Hayne says unaware of ‘secret deals’

Former Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne says he’s not aware of receiving off-the-record payments of nearly $500,000 when he was at the club.

New revelations in an NRL breach notice against the Eels reportedly show the club secretly arranged almost $500,000 in deals for the failed NFL convert since 2013.

Official documents and boardroom minutes show a trail of salary cap discrepancies in the star fullback’s third party deals with the club from 2013 to 2015, News Corp reported on Tuesday.

They allegedly include cash payments, first class overseas travel and car expenses adding up to $465,000, all hidden from the NRL.

When asked by reporters about the “secret deals” in London on Monday, Hayne joked about the amount.

“Half a million, wow, must have been the wrong bank account. I haven’t seen it.” When asked if he was aware of any off-the-record payments Hayne replied, “Not that I’m aware of, no”. Hayne said the Eels’ salary cap scandal was sad and disappointing when the side was doing so well, “not only finals bound but top four bound”.

“Us players have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.”

He said the players’ duty was to go out and play and he had put his trust in his manager and the people who ran the club.

“I’m an athlete, not a manager.” The revelations follow Hayne’s surprise news on Monday that he was quitting the San Francisco 49ers and a US gridiron career to chase Olympic gold with Fiji’s Rugby Sevens team.

Third-party payments to players must be done on an arm’s length basis from the club and it’s a breach of salary cap rules if a club makes a payment on behalf of third parties.

News Corp said there was no suggestion Hayne was aware his payments were contrary to NRL rules or that Hayne had done anything wrong.

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