Melbourne Storm may sell Greg Inglis to get under NRL salary cap: experts
By John Clark
July 15, 2010
Exclusive: Greg Inglis looms as the man most likely to be sold by Melbourne Storm as the shamed NRL club bids to get under the league's salary cap for the 2011 season.
Fox Sports rugby league experts Warren Smith and Scott Sattler agree that Inglis is the one of the Storm's big four - Inglis, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater - to leave the Victorian club.
Figures revealed on Thursday by News Limited chief executive John Hartigan show the Storm were more than $1 million over the cap in the 2010 season alone.
The estimate, based on Deloitte's investigation, for the 2011 season was an additional breach of $1.3 million.
The quartet have offered to take pay cuts to assist the club in their efforts to retain them all and get under the $4.2 million cap but Sattler said it was looking increasingly difficult.
"I think they've got to let one of the big four go but which one? They're all champions of our
game," Sattler told foxsports.com.au.
"Cooper Cronk, the coach loves him. He's the guy who gets (Craig) Bellamy's message to the players, he gets what the coach wants.
"Billy Slater is going to go down as one of the all-time greats of our game and Cameron Smith is an incredible player and incredible leader.
"We all know how good Greg Inglis is but he might have to be the one they let go. That's one position they have some depth in. It's a tough call."
Brisbane Broncos have pulled the plug on their pursuit of Inglis after the 23-year-old's management snubbed a $400,000 offer.
The Broncos reiterated that their first and final offer was now off the table leaving Inglis likely to listen to offers from rival codes, including the AFL.
Smith said it was imperative that Bellamy had Smith, Cronk and Slater in 2011.
"Inglis is the one who might miss out, they need to keep the other three," Smith said.
"If they can manage to keep the four of them then there's going to be a massive gap between them and the rest in terms of playing experience.
"They did beat the Bulldogs when Bellamy rested Slater and Inglis and Smith was unavailable but they won't want to go into a season without them, that's for sure."
Sattler said Bellamy would once again have to use his undeniable ability to nurture junior talent to ensure the Storm were competitive beyond this wasted season.
"Bellamy's got a great record turning ordinary players into stars and that Storm team has been tight as any," Sattler said.
"The coach is going to have a big job getting them back on their feet but you wouldn't want anyone else in charge."
Brisbane Broncos say 'no deal' to superstar Greg Inglis joining their club
By Wayne Heming
July 15, 2010
Brisbane Broncos have ruled out making an approach to Melbourne Storm superstar Greg Inglis following the release of a report into the full extent of the NRL club's rorting of the salary cap.
The Storm's owners, News Limited, confirmed on Thursday that financial auditors Deloitte had discovered that the club's breaches were a massive $3.17 million over the cap from 2006 rather than the initial $1.7 million first believed.
Melbourne, who were stripped of two premierships and forced to play this season for no points, are faced with the prospect of having to release several players to fit under the cap in 2011.
The club were hoping by releasing as many as 10 players they can retain their so-called 'fab four' of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk.
However, that prospect could become almost impossible in light of the new figure revealed by Deloitte and the Storm may have to lose at least one of the quartet.
Inglis, who asked the Storm for a release last week to move to Brisbane on compassionate grounds, had an offer from the Broncos withdrawn on Monday after his manager, Allan Gainey, told them it wasn't good enough.
The Queensland giants were unimpressed by the way their offer, believed to be around $400,000-a-season, was snubbed, and it's now “off the table” as far as they are concerned.
Inglis, cleared by the Deloitte report of knowing his and other third-party player deals had pushed the club over the cap, is understood to be on $580,000-a-season with the fallen premiers.
However, Thursday's events could change things.
Brisbane are one of the fewy clubs in the NRL, if not the only club in the league, with a war chest with enough cash to pick up a blue-chip player of Inglis's calibre.
Inglis seems the most likely of Melbourne's so-called 'Fab Four' to appeal to Brisbane who will lose Israel Folau to the AFL at the end of the season.
Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak said while he'd keep on eye on events as they unfold with Melbourne, the club had already made its offer to Inglis.
“Whatever happens there is up to the people that run the NRL, as far as I'm concerned it won't affect anything that is happening at the Broncos,” said Henjak.
Asked if the latest developments changed things, Henjak said: “We've already made an offer (for Inglis) and it was refused.
“We won't be going any further with that.”
Henjak said rugby league had been “shocked” by the original extent of Melbourne's salary cap rorting so the latest figures didn't change too much.
“It was shock for everyone when the news broke and the penalties were severe,” he said.
“The ongoing damage to the Storm as a club is going to be severe.
“I think it sends a strong message that the salary cap is important and it needs to be adhered to.
“Everyone needs to be playing by the same rules on a level playing field.”
Henjak said the competition was unfair in a lot of ways with representative football and the fact some clubs didn't play each other twice during the season.
“There's a lot of things that are unfair about our competition, but that one (salary cap) is right up at the top of tree to make sure everyone is on even footing,” he said.
I still cannot believe he turned us down. His fiancee is now in Brisbane, he also has family there too. 400k a season isn't bad money at all, apparently he's earning 580k at Melbourne.