National Rugby League Side Manly Owner Scott Penn Calls For Quick Integrity Probe
National Rugby League side Manly majority Owner Scott Penn "called on the NRL to settle an inquiry into allegations of salary cap impropriety at the club as soon as possible," saying that he would "open the club's books to League Central investigators this week," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The NRL's integrity unit is this week "set to begin a probe into claims of secret payments that have emerged" during an NSW Organised Crime Squad investigation into match-fixing in the game. Penn has "staunchly defended Manly amid allegations of secret payments" to at least one Sea Eagles player in previous seasons. He said on Sunday that he told NRL CEO Todd Greenberg he "wants to avoid further damage to the brand by having an investigation completed swiftly." Penn said, "I will go in (to the NRL), sure. We have nothing to hide. I rang Todd 10 days ago and said, 'Come down next week. What do we have to do to wrap this up as quickly as possible?' He said, 'We have to work through a process.' We just want to get this over and done with. We are very comfortable with our compliance. Let's wrap this up" (SMH, 7/16). In Sydney, Brent Read reported Penn has spoken to Greenberg about the "need for the game to be more supportive." Penn: "I said to him we've got to work together on this because we really feel like we've been hung out to dry and unfairly treated when nothing has been proven. We didn't get the support we felt we needed from the game. We've just said that in future if these things happen ... if it's related to individuals, not to the club, then support the club" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/17).