The corruption allowed the club to keep more players, with more talent, so that they gained an unfair advantage over other clubs. It is devastating for those not involved, and it would be appropriate for them to stand up and say that they do not want corrupt officials, staff, players at the club - they should help root out the evil infecting their club.
For more than 10 years, ever since its inception, Melbourne Storm has lost money; losses that have had to be made up by grants from the NRL, and from its owner, News Ltd. News Ltd has been trying to sell the club for some years. It might now not be able to sell the losing concern.
While forensic accountants have been called in by News Ltd, and some matters referred to police, there is more that must be done. The NRL must investigate:
- players to whom letters were sent, offering the corrupt payments. If shown to be true to the NRL's satisfaction, these players must have their NRL contracts withdrawn, and be suspended from any professional league for at least 12 months.
- the involvement of club executives, and other staff, including coaching and related team staff. As with players, anyone involved should be banned from working in any NRL-related capacity for some time.
- The apparent insider trading on betting. At least 1 $50 000 bet on Storm getting the wooden spoon (coming last) was made hours before the announcement that they would get no points in 2010 and come last. What relationship does the bettor have with the NRL, the Melbourne Storm, or any other club, or club executives?
For the record, I do not support any NRL team; I prefer Super Rugby.