Former NRL Parramatta Chair Roy Spagnolo Denies Lengthy Impropriety Accusations
Former National Rugby League Parramatta Eels Chair Roy Spagnolo was "cast out by Parramatta after being accused of more than 30 instances of financial impropriety, from procuring free memberships and travel for family and friends, improperly paying large bonuses to executives and even allegedly using the back of a beer coaster" to bill the club A$30,000 ($28,400) for a Christmas party held at his house, according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Spagnolo was "banned from holding a directorship at Parramatta for two years after fronting the board this week." New South Wales Hospitality Minister George Souris said that the "Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing would investigate the contents of a 900-page report into the management practices of the former Parramatta Leagues Club administration and could refer matters to NSW police." Spagnolo, "who was defeated at the club election in May, features heavily in the audit, conducted by Russell Corporate Advisory." Spagnolo denied any wrongdoing on Thursday and said that he had "no intention of vacating the chairmanship of the Eels' junior body, the Parramatta District Rugby League Club." Among the claims are that he authorized the "issue, without payment, of at least 78 memberships." It was also alleged that "similar issuing of free memberships -- understood to be season-ticket packages" -- was conducted in '10 and '11, at a cost of as much as A$22,000 to the Eels (SMH, 11/1).