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There’s a deeper game afoot

April 28, 2010

Hmmm, this Storm thing – me thinks there’s a bigger game at play.

Hartigan made the mercy dash to Melbourne with several senior News Limited executives including chief operating officer Peter Macourt, Baxter, human resources director Keith Brodie and chief general counsel Ian Philip after the club was caught cheating that salary cap last week.

Hasn’t the crisis already been dealt with and Storm now staggering (possibly terminally) under the weight of it’s punishment?

News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan has labelled Brian Waldron the “chief rat” in the Storm rorts scandal, brushing aside Mr Waldron’s claim others were implicated.

Stepping up his comments last week that Mr Waldron was “the architect of this whole badness in this club” and there were “rats in the ranks”, Mr Hartigan said: “If you draw a line between both those comments, I think it leads to the chief rat.

Oh I see, we’re looking for a fall guy. I suppose it is a bit embarrassing for a large multi-national company to have had the wool pulled over their eyes for five years by a bunch of football administrators. That sort of explains the David “it’s very difficult to detect” Gallop comments over the weekend.

In his first public comments since the Storm was stripped of two premierships, fined $500,000 and forced to return $1.1 million in prizemoney, Mr Waldron called for a public inquiry into salary cap cheating, which he said had spread through NRL clubs.

Asked how damaging he thought Mr Waldron’s comments were, Mr Hartigan said: “I think it is a charade. Brian Waldron has . . . tried to spray other people, other clubs. The reality is, he’s got something to answer for himself.”

Now I get it – the fall guy’s got a bark and maybe a bit of bite.  If salary cap rorting is endemic in the NRL competition, that would be a double humiliation for News Limited. Not only has a club they own mislead them, but the entire league may have thumbed their nose at the NRL board – half of whom are News Limited appointees.

Mercy dash probably required!

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