'Plain wrong': Former NRL boss slams Cameron Smith claim

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Cameron Smith (pictured) looking disappointed during a game.
Cameron Smith (pictured) hit out at the NRL and former CEO David Gallop over the Storm saga when they were punished after breaching the salary cap. (Getty Images)

Former NRL boss David Gallop has hit back at Cameron Smith after the Storm captain said he was angry at him for the punishment the code handed down for Melbourne’s salary cap breach.

Smith, in his autobiography, said his anger wasn’t directed at Storm CEO Brian Waldron but instead at the NRL and the former code boss Gallop.

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The 430-game veteran alleged the players were “hung out to dry” before a thorough investigation was held when it was deemed they breached the salary cap over a five-year period.

“When people ask me who I’m most angry with for what happened they generally think I’ll say (CEO) Brian Waldron but it’s not... My anger is mainly directed at the NRL for the penalties they handed down and the way the whole matter was handled. And for that I blame David Gallop,” he wrote in his autobiography in an extract obtained by The Courier Mail.

Gallop responded in The Daily Telegraph and claimed he was surprised by Smith’s words.

But he also hit back at the future NRL immortal and said he was “plain wrong”.

Gallop doubled down and claimed a subsequent investigation into the salary cap breach meant “the punishments were obvious and clear”.

The former NRL boss also claimed Smith should: “direct his criticism to the culprits, not the NRL administration which acted fairly and appropriately on the facts in front of it.”

The Storm were stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships.

They were also stripped of their 2006, 2007 and 2008 minor premiership titles and played for no points in the 2010 season.

Former NRL CEO David Gallop speaks during a press conference at Fox Studios on July 15, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.
Former NRL CEO David Gallop speaks during a press conference at Fox Studios on July 15, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Phil Rothfield defends David Gallop

The Daily Telegraph’s NRL reporter Phil Rothfield defended Gallop following Smith’s criticism.

He claimed there was a thorough investigation and said he “agreed” with the NRL’s punishment handed down to the Storm.

“There’s been enormous controversy over his salary cap claims, him slamming the NRL management and David Gallop over the handling of the salary cap affair, how they were stripped of two premierships and he broke down and cried,” he said on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.

“I feel sorry about all those Storm players who were unaware that their contracts were illegal but as David Gallop explains, it was a pretty thorough investigation and it was obvious they were spending millions of dollars more than any other club in the game.

“So it was unfair and I agree with their decision to strip the premierships.”

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