Parramatta chief executive John Boulous says he didn’t break the NRL’s salary cap laws when he attempted to set up a third-party deal between three players and the local council.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Boulous, who was then the club’s chief operating officer, and football boss Daniel Anderson had been in contact with Parramatta council regarding possible use of Tim Mannah, Will Hopoate and Nathan Peats becoming ambassadors for $75,000 in 2014.
Text messages also show that the council made contact with the three players’ agents, while then Eels CEO Scott Seward met with councillor Pierre Esber and his CEO Greg Dyer in March 2015 before the idea was shelved, according to News Corp.
There are also clear links between the council and the Eels.
Current Lord Mayor Paul Gerrard has been on the club’s board since May last year, and councillor John Chedid is the CEO of the Eels’ Premiership Club, which is a business networking group.
However Boulous said on Wednesday morning that he had only been a part of introductions for the planned project, which is within the NRL rules.
“Again, there were discussions with the NRL about all relevant issues relating to the potential program with council,” he said in a statement.