Parramatta's former boss sought help to deal with players demanding cash outside the salary cap but was told the NRL club would find someone else if he couldn't "fix" the problem, police allege.
Scott Seward, 41, dishonestly obtained $220,000 from the Parramatta Leagues Club by arranging and authorising false invoices when he was chief executive between November 2014 and mid-June 2015.
Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday heard the fraud was to cover debts owed by the football club, which is owned by the Leagues Club, to players.
In court documents, police allege Seward received demands for cash payments players and managers were promised as third party deals.
Police say the payments were "clearly breaches of the salary cap" and that Seward was aware of $589,000-worth of outstanding payments by January 2014.
He tried to get help from employees as well as Parramatta NRL and Leagues Club board of directors members, it is alleged.
"However, the accused was continuously told to 'fix the problem or they would find some who could'," police say in the documents.
"These promises were made prior to the accused commencing employment as the CEO of Parramatta League's Club."
Seward's lawyer, John Sutton, said the commitments should never have been made and that his client's mental health had suffered a "tremendous toll".
In a letter to the court, a former colleague said "more and more" pressure was placed on Seward to fix the club's finances.
"I had a ringside seat as the happy-go-lucky man I knew, became a shell of his former self," the colleague said in the letter, parts of which were read to the court.
Seward, who the court heard now does casual work for a retailer, previously pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception and admitted publishing false or misleading material to obtain advantage.
The second charge, which will be taken into account on sentencing, relates to the signing of a service contract that was inflated to provide a false income of $120,000 for E-Group Security Services so they could pay a player at the club between March and June 2015.
Mr Sutton told the court Seward handed himself in to the NRL integrity unit after speaking to Todd Greenberg, who is now the chief executive of the NRL, despite knowing he was going to be on the "pointy end of this very sharp stick".
He told the court police would have had difficulty detecting the crime if not for Seward's honesty.
The prosecution submitted there was a need to deter people in high-paying positions from breaking the law, but added Seward should get a discount for his co-operation.
Seward was chief executive between September 2013 and June 2015 during which time the the Eels were accused of systematically cheating the NRL salary cap through third-party payments.
They were stripped of 12 competition points and fined $750,000 in 2016.
Seward had been expected to be sentenced on Tuesday but the case was adjourned until July 13.