Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The fine was not in relation to exceeding the $3.25 million salary cap.
The Panthers admit that a particular salary cap requirement wasn?t met, but say they notified the NRL of this and have been honest all the way.
?While we were never over the cap, we did fail to itemise the change in our report to the NRL for that year,? Panthers CEO Shane Richardson said today.
?Subsequently we made the NRL aware of the situation.?
A statement issued by the Panthers cleared up incorrect media reports that the club had been fined for exceeding the cap.
?The club was never over the salary cap,? the statement said. ?The breach was related to a re-adjustment of Craig Gower?s contract over two years ago.?
While NRL boss David Gallop admits that the Panthers? breach was a minor and technical one, he says there was no choice but to issue a fine.
"? overall everyone accepts that the salary cap is serving its purpose,? Mr Gallop said.
"For a couple of years now we have had clubs that are financially stable and our crowds and TV ratings prove that fans are enjoying an even and hotly contested competition.
"It is because of this that we need to continue to be diligent and the good news is that most of the breaches we now see relate to old arrangements that were already phased out."
The Panthers will appeal the $50,000 fine ? which relates to the 2002 and 2003 seasons ? but are expected to be the only club to do so, with others tipped to open the cheque books this week.