Eels directors ‘right’ to challenge bans

Two former Parramatta directors have backed their successors’ move in taking legal action against the NRL.

Gary Morris and Chris Jurd, both long-time administrators with the Eels, left the Parramatta board in 2009.

The duo were interested onlookers in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday as Eels chairman Steve Sharp, chief executive John Boulous, head of football Daniel Anderson, deputy chairman Tom Issa and director Peter Serrao challenged the legality of their provision suspensions by the NRL.

Jurd said the quintet were entitled to have their cases heard and entitled to the presumption of innocence.

“I am quite prepared to let them put their case forward and judge afterwards and I am prepared to do that for the whole case,” Jurd said.

“I have a lot of sympathy for them. I think their hearts are in the right place. I don’t know where their brains are.

“In their commitment to their club they may well have made some mistakes and those mistakes may or may not have been big ones but I am happy to wait until the end (of the investigation).”

Morris added: “We are not privy to everything that has happened and I just feel for them.

“I don’t know what the evidence is. There could have been a lot of things done unintentionally.”

Morris said it was the five club officials’ right to challenge their provisional suspensions.

“That is a personal decision of theirs,” he said.

“If they feel that strongly that what they are doing is right they should continue on but if what they are doing is wrong they should step down.”

The quintet were initially given a week to respond to the NRL’s move to deregister them.

That time frame has now been extended until June 3.

A final decision on the NRL’s move to deregister the quintet, dock the Eels points and fine them $1 million is expected to be made two weeks after that date.

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