Former Melbourne Storm CEO Brian Waldron has apologised to supporters for the first time since the salary cap scandal of 2010 led to the club being stripped of two premierships and three minor premierships.
Writing in The New Daily, Waldron said he accepted the consequences of his wrongdoing and he unreservedly apologised to everyone hurt by his actions.
“Regretfully I got ahead of myself. It’s absolutely appropriate that I apologise to all those hurt by my actions and I do so without reservation,” he said.
Waldron was a central figure in a series of breaches of the NRL salary cap by the Melbourne Storm over a period of five years leading up to 2010.
An investigation by the League discovered the club had run a dual contract and bookkeeping system, with reports putting the total of the additional payments to players at $3.8 million. Investigations cleared players and coaches of involvement.
Alongside the loss of the 2007 and 2009 premierships, the Storm was fined $1.7 million and forced to play for no premiership points during the 2010 season. The club was also stripped of it 2010 World Club Challenge title.
“Responsibility for failure is rarely exclusive but it is appropriate that responsibility is attributed to leaders. This is just,” Waldron said.
“Leaders are accountable whether by their actions, their inactions or their naivety. Be it about salary cap breaches, recruitment errors, coaching appointments or the pursuit of scientific advantage, the buck stops at the top.”
Waldron said that “regretfully the good is quickly forgotten when wrongdoings are uncovered”, but that he understood and accepted that was “the consequence of inappropriate actions”.