The NRL is expected to on Saturday hand down its final punishment to Parramatta over the salary cap scandal.
After two months of waiting, the hammer is expected to finally come down on the Eels over what was described as systematic salary cap rorting.
The NRL is expected to ratify its provisional penalty which included the loss of 12 competition points, the club’s 2016 Auckland Nines title being stripped, a $1 million fine and five officials at the centre of the scandal being deregistered.
The Eels were accused of breaking the salary cap in five of the past six years and being $570,000 over the cap this year before being forced to shed players.
The NRL has claimed the club circumvented the salary cap rules by hiding payments, procuring illegal third party agreements and issuing fictitious invoices to suppliers with the payments then passed onto players.
The so-called “Gang of Five” officials – chairman Steve Sharp, deputy chairman Tom Issa, director Peter Serrao, chief executive John Boulous and football manager Daniel Anderson – are expected to be banned.
The NSW Supreme Court last month upheld the NRL’s decision to suspend the group and Issa last week stood down from his post, replaced by David Lamond.
A group of Eels fans has launched an attempt to overthrow the entire club board and last month acquired the 100 signatures necessary to force an extraordinary general meeting.
The group, headed by long-time Eels member Chris Losco, is proposing for the entire board to be sacked, except Geoff Gerard, who will head up a committee to select the replacement board.
The NRL was on Friday still going over the final punishment with its legal team however coach Brad Arthur revealed he expected the final verdict to be handed down on Saturday.
The Eels shrugged off another week of high drama to record a memorable 22-18 win over Sydney Roosters on Friday night to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
“I think we’ve played the same style of footy all year,” Arthur said.
“The conditions didn’t allow for a real pretty game but I thought both teams played tough and physical.
“As for the off-field dramas, it’s just another week.
“We’ll get the ruling tomorrow from the NRL and we’ll just move on and we’ve got Penrith next week.”