Eels deputy chairman steps aside for now

Parramatta deputy chairman Tom Issa has temporarily stood aside from the troubled NRL club’s board and nominated his substitute.

The club says Issa invoked clause 37 of its constitution at a board meeting on Thursday to move aside and the board accepted his choice, business and human resources expert Dr David Lamond, in his place.

Issa is one of the five Parramatta officials served with breach notices by the NRL over the salary cap scandal.

They have given their responses to the NRL which has yet to announce any final decision on them and the breach notice against the club.

Announcing his decision to step aside temporarily, Issa indicated he hoped the move to bring in an independent director could result in a reduced financial penalty on the club over the cap breaches.

“I have been a lifelong supporter of the Eels and it pains me to see the club going through such turmoil,” said Issa in a club statement.

“I have, at all times, acted with the utmost integrity and in the interests of the club and community I am proud to be a part of.

“I have cooperated completely with the NRL and its investigation, and I remain firmly of the view that if the NRL intend to operate in the best interests of fans and the code, they need to consider carefully the club’s response to the preliminary breach notice.

“I have worked tirelessly on the governance reforms over the past three years and have been a strong advocate of the need for an independent non-PLC director to sit on the PNRL board.

“I note that the NRL preliminary breach notice calls for such changes to be implemented if they are to consider reducing the financial penalty on the club.”

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