Pascoe banned over Farah deal
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe has been sensationally deregistered by the NRL over alleged breaches of the salary cap.
In a major bombshell, the Tigers face being penalised $639,000 from their 2019 salary cap on top of a fine of $750,000.
The stunning breach notice and penalties have emerged in wake of a two-month investigation by the NRL into an ambassador agreement with Robbie Farah before he left the Tigers to play with the Rabbitohs following a falling out with then coach Jason Taylor.
The ambassador's role which Farah was expected to take up once he finished his career was valued at $639,000 and the NRL believes the payment should have been disclosed and included in the salary cap.
There is no suggestion Farah has done anything wrong.
Pascoe was informed of the decision by the NRL alongside Tigers chair Marina Go this morning. The club has subsequently issued a statement expressing "shock" and disappointment in the process and would be defending their position.
The statement in full reads as follows:
"At 8am this morning the NRL informed Wests Tigers that it is issuing a preliminary breach notice in relation to an ambassador agreement with Robbie Farah.
"The club is shocked with the decision and extremely disappointed in the process.
"It is an arrangement that Wests Tigers had with Robbie that is unrelated to his career as a player. The club does not know if he is going to take it up and Robbie has not indicated his intention in return.
"The reason the ambassadorship was offered in November 2015 is that then new CEO Justin Pascoe felt that the club had disrespected Robbie and this was a way to show him the respect that Justin felt he deserved as a Life Member and club legend due to the overwhelming support Robbie had at the time from Members and fans.
"Most importantly Wests Tigers derive absolutely no advantage from this arrangement. It is not tied in any way to Robbie's playing contract.
"Wests Tigers are particularly concerned about the wrongful attack on the integrity of the club's CEO. For the last three years Justin has shown nothing but respect for the NRL and the salary cap.
The club will be vigorously defending this."
Pascoe has been warned he must not communicate or come into contact with any players, officials or board members of the club.
Like deregistered Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan, Pascoe and the Tigers have until January to respond to the breach notices.