Ay­oub ar­rest

Cow­boys bet­ting sting

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - Rugby league writer Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

NORTH Queens­land Cow­boys CEO Peter Jour­dain is con­fi­dent his club has no in­volve­ment in the al­leged bet­ting scan­dal that has re­sulted in prom­i­nent player man­ager Sam Ay­oub and for­mer firstg rader John Elias be­ing charged by po­lice. The pair was yes­ter­day charged with at­tempt to ob­tain fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage by de­cep­tion and granted con­di­tional bail to ap­pear in court on April 7 in re­la­tion to al­leged il­le­gal bet­ting ac­tiv­ity sur­round­ing the round 24, 2010, Na­tional Rugby League clash be­tween the Cow­boys and Can­ter­bury-Bankstown Bull­dogs at Dairy Farm­ers Sta­dium.

Mr Jour­dain said he could not com­ment on the lat­est de­vel­op­ment but was firm in his be­lief that no Cow­boys play­ers were in­volved.

‘‘ We were cer­tainly sur­prised be­cause we didn’t have any wind of it be­fore­hand,’’ he said.

‘‘ As far as I’m con­cerned, it’s still with the po­lice and un­til they con­clude all their in­ves­ti­ga­tions we haven’t re­ally got any com­ment be­cause we’re not in­volved at all.’’

Mr Jour­dain said the club had yes­ter­day spo­ken to all but one of its play­ers man­aged by Mr Ay­oub, whose high­est-pro­file client is Johnathan Thurston.

‘‘ We caught up with just about ev­ery player who has Sam as a man­ager, so they’re aware of as much as we know,’’ he said.

‘ ‘ I d o n ’ t t h i n k t h e y ’ r e rat­tled at this stage and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween t he player and their man­ager is re­ally be­tween them, so I think we still have to see where t he l egal process goes.’’

Last month New South Wales de­tec­tive su­per­in­ten­dent Arthur Kat­so­gian­nis, the po­lice com­man­der pre­sid­ing over the NRL bet­ting in­ves­ti­ga­tion, told me­dia the Cow­boys had no case to an­swer un­less new ev­i­dence came to light.

While Thurston – who has been ap­pointed co-cap­tain with Matt Scott for the Cow­boys’ 2011 NRL pre­mier­ship tilt – is Mr Ay­oub’s big­gest client, the 49-year-old also man­ages a swag of other high pro­file NRL play­ers. Mr Elias, 48, played at a num­ber of first-grade clubs in­clud­ing the Bal­main Tigers and East­ern Sub­urbs.

Po­lice said a 48-year-old man was ar­rested yes­ter­day about 9.45am at a home in Punch­bowl b e f o r e b e i ng taken to Bankstown Po­lice Sta­tion.

Mr Ay­oub was ar­rested af­ter he at­tended Camp­sie Po­lice Sta­tion about 11am.

De­tec­tives also car­ried out a search war­rant of Mr Ay­oub’s busi­ness premises in Le­ich­hardt and seized a com­puter and other doc­u­men­ta­tion.

‘‘ We will be al­leg­ing these i n d i v i d u a l s d i s h o n e s t l y placed bets on the NRL game b e t ween t he Can­ter­bury Bull­dogs and North Queens­land Cow­boys on Au­gust 21, 2010, in the knowl­edge that the out­come of the game had been pre-de­ter­mined,’’ Supt Kat­so­gian­nis said.

The only per­son that had been charged over the al­leged scan­dal prior to yes­ter­day’s ar­rests was Bull­dogs’ player Ryan Tandy, who ap­peared in a Syd­ney court yes­ter­day to face charges of ly­ing to po­lice.

The al­leged scan­dal in­volved a plunge on a bet­ting op­tion that the first points of the round 24 game would come from a penalty goal.

Tandy was pe­nalised two min­utes into the game for i mped­ing Cow­boys pl ay­maker Grant Rovelli in front of the posts, but for­mer Cow­boys util­ity An­thony Watts took the tap and passed to Ty Wil­liams who scored in the cor­ner.

NRL chief ex­ec­u­tive David Gal­lop told re­porters yes­ter­day the sit­u­a­tion would have to be played out in the courts.

‘‘ It’s a se­ri­ously alarm­ing de­vel­op­ment in events," he said.

‘‘ I can’t com­ment on the guilt or in­no­cence of those t hat have been charged. What I can say is the game is strong in its re­solve to in­ves­ti­gate these types of is­sues, make sure that it’s placed in the hands of the po­lice quickly.

‘‘ We’ve done that on this oc­ca­sion and we now need to let them and the court process play out."

Player man­ager Sam Ay­oub leaves Camp­sie po­lice sta­tion yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing ques­tioned by po­lice

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