NRL: Manly CEO urges Organised Crime Squad to provide match fixing evidence

Manly Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly. Photo / Getty Images
Manly Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly. Photo / Getty Images

Manly CEO Joe Kelly on Friday night urged the NSW Organised Crime Squad to stump up any evidence on his players being involved in match fixing - if there is any actual evidence.

Kelly took the unusual step of fronting on Friday night's press conference in Canberra to address the bombshell news his club was involved in two games last season where there were allegations of players throwing the game.

But Kelly said Manly had not heard from the police, and the innuendo that has since emerged about some of his players had caused the club _ and rugby league _ plenty of ''distress".


Kelly added he had not spoken to his players about any possible links with former brothel owner and punter Eddie Hayson, the money man allegedly at the centre of the match-fixing turmoil.

He added he was unaware of any Manly players being warned about socialising with colourful characters last year.

Kelly did, however, confirm the claims members of his club had approached the NRL about the company some of the players were keeping albeit it was before he started in his role.

"At this point in time we're aware of a one-line statement from a police spokesperson, that's all we're aware of," said Kelly, as he read from a prepared statement inked on a scrunched up piece of paper.

"We did come into more news as the day unfolded yesterday that there were unsubstantiated claims there were two games being looked into ... and those two games Manly participated in.
"As a result of that, we've been linked to his allegation.

"On this basis, and this basis alone, we've been unfairly linked to the allegation.

"This unfounded speculation is causing our game a lot of distress at the moment, and our club in particular _ this proud, successful and community-based club is really hurting.

"What we'd like to do is really urge the authorities to very quickly and as soon as possible bring any evidence forward, if there is any evidence. If there's anything to substantiate (these allegations), we'd like it substantiated as soon as possible.

"We don't want this to go any longer at all, and we're more than supportive of any process that takes place from here on in."

Kelly endorsed NRL boss Todd Greenberg's tough stance of life bans for any players caught match fixing.

As for Hayson associating his players, Kelly said he had not inquired.

"We'll be having a player and a club briefing after this event," Kelly said.

"It's come out today there have been some concerns in the past from the owners of the club (about) certain associations, so we'll be stretching that to our players."

- news.com.au

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