Eels board member breaks silence

Parramatta director Paul Garrard has broken the club board’s silence on the salary cap scandal, lashing out at the NRL’s handling of the case.

Garrard, who is not one of the five Eels officials facing deregistration from the NRL, slammed the governing body’s finding of systemic rorting at the club.

“What is the system? I haven’t seen any system there,” Garrard told the Parramatta Sun.

“The way they’ve handled it is a kick in the guts to the fans, the players and the sponsors.”

Garrard, the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, accused previous administrators of creating the salary cap mess, arguing the current directors were “very conscious of the salary cap”.

“Ironically it was people who disgraced the club in their time here who have given evidence (to the NRL).

“The people involved in this nonsense are clearly not with the club anymore, and they’ve got a lot to answer for.”

The director also confirmed the club was attempting to push for the retirement of injured veteran Anthony Watmough in an effort to get under the cap.

“A dialogue will be created between the NRL (and the club) – and it will need to happen smartly – to enable the Anthony Watmough issue and the salary cap issue to be addressed prior to tomorrow week and to get that team on the field,” he said.

Garrard, who joined the remainder of chairman Peter Sharp’s board last year, also said the injunction successfully sought by Sharp and four fellow officials against the NRL was vital to the organisation of the club.

“The board was left exposed. We have 100 employees needing direction every day,” Garrard said.

“This will give us time to get appropriate personnel in to run the club, get a team on the field, and analyse the documents provided to us.”

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