NRL chief exec David Gallop has walked the League’s judiciary panel representatives, the reason being that the panel are suing the Melbourne Storm for defamation. Panel chairman Mr Greg Woods and additional members Darrell Williams and Royce Ayliffe were this week asked to stand down until further notice after after the group began legal proceedings in the Supreme Court.
They are chasing Storm coach Craig Bellamy and Melbourne club boss Brian Waldron after the pair made certain commentary during the NRL playoffs in 2008 when they were alleged to have ‘questioned the panels’s integrity for rubbing out captain Cameron Smith for the rest of the 2008 year’.
New faces to appear on the judiciary panel include former Raiders star and recently punted Bulldogs assistant Brad Clyde, along with former Souths’ hooker and now pie shop owner Sean Garlick. The panel will have Paul Conlon as it’s chairman.
Darren Britt will be the only previous member to stay in the group after he refused to continue legal proceedings against the Storm duo.
Gallop confirmed the three were stood down after he learned they had launched legal proceedings last week.
Gallop was worried about a perceived ‘conflict of interest’ between the former panel and their links to the Storm during the whole process.
It seems the NRL has been surprised the issue has hung around for such a long time; feeling it may have been able to be resolved sooner rather than later and without court action.
Most hoped there would be a peace deal over the summer, however as of last week things flared up when solicitor Andrew O’Brien submitted a legal claim on behalf of Woods, Ayliffe and Williams in the Supreme Court.
“Clearly, the judiciary members were the victims of a very serious attack on their integrity, which led to a record fine of $50,000 at the time,” Gallop confirmed.
“Hopefully, once the matter is resolved they will be able to return to their duties.” Gallop also said.