Five Parramatta Eels officials have failed in their bid to overturn penalties imposed by the National Rugby League, following the club’s salary cap scandal.
Club directors Steven Sharp, Tom Issa, Peter Serrao, John Boulous and football manager Daniel Anderson now must face the NRL on Wednesday, to answer the breach notice handed down from the league, as part of the Eels punishment for ‘systemic’ breaching of the salary cap.
The group fought their suspensions, hoping to have them invalidated, claiming they had been unfairly judged without notice and were not granted the opportunity to defend themselves.
Justice James Stevenson rejected that argument in his written verdict, finding the NRL's rules meant the league didn’t have to provide the officials with a hearing before handing down any punishment.
"On the proper construction of the rules, the plaintiffs did not have any right to be heard before the NRL made the suspension statement or issued the notices.
"The notices are valid. After receiving their responses to the show cause notices, Mr Greenberg is empowered under the NRL rules to issue a caution, commence breach proceedings, suspend registration for a period of time or cancel their registrations,” wrote Justice Stevenson.