Rugby League

Raiders fined for salary cap breaches

The Canberra Raiders have been fined $144,393 for breaches of the NRL salary cap for last season.

Raiders CEO Don Furner.
Raiders CEO Don Furner. Photo: Colleen Petch

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said the club would lodge an appeal regarding the amount of the punishment, but conceded they had gone over the first-tier and second-tier salary caps.

The 2012 NRL salary cap for the top 25 players of each club was $4.4 million, with another $350,000 for the secondary cap.

"We were aware of our overspend in both first-tier and second-tier salary caps, however we will be lodging an appeal in the size of the fines and we're confident in that appeal," Furner said.

"This overspend related to representative bonuses, and payments to players outside the top 25 to cover long-term injuries.

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"In 2012 we had to activate a number of clauses in younger player's contracts, as we needed to fill the positions left vacant by long term injuries to our top squad.

"Breaches of the lower-tier cap related to a number of allowances to our second-tier players.

"We will be lodging an appeal this afternoon based on the fines issued to us."

How much the Raiders breached the cap by was not disclosed.

Raiders captain Terry Campese missed the majority of last season with a knee injury, while several youngsters, including Josh Papalii and Sam Williams, played more games than initially expected.

In findings released on Friday, the NRL endorsed a total of $503,407 in fines across seven clubs.

The Cronulla Sharks were hit the hardest with a $150,000 fine, followed by the Raiders, Knights ($88,749), Sea Eagles ($85,000), Titans ($16,217), Roosters ($14,348) and Eels ($4700).

The fines have been imposed for a range of breaches across the top 25, second tier and National Youth Competition salary caps.

"The salary cap plays an incredibly important role in the competition and all clubs need to be accountable for staying within the limits of the cap," NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle, said.

"This closeness of the competition over many years is tied directly to the fair and consistent enforcement of the salary cap rules and the effectiveness of the annual audit process.

"The fact that we are looking to review the cap going forward does not in any way alter the importance of clubs complying with the rules as they stand presently."