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Melbourne Storm Scandal: Gambling With NRL Salary Cap

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Apr/26/2010
Melbourne Storm

Australian sports betting scandals are far bigger than just the recent Melbourne Storm football club revelations.  Comments echoed by ex Storm chief Brian Waldron. A number of other NRL clubs also broke the rules and an amnesty may be required to clean up the game. A couple of odd bets on Melbourne Storm getting the "wooden spoon" were the recent trigger, but now it appears its a situation much wider in scope, going back years, even before the Storm arrived on the scene (of the crime).

Media Man and Gambling911 have been digging for dirt (and truth), and can now reveal more details on arguable Australia's biggest and dirtiest sports and sports betting scandal of all time, and that covers a lot of ground...

Waldron has got himself in quite the way of words, hitting back Rupert Murdoch's News Limited and the National Rugby League for their involvement in the club's salary cap rorts. He vehemently denies he is the "sole architect" of the scheme.

Waldron is calling for a public inquiry into salary cap cheating, strongly linked with elements of the sports betting world, which he says has spread through NRL clubs over several years. Make no mistake, there's an Underbelly and underworld element to this.

Waldron notified Fairfax Media (News Limited print and online competitor) he would "tell everything I know" (quite a bit we understand) to any properly constituted, transparent inquiry that required evidence under oath.

He's gone on the front foot and says to News "I am ... prepared to give the entire background to Rupert Murdoch so that he has a full understanding of how his company has managed a $66 million investment in the Melbourne Storm since its inception."

The art of war maneuvers are in full swing with the disgraced chief speaking "off the record", having secured advise from legal eagles.

"At times like this you stick to the closest 30 people in your life".

Word has leaked to Media Man that a number of NRL clubs were (or are) breaking the rules. The Storm is most recent to get busted, but the cancer has spread far and wide.

There's considerable chance police will investigate the rorting and other potentially criminal going ons

It was last Thursday, when the NRL announced it had stripped Storm of its last two premierships, fined it half a million dollars and forced it to return $1.1 million in prizemoney, and banned it from accruing any premiership points this season to boot. Ouch! Talk about a crash tackle, followed up by a clothesline that even Hulk Hogan would rate. Hogan did a deal with Sydney Rooster's a few months ago, Rooster's later sporting Full Tilt Poker branding on the players shorts, but that's another scandal ready for probe. The Rooster's caught Hulk-A-Mania, but that's not all they caught! The Canterbury Bulldogs also got done for rorting the cap system back in 2002 and the doggies also have a sex scandal or two under their leg.. er..wing.

Insiders say Waldron told Fairfax (and maybe others) he is determined not to let powerful interests use him as a scapegoat for a payment system he says was compromised and corrupted well before he joined Melbourne Storm in 2005.

A bridie hinted News Limited executives including NRL chief David Gallop as being aware of widespread salary cap cheating for years.

Waldron has apparently notified many folks he told Gallop three years ago that systemic salary rorting was "a cancer" that affected every NRL club except Canberra, which was too broke to pay players more than it should!

But, Waldron said later, Gallop had ignored the warning and had never raised the matter with him again.

Whispers states Waldron told Gallop about rorts at Newcastle Knights in 2007, after a former Knights bean counter alleged rorts.

Our birdie friend tweated (not Twittered like Warnie has quite the habit)... without some sort of amnesty it would be impossible even for those clubs that wanted to do the right thing to straighten out their books.

Gallop said that such a deal couldn't be an option...if extensive details came out about breaches in the salary cap...it would be too damaging to the sport's reputation...could lead to fans questioning results they'd seen on the pitch...

A new player to the clean up.. politics...Frank Stanton in a troubleshooter role..

Stanton is there to kick heads and clean up the salary cap issue.

Waldron said in a media statement "There is a great deal I would like to say about my five years at the Melbourne Storm, a club that I have the highest regard for and whose players are the finest and most courageous group of sportsmen I have ever seen run onto the field of play. They are a great team that will now be remembered for the wrong reason".

The sport awaits a final answer on the amnesty suggestion, and sports betting - bookie agencies are starting to return to normal, the bookies looses on the rort estimated to be well over $100,000, but the real figure may never be know, nor the entire scope of the NRL cancer, as to who knew what, when, ala former U.S president Nixon.

Media Man and Gambling911 thinks its a time to cut out the cancer, not so much of a time for diplomacy and politics. Let's get it back to football fellas, not so much about the "green" on and off the field. NRL punters are looking for assurance that the matches are "for real" and that dark forces are not spoiling the great game that is Australian Rugby League. "Punters want an Australian sport for sports betting and passion, not an Australian casino for gambling. If we want gambling and the possibility of funny business, we will go to the casino. Time to tame and cage the wild animal that is sports rorting", whispered a Media Man insider.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming / sports betting is one of a bakers dozen of industry verticals covered

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