An overly-long response to accusations of salary cap cheating and corruption against the Sydney Roosters

Some gimp has accused the Roosters of all manners of corruption.

Some gimp has accused the Roosters of all manners of corruption.

If you’re a Roosters fan on Twitter you probably came across this awful, awful piece of work on ZeroTackle by someone who goes ironically by the name “The Truth”.

This is obviously written by a troll looking for a rise out of a Roosters fan. Or a 13 year old. Or a 13 year old troll. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was written in crayon and submitted on a piece of cardboard.

Either way, end to end it is just utter garbage. It’s such a blatant attempt at getting a reaction, and I’d normally be reluctant to link to it as it only justifies the writing of more endless dribble.

But I feel misplaced rants like this are going to be the norm throughout the year: heck, they’ve been the norm for the past 20 years. They’re shitty arguments invented in a fantasy land where the Bunnies are still the pride of the league and people still throw the “loyalty is dead” remark around like it’s a fucking revelation.

It would be remiss of me not to respond to the first arrow fired, if only so we can point to the below as a reference point for when similar shitty arguments are regurgitated ad nauseum throughout a year when the Roosters have been tipped by many to be successful, unlike previous years.

So here is my step by step shredding of the article by “The Truth”, using nothing more than facts, common sense and a fully functional brain.

(Buckle up, kiddies, it’s a long one.)

Until recently, Nick Politis was on every board involved in rugby league.

Every board?

Nick Politis. Image credit The Daily Telegraph.

Nick Politis. Image credit The Daily Telegraph.

I’m not one to accuse people of hyperbole – or lying to get a point across – but for one, that’s clearly not true. Heck, it’s impossible.

Secondly, and most importantly, even if he was, where has that gotten us since 2004?

Last year we missed the finals. The year before, we missed the finals.

In 2010, we made the Grand Final through some brilliance by Todd Carney, who we ended up sacking despite all that talent.

The year before? Wooden spoon.

In 2008 we flamed out after two matches in the finals.

The year before, we missed the Finals.

The two years before that, we missed the finals as well.

Wow, that influence is paying off. He’s like the Godfather, only the exact opposite, wielding what appears to be the collective power of a flaccid knob at nookie time.

I assume that the statement above is meant to imply that Nick gets the Roosters preferential treatment simply by being a member on a board. But the thing to understand about boards, son, is that there are other people on them, and they usually vote on stuff before a decision is made.

If all the boards in Rugby League were majority Roosters affiliates, I would think you had a point.

But they aren’t and you don’t.

And with these “facts” in mind, what influence does Uncle Nick truly wield?

He’s there because he’s good at what he does. If he had tried to use these positions to get favourable outcomes it clearly – as evidenced by the piss-poor record above – hasn’t worked.

Nick is a smart guy: a self-made millionaire with great business acumen. He’s the type of person you want on a board running this game. If you want dumb people on your boards, then go pitch to the guys at Parramatta.

Speaking of which…

Ian Schubert is the salary cap auditor who ratified Sonny Bill Williams deal to go to the Roosters but couldn’t allow Israel Folau to go to the Parramatta Eels.

Wow. You got us. Are you Bob Woodward? Is this Watergate?

Israel Folau had an offer tabled i.e. an offer approved by Schubert. Image credit The ABC.

Israel Folau had an offer tabled i.e. an offer approved by Schubert. Image credit The ABC.

Again, don’t be alarmed. I’m going to flood you with facts here. Facts that you probably haven’t seen before because it involves reading.

Schubert approved the deal to the Parramatta Eels. It came late, granted, but according to this article in the Australian, Folau was poised to sign a $1m a season deal with an overseas rugby team:

ISRAEL Folau has committed the ultimate act of betrayal after turning his back on the NRL club that helped secure his release from the AFL to switch codes – again- and play rugby union.

Folau informed the Eels yesterday he would not be taking up an unconditional offer, which had finally received NRL approval, to return to the code.

Instead, it is believed he will head overseas to pursue a career with a French rugby union team in a deal worth an estimated $1 million a season, spurning a competitive offer from the Eels that was reportedly $3m over four years.

“This has come as something of a surprise to us today,” Eels chief executive Ken Edwards said.

“Our offer to Israel was unconditional.”

This article appeared Dec 1. Folau had enough time to turn his back on not only the Eels, but a foreign Rugby team, before signing a deal with the Waratahs on Dec 3.

The Parramatta offer was officially tabled four days prior to his signing with the Tahs. The deal was cleared for take-off.

Throughout, the commentary was about an act of betrayal by Folau. Ricky Stuart even said the club was better off without him.

But did it ever occur to you that maybe he just didn’t want to play for a club going nowhere? Again, for revisionist history’s sake, I point you to this article about the Parramatta board.

Fair dinkum, the board there couldn’t close a deal if they were in a brothel with Craig Thomson’s credit card.

Now I’m assuming your beef is with how Schubert valued him. Some of the arguments suggest that if Schubert had just had a cap value for Folau of $250,000 he’d be an Eel by now.



(OK, I’m good.)

Now, you wonder how Schubert “conveniently” managed to clear the Sonny Bill deal in time.

SBW's deal took over a month to approve, thanks to objections by Schubert. Image credit Fox Sports.

SBW’s deal took over a month to approve, thanks to objections by Schubert. Image credit Fox Sports.

For one, the deal took a long time to clear. He signed his contract on November 13. It was approved on December 20.

Now, I’m not a maths guy but even Forrest Gump could ascertain that’s over a month. The Parramatta offer, from initial meeting (Nov 1) to the actual tabling of the four-year deal (Dec 1), was done in less than that.

Now your next question might be regarding the “irregularities” in signing Sonny Bill. This is related to them signing him through a legal representative rather than through his agent, Khoder Nasser, who is not accredited with the NRL, as well as his other sporting commitments which Schubert actually tried to include in the salary cap.

You can blame the Roosters for that, and if you are then good luck to you. But to drag Schubert’s name through the mud with such an outlandish conspiracy theory is just garbage, and it’s borderline libellous.

In fact, in this article in The Australian, it was revealed that Schubert actually tried to not register the deal:

Players’ managers are still at odds with the commission over the decision to register Williams, in particular the part played by his unaccredited manager Khoder Nasser.

It is understood the Player Agents Association asked for an explanation from the commission, which has not been forthcoming. As a result, several prominent agents have refused to pay their fees, putting them at odds with the game’s administration.

Adding to their angst is the suggestion salary cap auditor Ian Schubert was reluctant to register the Williams contract, only to be overruled. 

So blame the NRL, perhaps smarting from the Folau fiasco, for fast-tracking the deal. But don’t blame Schubert, and certainly don’t question his integrity with loose accusations of impropriety.

David Gyngell – the boss at Channel 9 – gives them preferential treatment with free-to-air games every season even when they are struggling. He is also aligned to the club.

David Gyngell. Image credit AdNews.

David Gyngell. Image credit AdNews.

Hard to argue with that.

No, wait, it’s extremely easy to argue with that.

The Roosters appeared on Channel 9 just eight times last year…and only twice on the coveted Friday night slot. One of those games was a bye round against the Broncos – who appeared the most on Channel 9 of any of the teams BY FAR – while another was against another Queensland team that gets preferential treatment, the Titans.

In all, there were 75 regular season games shown on Channel 9 last year. The Roosters appeared in just over 10 per cent of those games.

Parramatta, which finished with a wooden spoon, appeared in the exact same amount of games on Channel 9, including in Round 25 when they had the spoon all but wrapped up before being spanked with it.

The defence rests.

They always seem to get the best players from other clubs and fit them under the ‘cap’, whereas other clubs most of the time have to shed key players.

Former Rooster Nate Myles. Now the Titans' Co-Captain. Image Credit SMH.

Former Rooster Nate Myles. Now the Titans’ Co-Captain. Image Credit SMH.

What, you mean shed players like our Captain, Braith Anasta and now-Titans captain, Nate Myles?

Or do you mean players like Justin Carney, Joseph Leilua, Anthony Mitchell, Sam Perrett, Anthony Cherrington, Brad Takairangi, Jack Littlejohn, Mose Masoe, Curtis Rona and Peni Tagive?

Or do you mean the soon-to-be-released local junior Tom Symonds?

Or are you thinking of players in the past such as Mick Crocker, Ben Hannant, James Tamou, Craig Wing, Adrian Morley, Matt Sing, Jason Cayless and Bryan Fletcher?

Really, do I need to list every player we’ve shed in the past 12 years to prove your point is bullshit?

Peter O’Sullivan is their recruitment guru and has not been held to account for his role in the Melbourne Storm scandal. Which begs the question – what is he getting away with at Bondi?

Sully: speaking plain English so deadshits can understand. Image credit Fox Sports.

Sully: speaking plain English so deadshits can understand. Image credit Fox Sports.

Not much mate, if recent history is anything to go by. A brief look at my dismantling of your first accusation against Nick Politis is proof of how inept the club has been since 2005.

But that ineptness has enabled the club to sign the players they have this year: Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings, James Maloney and Luke O’Donnell.

I wrote about this in an earlier piece, but Peter O’Sullivan has already answered this question as matter-of-factly as is humanly possible for even the most moronic of morons to understand. From an article in The Herald:

Questions have been raised over the Roosters’ ability to sign James Maloney, Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings and now Luke O’Donnell, without going over the $5.8 million salary cap for this year.

But Roosters recruitment guru Peter O’Sullivan, who capped off a golden summer in the player market by extending Mitchell Pearce’s contract for another four years, said the side’s roster for this season was a result of good management.

”It’s pretty simple – the salary cap went up and we had money to spend,” O’Sullivan said.

”The other thing is that we had a significant sum left over last year. We left some money up our sleeve and that obviously carries over and gives us extra spending this year.”

Luke O'Donnell: The Roosters sacrificed three young talents to get him. Image Credit The Daily Telegraph.

Luke O’Donnell: The Roosters sacrificed three young talents to get him. Image Credit The Daily Telegraph.

You see, it’s called “management”. The Roosters underspent in previous years, as evidenced again by earlier points in this article.

To sign the likes of Luke O’Donnell (a big name, sure, but a 32 year old with massive injury woes and a poor judiciary history) and Jennings, the Roosters have let go of – in this offseason alone, mind you – Justin Carney, Joseph Leilua, Anthony Cherrington, Brad Takairangi, Jack Littlejohn, Mose Masoe, Curtis Rona and Peni Tagive.

Eight players in exchange for just two.

To sign James Maloney they allowed Braith Anasta, their highest paid player last year, to sign with the Tigers while releasing Sam Perrett and Anthony Mitchell mid-2012.

And to sign SBW?

According to O’Sullivan from the same Herald article:

”We only have a small number of players who are on contracts that have to go up a certain percentage if the salary cap goes up,” O’Sullivan said. ”Other clubs have quite a large number of players. All their higher-paid players are on those percentage clauses, so any increase in the cap isn’t able to be taken advantage of.

”We didn’t have the clauses that other clubs have got that chews up the cap, so we were able to spend it on our footy team.”

Back-ended deals are a nightmare for clubs to control, which is why some teams were inactive in the player market for this season. O’Sullivan said it wasn’t a problem the Roosters had to worry about.

”Some other clubs have players on heavy back-ended deals that start to kick in this year – we don’t,” he said.

”What compounds their problem is that not only are they back-ended, but they are back-ended with a percentage increase.”

That’s probably not enough fact and mathematics to convince you flat-Earthers and mouth-breathers that the Roosters are above board. Frankly, at this stage, I don’t give a shit.

In Summation

I know this sounds like I’m having an over-the-top go at a guy whose imagination ends at calling himself The Truth. In essence, I’ve turned his 200-odd word turd into a 2,200-word rant.

But his opinions are shared by many across the NRL world, no matter how misguided and flat-out false many of these bordering-on-libel accusations may be.

It’s the first shot fired in what will be many in a season where (hopefully) the Roosters, after years of mediocrity, should finally have a team to support in September. And hopefully beyond.

I just wish to fuck people would get some decent material and base a few arguments on important things, like facts.



18 responses to “An overly-long response to accusations of salary cap cheating and corruption against the Sydney Roosters

    • Thanks Maám! Felt like it was something that had to be said. I think any Roosters fan could’ve written that though.


  1. Well written (and I’m a Raiders fan!). It looks like the Roosters try to do the right thing in getting players, and its easy to assume Gyngell gets the Roosters free to air games (Raiders get fuck all), but I could name other clubs that get better preferential treatment that the Roosters….. Again, well written. GO RAIDERS!


    • Yeah the Raiders are the team that get screwed the most…It’s not even a debate. Didin’t they only get two games prior to the finals last year? and don’t they have only 2 games this year despite being a top-eight team last year?

      Its amazing that they get sponsorship, because they get ZERO exposure.


  2. Bryan Fletcher wasn’t shed off from the Rooster in 2002, he was tabled an offer from Souths worth $400’000 a year, which today would be worth something that Greg Bird (highest paid forward in the game) would get. Being my uncle, even I can admit that Bryan was overpaid, but the Roosters were only offering $220’000 a year. Now you could say that he wasn’t loyal blah blah blah, but in my fathers family, despite living in Bondi, not one Roosters supporter is in our family, matter of fact, it’s either Souths, Manly or St. George. So saying that the Roosters ‘shed’ him is misleading, and I definitely assume that this is the case for most Roosters players.

    Anyway, I too agree that the article published on Zero Tackle is absolute rubbish. But do remember the article is simply a ‘Fan-Voice’ article, which I should add that I too have an article published on Zero Tackle (It’s really not that good of an article…). Please do not dis-credit Zero Tackle’s articles as they’re generally not absolute sh*t like this article was.


    • Shed is probably not the right word…but due to salary cap constraints they couldn’t re-sign him was more the point.

      I agree,. i love zero tackle and think they do some really good stuff. This article isn’t necessarily about them, or really even about Fan Voice: the article they published is indicative of many of the feelings around out there. My article would’ve been written at some point this season because these accusations have been flying around for the past 20-odd years or more.


    • Cheers Sonic, this was more a general attack at the pervading thoughts regarding the Roosters, the Salary Cap and corruption. If it wasn’t that terrible article that claimed it, someone down the line certainly would’ve.


  3. Well done in replying to the pile of rubbish written by “The Truth”… In the words of Johnny Cash, “what is truth?” I guess we now know it’s an uneducated ass with a PC. It’s a shame people are allowed to speak/write before they read.


    • Cheers Rick. Agree with everything you just said (and love the Johnny Cash plug). It’s just a shame people don’t use simple things such as facts. Facts are available to everyone. It’s becoming more pervasive and frankly it sucks.


  4. What a great response to that uneducated article that was firstly written. If the Sydney Roosters were getting so called ” bias by the NRL” than how does one argue against the club being the most penalised team over the last 3 seasons, even in a year when they made the grand final…. Just one example shows how small minded and stupid people can be, worse the majority of RL fans belive them.


    • Totally agree. The penalty counts point is another argument. Hopefully they can cut that crap out this year…hard to watch


  5. Pingback: Sonny Bill contract STILL not cleared — WTF? | 26 Rounds·

  6. Regarding O’Sullivan how is it that he is acutely aware of every dollar and cent paid to Roosters players in compliance with the salary cap yet when at Melbourne in the same capacity he was unaware of breaking the cap by 1 million dollars per year.


    • Probably in the same way that none of the Melbourne Storm players were aware they’d signed two contracts.

      But what does this have to do with the Roosters? Just because X happened doesn’t mean Y is happening. Everything that he said regarding backloaded deals, increases linked to salary cap raises and not spending the full cap makes sense.

      How does it not make sense?

      Also factor in how many players have left and how poor they’ve been the past two years, as well as the salary cap increase this year and how many rookies/young players (cheaper contracts) are coming through and it all makes perfect sense!

      Think of the stars that have left the past three years and the money that’s been freed up because of it: Carney, Anasta, Myles, Leilua and every young player thats been set free this year ALONE.

      It’s all well and good to accuse someone of something but it might help to have evidence as opposed to innuendo.


  7. Pingback: Burgess implies we’re over the cap: as smart as the fans that support him | 26 Rounds·

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