Salary cap questions widen at Parramatta

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Salary cap questions widen at Parramatta

A man who gave third-party payments to former Parramatta stars Jarryd Hayne and Will Hopoate has admitted he received free corporate hospitality at Eels games.

John Iori, the owner of Rouse Hill Village shopping centre, provided $20,000 third-party payments to the pair in 2014 but also received ticketing benefits from the club.

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

“I was trying to help Parramatta and rugby league,” he told News Corp Australia.

“I thought it was legal … When I want to go down I ring up and they give me tickets.”

Meanwhile, it is also alleged the club decreased the financial sum of a sponsorship from a sporting goods supplier to allow the company to make payments to former player Ben Smith.

The $27,500 payment made to Smith was used to compensate an unpaid third-party contract of the same amount from a legitimate contract organised between Smith and a financial services group in 2013.

Allegations have also been made that both Semi Radradra and former player Richie Fa’aoso had an apartment provided to them by a real estate agent.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing from any third-party sponsor or player.

The revelations follow reports on Wednesday of leaked minutes from board meetings that highlighted “the importance of servicing third-party agreement providers accordingly with hospitality and player appearances”.

The NRL has admitted they were not aware of those documents, but said they would form part of an ongoing investigation into the Eels’ salary cap matters.

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