BURNING QUESTIONS FROM PARRAMATTA'S SALARY CAP SANCTIONS
WHAT HAVE PARRAMATTA DONE WRONG?
The NRL says the Eels breached the salary cap by $3 million since 2013, including by $570,000 this year. They have made undisclosed payments to players, illegally set up third-party deals and asked for fake invoices from suppliers which allowed for money to be transferred to players.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY?
The Eels have lost their 12 competition points and will be unable to accrue points until they get their roster under the cap. They've also been fined $1 million - $250,000 of which is suspended - and been stripped of their 2016 Auckland Nines title.
HOW SEVERE IS IT?
The penalty is the third heaviest for salary cap rorting after Melbourne in 2010 and Canterbury in 2002. While both of those clubs were rubbed out of that season's finals, the NRL has given the Eels a glimmer of hope for the remainder of the season.
WHO HAS THE FINGER BEING POINTED AT?
The NRL is set to deregister chairman Steve Sharp, chief executive John Boulos, head of football Daniel Anderson, deputy chairman Tom Issa and director Peter Serraro. They still have a chance to respond to the allegations.
CAN THEY STILL MAKE THE FINALS?
Yes, but they need to win 12 of their last 15 games with a salary cap compliant team. It would mean the club would need to claim 18 wins in total this year, making for their fourth-best regular season of all-time.
HOW CAN THEY GET UNDER THE CAP?
There are a number of options but NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has already stated a mass pay cut for players isn't one. They could seek to advance the retirement of injury-plagued veteran Anthony Watmough and hope the NRL offer dispensation, while Junior Paulo could head to Canberra six months early given he is signed there next year. Twelve other players are also off-contract at the end of the season and early moves could be negotiated.