Eels director calls for board cleanout

Parramatta board member Geoff Gerard will call for he and his fellow directors to stand down at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.

The four remaining Eels directors – Gerard, Paul Garard, Tanya Gadiel and Andrew Cordwell – will meet this week to discuss how the club can move forward out of the NRL salary cap scandal, and Gerard will suggest they all step aside.

“When you get to rock bottom, it can’t get any lower,” he told News Corp Australia.

“What we need is for this club to move forward, and it’s a decision for each of the directors whether they stand aside for this to happen.”

Gerard, who played 138 games for Parramatta between 1974 and 1980 before playing another 182 for Manly and Penrith, said he would not force his fellow members to stand down.

However he took the surprising stance to back NRL’s decision to punish the Eels, which included the stripping of 12 competition points and provisionally suspending chairman Steve Sharp, deputy chairman Tom Issa and director Peter Serrao, chief executive John Boulous and football manager Daniel Anderson.

“The constant blaming of the NRL is not working for anybody,” Gerard said.

“Do you think the NRL wanted to step in and do this to Parramatta, one of the powerhouse clubs of the competition?

“Todd Greenberg and Nick Weeks have a duty to the game. The game is bigger than Parramatta.”

Meanwhile Serrao has become the first member of the suspended group to speak publicly, claiming he had no knowledge of the breaches until the NRL informed him.

“I didn’t actually sit on the salary cap committee and I wasn’t actually involved in any discussions with player agents or about (third party agreements),” he told Fairfax Media.

“It appears not all of the information was provided to me, which would have assisted me and the board in making better decisions.

“As a director and as a board, I agree we could have done things much better.”

Serrao remains provisionally suspended from his position on the board until at least the point when the NRL hands down their final verdict, expected to be at the end of next week.

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