earlier today announced the penalties in a media release in which it said $75,000 and the docking of four competition points are to be suspended “because it [Titans] self-reported the breach and co-operated fully with the investigation.”

It also read: “The Titans penalty was issued following an investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit which was instigated by the new management of the club.

“It found that a former player, Scott Prince was paid substantially more than the contract lodged with the NRL by a previous Titans administration. This difference in remuneration was never disclosed by the previous Titans administration or Mr Prince and was only unearthed by the new management.

“Mr Weeks said the Titans penalty was no reflection on the current administration which had worked with the NRL to resolve the matter.”