Parramatta Eels Photo: Getty Images
Parramatta's horror 2016, punctuated by a salary cap scandal, player dramas and boardroom trouble has resulted in an incredible $11 million loss.
The massive financial hemorrhaging was announced in a letter penned by interim Eels boss and Parramatta Leagues Club CEO Paul Bevan on Tuesday.
In the letter written to Leagues Club members and Eels fans, Bevan described the Eels annus horribilis as "tumultuous".
The Leagues Club will pick up the loss, which Bevan described as "unacceptable and unsustainable", but will still post a profit "in the neighbourhood of $4 million".
The $11 million shortfall, the biggest in NRL history, included:
* $1.12 million in fines and penalties as a result of sanctions from the NRL over salary cap indiscretions
* $1.24 million to consultants and legal adviser, a significant part of which funded failed Supreme Court legal battles on behalf of the ousted "Gang Of Five" directors
* $952,000 in player terminations, after Kieran Foran departed the club due to personal issues and Anthony Watmough was forced into retirement by a knee injury
* $700,000 in lost sponsorship revenue
* $742,000 provision for sponsorship bad debt
"The impact on the club and members funds is unacceptable and unsustainable and urgent action was needed to mitigate these issues," Bevan wrote.
"There is more work to do on the Eels and a premiership to pursue however the biggest bushfires are out or under control.
"I look forward to the commencement of incoming Eels CEO Bernie Gurr and all Eels members and fans can look forward to a better year in 2017 under his guidance."
Bevan outlined a number of changes the club had made to ensure a brighter future.Those included a salary cap management overhaul and the cessation of legal action against the NRL.
"After years of uncertainty the Club now has 100 per cent confidence in its cap and has confirmed this status with the NRL," Bevan wrote.
"The recent round of signings and re-signings for the Eels has been actioned with complete certainty of compliance with the salary cap."
The Eels were hit with a 12 premiership points deduction for their salary cap dramas which effectively ended their year.
Star playmaker Corey Norman added to the club's troubles when he was found guilty of drug possession and banned for six weeks by the NRL as a result of that brush with the law and a number of other off-field dramas.
Winger Semi Radradra is facing allegations of domestic violence.
But the that might not be the end of the Eels troubles with Bevan writing of "an investigation currently being conducted by the NSW Fraud Squad into invoices to the Eels that were allegedly inflated".
"I would like to make clear that the intervention of the NSW Police is in relation to possible offences committed against PLC members by individuals associated with the Football Club," Bevan wrote.
"This is an ongoing investigation and the Club intends to keep members updated as much as possible."
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