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Western Force fined for player contracting breaches

Western Force fined for player contracting breaches

The Australian Rugby Union has fined Rugby West Australia A$150,000 (US$122,000, Euros 90,000) for breaching payment protocols while recruiting players for their Super 14 team, the Western Force.
Officials of the Perth-based franchise admitted several breaches of contract procedures at a meeting late Thursday with the Australian union.
Their offences included underwriting third-party benefits to players, paying players more than state unions are allowed and offering third-party benefits to recruited players.
Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill said a larger fine would have left Rugby West Australia "in dire straits" and, instead, the national union imposed stringent reporting conditions on the union.
Rugby WA will have to perform an audit of its contract procedures and report the results of that audit to the Australian union by the end of the year. At the same time, the Australian union will have open access and audit rights all of the union's records and documentation.
"The fact is there is little to be achieved by imposing a financial penalty on Rugby WA that is so large that it damages its ability to compete and grow the game in Western Australia," O'Neill said.
"I believe a fine of $150,000 together with the audit and access rights the ARU has secured is about right.
"It is vitally important that the protocols relating to player contracting are observed and complied with at all times.
"We will continue to be vigilant and aggressively police the protocols."
The Australian union launched its investigation after media reports Rugby WA had breached contracting protocols in establishing the Western Force during 2005. Newspapers reported the union had made secret payments of more than A$300,000 to players during 2006, the Force's inaugural Super 14 season.


Updated : 2021-03-03 13:08 GMT+08:00