Parramatta’s players were shattered when told of the heavy sanctions imposed upon the NRL club for salary breaches on Tuesday morning, according to Todd Greenberg.
NRL CEO Greenberg met with the players at the Eels’ training base early Tuesday before fronting a press conference at Rugby League Central.
Greenberg said he wanted to inform them personally of the sanctions handed down that include the loss of all their 12 competition points accrued in 2016 so far.
“I really feel for the players at the moment,” Greenberg said.
“They were shattered.
“I wanted to tell them face-to-face this morning. I wanted them to hear it from us.
“I feel for them, they have worked so hard.”
The loss of competition points has plunged the Eels from fifth position to last on the NRL ladder.
“It was a difficult pill to swallow but the players were very respectful,”Greenberg said.
“It was a difficult decision for us, but it was the right decision.
“I take no joy in it.”
NRL integrity unit boss Nick Weeks said the Eels had exceeded the salary cap by $3 million since 2013.
The NRL said the Eels are more than $500,000 over the salary cap for 2016.
The club will have to get under the salary cap before they can compete for competition points again in 2016.
Greenberg said that could be possible before the Eels next game against South Sydney on Friday week.
As for those sides that have lost to an Eels side over the cap already this year, Greenberg said: “That is not ideal”.