However, the future of the ‘Greatest Game of All’ in Melbourne certainly looks massively in doubt.
What the Storm did was obviously wrong on every level and they deserve to be stripped of their Premierships. This in itself is a harsh penalty and one that would have been totally suffice in conjunction with the fines handed out to the young southern club.
What really concerns people is the frozen future of the Storm in 2010.
The side cannot earn any points for future wins and is basically playing for nothing this year. This not only hurts Melbourne Storm fans for the remainder of 2010 – it will probably have an effect on representative selections moving forward.
How can anyone in their right mind expect to be motivated to play for nothing, achieve their personal best and strive to the final whistle?
If anything, this harsh on-going penalty could create more problems.
A crucified, angry and possibly lost Storm playing group could be tempted to bet against themselves in future matches. That might sound alarmist, but think about it – what else have they got to aim for in the next 6 months?
Adding fuel to the fire down south, what about future playing contracts? Storm players will slowly be peeled away from the club, giving they need to clear and re-establish a genuine, clean salary cap roster.
There was even speculation late today that leading coach Craig Bellamy could step down from his post at the Storm. This is purely speculation at this stage, but such a move wouldn’t surprise many in League circles – given the gravity of the situation.
The Storm did the wrong thing. They cheated the salary cap. They’ve been punished severely, losing everything they’ve earned in the past 5 years.
Don’t freeze their future, as well as the future of the NRL for 2010 – it has the potential to ruin the season.
David Gallop and his team are doing a good job under tough conditions, however, they need to reconsider this part of the punishment.
It could kill off League in Victoria and has the potential to damage the game in the short term.