Player man­ager de­nies com­plic­ity in salary cap rort Agent stands firm

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

DAVID Ri­olo, one of the four NRL player agents whose ca­reers are on the line, says he wasn’t even in­ter­viewed as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the Mel­bourne Storm salary cap scan­dal.

High pro­file agents Ri­olo, Ge­orge Mimis, I s aac Moses and Alan Gainey have been asked to ex­plain why they should not be banned over al­leged in­volve­ment in the $ 3.17 mil­lion cap rort.

Mimis, Moses and Gainey pre­vi­ously protested their in­no­cence af­ter they were named in a re­port by ac­count­ing firm Deloitte, re­leased last July.

Ri­olo’s name emerged af­ter an NRL re­port into the breaches was for­warded to the Rugby League Ac­cred­ited Player Agent Scheme com­mit­tee, which met on Thurs­day night to come up with the show cause de­ci­sion.

‘‘ I wasn’t in­ter­viewed by Deloittes and I was never in­ter­viewed by the NRL,’’ Ri­olo said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ There was no re­quest by ( salary cap au­di­tor) Ian Schu­bert in his re­port to speak to me so I’m at a loss to know where they’re at.

‘‘ I’ve ob­vi­ously been t o l d t h e r e ’ s i n f o r - ma­tion com­ing re­gard­ing show cause re our ac­cred­i­ta­tion, so I’ve just got to ad­dress that when it comes and go from there.

‘‘ I don’t know what it re­lates to in any way, shape or form.’’

Ri­olo said he had noth­ing to fear, de­spite the penal­ties, which in­clude the sus­pen­sion or c a n c e l l a t i o n o f a n agent’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

‘ ‘ I ’ m al­ways con­fi­dent that I’ve al­ways acted in the best in­ter­ests of my clients and with in­tegrity as an agent so I’m not con­cerned,’’ he said.

The quar­tet rep­re­sent a huge chunk of play­ing tal­ent and the strip­ping of their ac­cred­i­ta­tion would pre­vent them ne­go­ti­at­ing con­tracts for their clients with NRL clubs.

Ri­olo rep­re­sented for­mer Storm player Ryan Hoff­man, who left the club last year as it trimmed tal­ent to get un­der the and Matt Geyer.

His busi­ness part­ner M o s e s r e p r e s e n t s Storm cap­tain Cameron Smith, whose deal with Fox Sports was found to have been im­prop­erly guar­an­teed by the club.

T h e i r c o m p a n y , Ti­tan Man­age­ment, en­gaged l awyers Greg S k e h a n a n d S i mon Kerr SC yes­ter­day and re­leased a state­ment say­ing they would co­op­er­ate with the com­mit­tee but would ‘‘ vig­or­ously de­fend’’ any al­le­ga­tions.

Mimis is the agent for star Mel­bourne full­back Billy Slater, while Gainey man­ages ex-Storm cen­tre Greg Inglis, who re­ceived gifts, in­clud­ing a boat, plus top-ups from the club.

The Deloitte re­port al­leged Moses and Gainey had signed two con­tracts for their clients, but found Mimis had not signed a ‘‘ side’’ letter.

The rul­ing came just a day af­ter

David Ri­olo

cap, pow­er­ful AFL player agent Ricky Nixon was pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his deal­ings with the school­girl at the cen­tre of a St Kilda scan­dal ear­lier this year.

Also, an­other lead­ing NRL player man­ager, Sam Ay­oub, is fac­ing a charge of at­tempt­ing to de­fraud a bet­ting agency – stem­ming from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Can­ter­buryNor t h Que e n s l a n d mat c h l a s t Au­gust.

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion com­mit­tee con­sid­ered legal ad­vice from Se­nior Coun­sel Tony Ban­non on the NRL re­port pre­pared by Schu­bert.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Geoff Bellew said the ac­cused agents would first be given the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions.

‘‘ It will then be up to the com­mit­tee to as­sess the en­tirety of the ev­i­dence which is be­fore it and to de­ter­mine what fur­ther ac­tion, if any, is war­ranted,’’ he said.

‘‘ Be­cause of the ne­ces­sity to en­sure that each of the agents in­volved is given a full op­por­tu­nity to an­swer the al­le­ga­tions, the process is likely to take some weeks.’’

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