Infotainment Factory: Smith calls for return of Storm's stripped titles

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Smith calls for return of Storm's stripped titles


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Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says the Melbourne Storm should be handed back the two premierships they had stripped over salary cap rorting, considering the Sharks were allowed to keep the club’s lone premiership despite being sanctioned over the same charges.

Smith expressed disappointment over the Sharks retaining their premiership even though the NRL confirmed breaches were committed by the club, according to News Corp.

The Storm were hammered in 2010 for cheating the salary cap by an estimated $1.7 million over five years, culminating in NRL CEO at the time David Gallop wacking the club with a substantial punishment.

Cameron Smith

The NRL ended up fining the club $1.1 million and stripped Melbourne of their 2007 and 2009 premierships, plus three minor premierships.

The current CEO Todd Greenberg last week issued Cronulla with a $750,000 fine for rorting the cap since 2013.

When asked at the season launch whether the Storm’s stripped titles should be reinstated, Smith was adamant in his response.

“Absolutely,” he said.

“They have a lot on their plate at the moment (with a spate of off-field scandals) and I don’t want to take away from some of the things that have happened over the past six months.

“But if the NRL can have a look back and go over what happened at the Storm over those years, they may find there is a different outcome.”

Even though Smith admitted the club was guilty of the charges, he says the Sharks and Parramatta were both dealt with leniently in comparison to the Storm.

 “We were made to play an entire season without points,” Smith said.

“We had premierships taken off us - this (the Sharks salary-cap scandal) is almost like a similar crime with a completely different punishment.

“It (the Storm and Cronulla breaches) are reasonably similar.

“A lot of people got caught up in the overall amount we were over the cap. The NRL did a strategic job of using that entire amount ($1.7 million).

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says the Melbourne Storm should be handed back the two premierships they had stripped over salary cap rorting, considering the Sharks were allowed to keep the club’s lone premiership despite being sanctioned over the same charges.

Smith expressed disappointment over the Sharks retaining their premiership even though the NRL confirmed breaches were committed by the club, according to News Corp.

The Storm were hammered in 2010 for cheating the salary cap by an estimated $1.7 million over five years, culminating in NRL CEO at the time David Gallop wacking the club with a substantial punishment.

Cameron Smith

The NRL ended up fining the club $1.1 million and stripped Melbourne of their 2007 and 2009 premierships, plus three minor premierships.

The current CEO Todd Greenberg last week issued Cronulla with a $750,000 fine for rorting the cap since 2013.

When asked at the season launch whether the Storm’s stripped titles should be reinstated, Smith was adamant in his response.

“Absolutely,” he said.

“They have a lot on their plate at the moment (with a spate of off-field scandals) and I don’t want to take away from some of the things that have happened over the past six months.

“But if the NRL can have a look back and go over what happened at the Storm over those years, they may find there is a different outcome.”

Even though Smith admitted the club was guilty of the charges, he says the Sharks and Parramatta were both dealt with leniently in comparison to the Storm.

 “We were made to play an entire season without points,” Smith said.

“We had premierships taken off us - this (the Sharks salary-cap scandal) is almost like a similar crime with a completely different punishment.

“It (the Storm and Cronulla breaches) are reasonably similar.

“A lot of people got caught up in the overall amount we were over the cap. The NRL did a strategic job of using that entire amount ($1.7 million).

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