Leading player agent Isaac Moses has vowed to clear his name after former client and retired Parramatta prop Tim Mannah provided information about him to the NRL integrity unit.
The NRL hit Moses, who is agent for Warriors coach Stephen Kearney, with a breach notice late on Wednesday, asking him to “show cause why his accreditation should not be suspended or cancelled as a result of the matters alleged”.
It is understood those matters relate to Mannah, who split with Moses earlier this year, and the 2016 Parramatta salary cap scandal.
The NRL cleared Moses of any wrongdoing following an investigation into the conduct of player agents and their salary cap breaches, which led to the club losing 12 competition points and being fined A$1 million.
While it is unclear what Mannah has told the integrity unit, his decision to offer information to investigators follows Moses’ bitter fallout with enigmatic “football whisperer” Joe Wehbe earlier this year.
Wehbe has taken Moses to the Supreme Court, wanting a slice of his business over unpaid earnings from a sports management business in which Wehbe was a silent partner.
The dispute between the pair has driven a wedge between Moses and a number of his high-profile clients, which also includes Roosters fullback James Tedesco, Israel Folau and Nathan Brown.
Moses management company, Cove Agency, released a statement on his behalf late on Wednesday, passionately claiming his innocence.
“Isaac Moses is defending the proceedings and strenuously denies any wrongdoing. We expect this will be resolved in the New Year,” the statement said. “The NRL has published a media release today regarding disciplinary proceedings against Isaac Moses of Cove Agency.
“Cove Agency does not wish to comment at this time in relation to the media statement as it refers to an ongoing matter which has yet to be determined by the NRL.
“Cove Agency does wish to put on record that Isaac Moses respects the processes of the NRL and is cooperating fully with the NRL’s proceedings.”
Moses represents some of the biggest names in the game, headed by Storm captain Cameron Smith, Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses and Broncos young gun Tevita Pangai jnr. He also represents a range of coaches, including Kearney and Broncos mentor Anthony Seibold.
He is allowed to act on behalf of his clients while the matter is ongoing.
“This disciplinary process is ongoing,” the NRL said in a statement. “Mr Moses disputes that he engaged in the conduct that has been alleged against him and no determination will be made by the NRL until Mr Moses has an opportunity to respond to the notice and the NRL has considered that response.”
Mannah did not return calls while the NRL refused to elaborate on the nature of the breach.
Moses wasn’t the only player agent to feel the wrath of the NRL on Wednesday.
Gavin Orr has had his accreditation cancelled over an alleged breach of the salary cap rules involving Cheyse Blair and his time at Parramatta in 2013.
Alongside brother Chris, Orr operates Pacific Sports Management, which represents the likes of Valentine Holmes, Payne Haas, Jack Bird and Daly Cherry-Evans. NRL.com.au reported former Kiwis star and now Tonga captain Jason Taumalolo is also a client.
Orr has sought leave to appeal the decision.
“The conduct of Mr Orr that has given rise to the determination to cancel his agent accreditation involves knowingly aiding a breach of the NRL’s Salary Cap Rules,” the NRL said.
Head office has also sent a breach notice to Mario Tarak after he failed to disclose bankruptcy proceedings against him, while Antoun Zibara has been fined and put on a probation period of misconduct for breaching NRL rules.
New ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has promised to clean up the conduct of agents in rugby league, threatening to audit every manager in the game if necessary.
“Our integrity unit has conducted extensive investigations over a number of months which has resulted in disciplinary proceedings against four player agents,” NRL chief operating officer Nick Weeks said.
He said this year had been the first season the NRL has had the power to sanction player agents.
“The reform of the rules relating to player agents at the end of last year has allowed the NRL to hold player agents accountable in the same way as players and club officials,” he said.
Sydney Morning Herald
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