NRL issues breach notices to Panthers players

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The NRL and Penrith Panthers have provided statements on Tuesday following breach notices issued to players by the NRL.

NRL statement

The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued the following Breach Notices after investigations into the conduct of the Penrith Panthers playing squad following the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.

Nathan Cleary & Stephen Crichton

Penrith Panthers Players Nathan Cleary and Stephen Crichton have been issued with Breach Notices alleging that they acted contrary to the best interests of the game after they were photographed on social media acting in a disrespectful manner toward the NRL Telstra Premiership Trophy.

The Notice alleges the Premiership Trophy was damaged at a Club Awards night and although not personally responsible for the damage, the players subsequently treated the Trophy in a manner which showed disrespect towards the individuals depicted in the iconic moment memorialised on the Trophy.

The Breach Notices propose that players Cleary and Crichton are fined $7,000 and $4000 respectively. The fines take into account their varying salaries.

The Players have 5 business days to respond to the Breach Notice. The Penrith Panthers Club will be responsible for the cost of repairs to the Premiership Trophy.

Tyrone May

Penrith Panthers Player Tyrone May has been issued with a Breach Notice alleging he acted contrary to the best interests of the game for posting and being part of social media posts which do not align with the values of the game.

The Breach Notice proposes May must complete further education programs as directed by the NRL. May has also been issued with a proposed $7,500 fine.

May has 5 business days to respond to the Breach Notice.

Panthers statement

Penrith Panthers acknowledges the breach notices issued to Tyrone May, Stephen Crichton and Nathan Cleary by the NRL earlier today.

Panthers has subsequently notified May he is stood down from all club-related duties and appearances until further notice.

The matter will be considered further at the upcoming meeting of the Panthers Board of Directors.

In regards to Crichton and Cleary, Panthers Group CEO Brian Fletcher said the following:

"The Panthers players had no intention to show disrespect towards the trophy, Norm Provan or Arthur Summons, however they understand that's how their actions may have been interpreted.

"Everyone at Panthers is well aware of the immense contributions Norm and Arthur made to our game and the high esteem in which they are held by everyone involved in Rugby League.

"On behalf of the club I sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this matter may have caused the Rugby League community and particularly the Provan and Summons families."