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News NRL to launch Titans salary cap investigation over David Fifita incident

Spoonman84

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The Gold Coast Titans are facing a salary cap probe by the NRL amid revelations a payment was made to the family involved in David Fifita’s bizarre Christmas incident.
News Corp can reveal the NRL was unaware money had exchanged hands after the Gold Coast’s $3.5 million recruit was embroiled in a bizarre controversy during the Christmas break.

While the NRL Integrity Unit’s investigation has not formally concluded, it was believed Fifita would escape sanction over the incident given he was not charged by police.

However the NRL is now probing further after being made aware of a potential compensation payout.

Titans CEO Steve Mitchell could not immediately be reached for comment.

The NRL’s investigation will look into whether the money was paid by Fifita or the Titans given there are potential salary cap implications if the club has made the payment.

If the payment is deemed salary cap compliant, Fifita’s actions are still expected to be re-examined as the NRL investigates what transpired to prompt compensation.

Fifita was arrested by police about 8am on December 27, following reports of trespassing at an address in Clear Island Waters on the Gold Coast.

He was questioned at Broadbeach police station and released without charge. Fifita was later issued an adult police caution.

The NRL’s Integrity Unit made inquiries but no formal sanctions were announced and the incident was put down to being a mix-up, with reports suggesting Fifita had entered the wrong room of an address he had been invited to.

However revelations a payment was made have raised further questions about what actually transpired.

On a club record three-year deal, Fifita will pocket $1.25 million this season and is arguably the biggest signing in Titans history, rivalling the failed acquisition of Jarryd Hayne from the NFL in 2016.

Fifita, who turns 21 on Thursday, is scheduled to make his first playing appearance in Titans colours on Saturday night in Lismore when Gold Coast faces New Zealand in a trial match.

He featured for the Indigenous All Stars in last Friday’s game against the Maori All Stars in Townsville, but is yet to play for the Titans.

The NRL’s fresh investigation around their star recruit will be an unwanted distraction for the Titans only two weeks before the 2021 season kicks off.

It is not the first time Fifita has been involved in an incident where money has been exchanged.

In November 2019, while contracted to the Broncos, Fifita was detained in a Bali jail for three days following an incident with a nightclub security guard.

A Broncos employee flew to the Indonesian island immediately to help broker Fifita’s release, which only occurred after a “peace agreement” was reached.

Fifita is believed to have paid $30,000 to secure his release from the jail.

The NRL was made aware of the Bali payment which was paid for by Fifita. There were no salary cap implications due to the transparency.

Fifita was released from the jail after the agreement was finalised and his camp has consistently maintained he was the victim of an extortion plot due to his status as an NRL rising star.

Fifita became the first player born this century to play in the NRL when he made his debut for the Broncos in 2018, playing 11 games in his rookie season.

He played three State of Origin games for Queensland in 2019 but missed last year’s series after undergoing knee surgery following an injury-plagued final season at the Broncos.

In early January, Titans coach Justin Holbrook spoke to media and claimed the Fifita trespassing issue had been “resolved” but would not comment on whether the club imposed any sanctions on their highest-paid player.

“Yeah, I did (speak to him). It’s not good but it’s been resolved now,” he said.

“We’ve got to move on now.”

Fifita made a dramatic shift from the Broncos to Titans in the off-season following an ugly contract spat with Brisbane.

He has only faced the media once since joining the Titans, when he was unveiled in Gold Coast colours last November.

“It feels great to be a Titan,” Fifita said at the time.

“There’s no pressure. I am looking forward to the expectation.

“It’s a new challenge, a new opportunity on the Coast, so all the money stuff, my mum looks after that so I don’t have to worry about that.

“All I need to worry about is getting my body right and ripping in next year.

“It would mean everything to make (the Titans a force). That’s the goal next year — top eight, top four.

“I know myself and the boys will train hard and I can’t wait for round one.

“My ultimate goal is a premiership, 100 per cent.”

It now remains unclear whether he will be allowed to play in Round 1 given the NRL’s hard-line stance on player behaviour.

A Titans spokesman said the club is in discussions with the NRL and have been transparent with the governing body.

Titans CEO Steve Mitchell has gathered information which has been communicated to NRL officials.

It is understood the Titans came to an “internal arrangement” over the Fifita saga but the full details have not been made clear at this stage.
 

Motorhead

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Davo the gift that keeps on giving lol. He will be a monumental flop for the Tits.
Big Mal seems to be working wonders as Head Of Culture and Performance.
Punt these losers from the comp and bring back the Bears.
 

Como Dog

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Is it just me or does anyone else think the Broncos have had a quiet word to the NRL about this. He probably told one of his Broncos mates who told someone else. If the Broncos knew this happened then they could torpedo the Titan's chances of signing Cam Smith which would give the Broncos a free run.

History has shown that any significant salary cap investigation (that wasn't based on a technicality), only came about when someone informed the NRL about it.
 

Radio Raheem

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So what exactly is the alleged breach for? Why would the club give him extra money? Unless they paid his legal fees or hush money? Funny how these accusations weren't flying about when Brisbane paid Fifita's 30k in Bali..

He's already on $1.25 million and they still have cap room left so there'd be no need for dodgy payments and bumping up his salary since no other club was close to matching that offer. I doubt this is anything for the Titans to worry about.
 

dogluva

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Funny how these accusations weren't flying about when Brisbane paid Fifita's 30k in Bali..
The NRL made plenty of noise about it after questions were asked but were completely satisfied that Fafita himself paid the money.....It was always maintained that there was no improper payment by the Broncos.......and that it may have been an attempt to get money from him because of his high profile....
 

Radio Raheem

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The NRL made plenty of noise about it after questions were asked but were completely satisfied that Fafita himself paid the money.....It was always maintained that there was no improper payment by the Broncos.......and that it may have been an attempt to get money from him because of his high profile....
Yeah but c'mon, it's the Broncos we're talking about. I'm sure the Thoroughbreds chipped in. Fifita wasn't on a huge salary at that point either so 30k out of his pocket would be a huge deal.
 
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