Storm in a Tea Cup

The Melbourne Storm Rugby League team has been found to be giving its players money in "brown paper bags". Some of these players are being paid several million dollars a year. It is virtually impossible for a player to get such payments and not know they are illegal under the league system.

As you would expect, some people involved with the club have said that payments beyond the cap limits are rife throughout the league. This is probably the case. If The Storm can have two sets of books, so can any other club. Boards of other teams have said they are reviewing club finances. If they do find something will they be honest and tell the league administrators? They have a great deal to lose if they do.

To win championships rugby clubs need to retain top players each season. To do this requires a large amount of money. League administrators have identified just over $700,000 in overpayment. When you consider there are more than a dozen players on the pay list, its seems a very small amount. Spreading this amount of money over the whole team works out at $60,000 each. This is "peanuts' in relation to what they are paid legally. Would a player risk his career over such a small payment? Unless, of course, they are paying one or two players large amounts. That does not seem the logical thing to do to retain all their team members. Perhaps league officials have overreacted. It certainly seems so.
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