Sharks bosses’ phones seized by NRL in major investigation
SOME Cronulla Sharks directors have had their mobile phones confiscated by the NRL integrity unit as part of the investigation into the club's potential salary cap breaches.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal some directors reluctantly handed over their phones to the NRL on Monday morning.
It is a dramatic development in the NRL's ongoing examination into Cronulla's alleged salary cap irregularities during 2015 and 2017.
"Unfortunately, I'm not able to make any comment as the investigation by the NRL is ongoing and confidential," Sharks chief executive Barry Russell said.
One well-placed source said the investigation must be "hotting up" if phones had been seized.
The NRL would not comment yesterday.
Sharks officials remain concerned about what occurred in 2015, particularly now the NRL potentially has mobile phone evidence.
It is unknown whether then Sharks CEO and now Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman had his phone taken. He was not at Manly's Narrabeen headquarters on Monday.
Cronulla's salary cap drama broke in August when Russell self-reported what was a possible salary cap breach.
The NRL has made the probe a priority but is yet to nail down any final findings.
It is understood the NRL has been investigating Cronulla for six months.
Russell turned up suspicious and historic payments during a club-instigated governance review and immediately informed the NRL integrity unit.
In August, the NRL also impounded a number of servers.
The NRL has no timeframe for when it hopes to finalise and announce its findings.
At the time, it was thought the breach could be more than $250,000.
The Daily Telegraph reported in August that the investigation centred around undeclared third-party payments last year after the value of players increased considerably following Cronulla's 2016 premiership win.
There is no suggestion coach Shane Flanagan's mobile phone was taken.
The NRL had wanted several Cronulla officials to give evidence.
When the cap drama first surfaced, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said Flanagan, Gorman and former chairman Damian Keogh would be asked to front the NRL.