NRL back down on Eels directors

The NRL has backflipped on its stance that Parramatta can’t play for points until its `Gang of Five’ officials leave the club.

After NRL CEO Todd Greenberg initially said the Eels would not be allowed to accrue points while the five officials remained in their roles, the NRL’s counsel Lachlan Gyles told the NSW Supreme Court on Friday the group’s legal action against the league was a separate matter.

“It is a side show,” Gyles told the court.

“While this injunction is on foot, it would not prevent the accrual of points if it (Parramatta) is within the salary cap.”

Arthur Moses SC, the lawyer representing Eels chairman Steve Sharp, chief executive John Boulous, head of football Daniel Anderson, deputy chairman Tom Issa and director Peter Serrao, also confirmed he received paperwork from the NRL on Thursday stating their involvement with Parramatta was separate to the club’s need to get under the salary cap to begin playing for points again.

The Supreme Court’s injunction allowing the directors to continue their roles at the Eels was on Friday carried over until Monday.

But it seems the outcome of those proceedings will now not impact upon the Eels’ chances to win points beginning with next Friday’s round 10 match against South Sydney.

The Eels will still have to fit under the 2016 salary cap before that time.

The quintet were provisionally suspended as part of a raft of sanctions handed down on Tuesday by the NRL in regard to salary cap indiscretions at the Eels dating back to 2013.

Friday’s developments were in contrast to comments made by Greenberg on Fox Sports on Tuesday, only hours after handing down his provision sanctions, which included the loss of 12 competition points and a $1 million fine.

When asked on NRL 360 if Parramatta could accrue points if the deregistered employees remained with the club, Greenberg replied: “The short answer is no.

“The breach notice is very clear on the registration of officials and directors and they need to adhere to those provisions and that is also linked to them accruing points in the future.”

The directors 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 dock the Eels points and fine them $1 million is expected to be made two weeks after that date.

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