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Volume 10 No. 22
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NRL Side Parramatta Eels' Parent Company Looking To Ban Former Directors

National Rugby League side Parramatta Eels fans "will get the chance to forever ban officials who presided over the salary cap scandal" from "returning to the corridors of power" at a landmark meeting next month, according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Parent company Parramatta Leagues Club will hold a general meeting on Sept. 13 at which members "will be given the opportunity to approve a new constitution." The "biggest talking point" will be a resolution that proposes to "rub out anyone who has previously served on a Parramatta board" -- whether it be football, district or leagues club -- before July 19, 2016 from "being able to stand at future elections." The motion, which requires the support of 75% of members to pass, "will effectively rule out all directors at the helm during the salary cap scandal from returning to the boardroom." It will also "put a line through" former chairs Denis Fitzgerald, Steve Sharp and Roy Spagnolo from "returning to the fold." Other resolutions to be put to the floor include the rejection of any potential board candidates if there has been a "negative finding made against them" by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority or Liquor & Gaming NSW. The reforms are the "brainchild" of Eels Chair Max Donnelly, who has conducted a review of the constitution (SMH, 8/11). In Sydney, Nick Tabakoff reported Donnelly said that he plans to "do myself out of a job" by next March -- all part of a move to "introduce the strictest rules ever seen in the NRL for incoming directors." Donnelly said, "Whatever has gone on in the past cannot be repeated. It's a strange thing -- I'm actually putting this resolution up to do myself out of a job. I plan to step down as chairman of the football club (the Eels) before the next football season." Donnelly is also planning to have a "full board appointed at the Parramatta Leagues Club by next year," subject to the new set of "tough rules" at both the parent company and the Eels. The Parramatta Leagues Club is a "cash-generating machine" that makes revenues of close to A$80M ($63.1M) a year. It has been subsidizing the Eels for "record amounts in recent years." In '16, the Eels made a A$12M loss, the "largest single-year loss in the history of the NRL," amid revelations that the football club had been "conducting industrial-scale cheating of the salary cap through the use of fraudulent invoices and contracts" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/11).