NRL to search Parramatta’s books

The NRL will search Parramatta’s books as it reopens its investigation into the club’s allegedly mismanaged salary cap.

ARL Commission chairman John Grant met with Parramatta counterpart Steve Sharp and Eels CEO John Boulos on Thursday night as reports continued to surface surrounding the manipulation of third-party deals by the club.

Boulos and Sharp agreed to open their books to Grant and the NRL’s head of the integrity unit, Nick Weeks, just two weeks after a four-point sanction was lifted over mismanagement at the club.

However, Grant has warned that while the reopened investigation could take some time, the Eels may still face further penalties.

“It’s very important for the club and its fans and members that the investigation determine once and for all whether there have been any undisclosed breaches of the salary cap,” he told reporters.

“And if there have been, they will be dealt with.”

It comes as News Corp documents reveal that Boulos was allocated up to 50 corporate box seats at each game last year, while he was the club’s chief operating officer.

It is believed some of those tickets, valued at $300 each, were then used to host third-party sponsors of some players.

Minutes from within a 2014 Parramatta boardroom meeting leaked to the media on Wednesday highlighted “the importance of servicing third-party agreement providers accordingly with hospitality and player appearances”.

Under NRL salary cap rules, clubs cannot compensate companies in any way for third-party payments.

Parramatta were fined $465,000 last May for breaches totalling $436,000 across top-squad and second-tier salary caps in both the NRL and under-20s competitions.

However the latest allegations and documents are not believed to be included in those original breaches.

Meanwhile, the NRL is reportedly considering scrapping the third-party deal system for non-marquee players in the wake of the scandal.

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