Player manager denies complicity in salary cap rort Agent stands firm
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
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.’’