Storm chief: keep the faith

Acting Melbourne chief Frank Stanton has urged Storm fans not to desert their team after investigations revealed that the club’s estimated salary breach to be over $3 million.

The club has been in turmoil ever since the NRL revealed evidence of the breach in April – a scam which saw them stripped of both the 2007 and 2009 NRL titles.

Initially the NRL‘s audit estimated the breach to be around $1.735 million.

But an investigation by accounting firm Deloitte has shown the breach to be approximately $3.170 milliion in the years between 2006 and 2010.

In a message to fans, Mr Stanton said that News Limited, the club’s owners, have pledged their commitment to keep the club.

He said: “I want to thank you once again for the extraordinary support you have shown and I urge you to maintain your faith.

“We are determined to rebuild this club and ensure that the Storm will be a serious contender for the NRL Premiership in 2011.”

“We still have a lot to do and we do not underestimate the enormity of the challenge ahead of us. A new chief executive officer will be appointed soon and his job, together with the club’s management, will be to ensure that we field a competitive team next year that is under the salary cap.”

Mr Stanton echoed the words of John Hartigan, the Chief Executive of News Ltd.

He added: “Like me, John believes the Storm will be premiers again – and that the path to that future premiership begins today.

“Our team has shown remarkable resilience since April and proven many people wrong by the way they have played for pride, their teammates and their supporters. I am sure that they will do us proud against the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday.”

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