News Ltd won’t support Melbourne Storm
Former major sponsor of embattled NRL team Melbourne Storm, News Ltd said it would not support or fund any legal action the directors of the team take against the NRL.
Melbourne Storm’s independent directors announced they would be seeking a review on the penalties imposed for the club’s breach of salary cap regulations and are considering legal action if necessary.
“We acknowledge their views and we disagree with them,” said News Ltd chairman and CEO John Hartigan.
“News recognises that the penalties are unprecedented. We know how devastating this has been for the fans, players, staff and sponsors of the Storm… But, we don’t believe a legal challenge to the NRL’s procedures is the answer. On the contrary, it could further damage the Storm.”
“It is important to remember that certain people at the Storm orchestrated complex fraud and deception to conceal huge extra payments to some of the club’s players that put the Storm well over the salary cap for five years,” said Hartigan.
“Right now, we have two top priorities. We want to get to the bottom of what went on and who was responsible. Equally, and more importantly for the long term, we have started work on rebuilding the Storm so that it has a clean slate, new management and a credible plan to restore its reputation… To that end, the board of the Storm should be concentrating on how the club can field a team next season that is within the salary cap.”